As part of the NHS modernisation agenda a range of medically and non-medically qualified practitioner roles were developed, including anesthetic practitioners, medical, critical, emergency and surgical care practitioners. Assistants in surgical practice have been a part of the NHS since 1989 and have developed as extended roles for nurses and operating department practitioners demonstrating their value in the surgical environment. The creation of the Surgical Care Practitioner (SCP) is both a development and rationalisation of this role.
SCPs are non-medical practitioners such as nurses, operating department practitioners or physiotherapists who have extended the scope of their training to work as members of surgical teams. They can perform surgical intervention and preoperative and postoperative care under the supervision and direction of a consultant, although not independently. They undergo a two year part-time clinically based course at a higher education institution.
The Curriculum Framework for the Surgical Care Practitioner
As the role of the SCP emerged in practice, the need to ensure that consistent and appropriate standards in training where maintained, became evident. The College led a steering group that was established to develop a for the developing role of surgical care practitioner. Following a period of public consultation led by the Department of Health in 2005, the curriculum framework was finalised and published in April 2006 and represents the definitive statement of the requirements (including national standards for competence in theoretical and clinical skills) for surgical care practitioner training to be provided by universities, HEIs and Trusts in the UK.
How to apply
HEIs (in collaboration with placement providers) may seek accreditation from The Royal College of Surgeons of England for programmes of study for surgical care practitioner courses in a similar way that higher education institutions do for academic programmes. Programmes should be offered in collaboration with placement providers and should be a minimum of 120 credits at FHEQ level H. Entry to the programme should be post-registration and it is anticipated that students wishing to undertake the programme would be practising surgical care practitioners, operating department practitioners or would occupy similar roles.
The College accreditation process includes a review of all the programme documents and materials and the likelihood of a panel visit. If you are interested in applying for Accreditation of an SCP course from the Royal College of Surgeons of England then please download an application pack or contact the Quality Assurance team
In order to cover its costs, the College will levy an accreditation fee as well as a fee to cover the expenses incurred by any visiting panel.
If you are interested in applying for accreditation of an SCP course from the Royal College of Surgeons of England then please contact the Quality Assurance Department at email@example.com or on 020 7869 6236/6221.