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Operating Department Practitioner Apprenticeship - Level 6

Kickstart your career

You will receive a BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Degree

Our resources

State of the art skills labs and specialist facilities to ensure high training standards


The knowledge and skills developed are tailored to the needs of role you will support

Centre of Excellence Stafford
Typical duration for this apprenticeship is 3 years.
Start date(s):

Typical start dates are September and January.

Enquire now

The Operating Department Practitioner degree features an integrated degree to ensure you have the necessary academic and practical experience to become a confident Operating Department Practitioner.

ODPs must continually make professional decisions to ensure the patient receives the best care before, during and after their surgery. They ensure that the operating theatre environment is safe and effective, and therefore have expertise in the management of specialist equipment and materials in a highly technical environment, for example handling surgical instruments, checking anaesthetic equipment, moving patients and giving medication.

ODPs must demonstrate confidence, compassion, competence and effective judgement; being responsible for their decisions. They must use evidence based practice to inform and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions they take with the aim of continually improving outcomes for patients. They are responsible for ensuing their own professional knowledge and skills through continuous professional development (CPD) and support the development of others.

Who is it for?

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are registered healthcare professionals specialising in caring for people of all ages before, during and after surgery. ODPs therefore mainly work in operating departments, alongside other professionals (such as doctors and nurses) and take a lead role in ensuring a patient is safe during each stage of their journey through the operating theatre.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice Degree Apprenticeship

Course content



Year 1 Modules: 

  • Introduction to Operating Department
  • Preparation of the Patient for Anaesthesia and Surgery
  • Perioperative Care Pathways
  • Fundamentals of Perioperative Practice

Year 2 Modules: 

  • Research Methods in Health & Social Care
  • Developing Perioperative Care Strategies
  • Care of Patients with Comorbidities
  • Intermediate Perioperative Care

Year 3 Modules: 

  • Leadership, Management & Change in Health & Social Care
  • Emergency Care in the Operating Department & Associated Areas
  • Research & Development in the Operating Department
  • Specialised Perioperative Practice (Degree Apprenticeship)

The EPA is integrated into the Specialised Perioperative Practice module.

Entry requirements

Apprentices will be required to complete a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) approved BSc (Hons) in Operating Department Practice.

Apprentices without level 2 or equivalent English and Maths will need to achieve this prior to commencing the apprenticeship programme.

For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

Due to the professional nature of the course, the Health and Care Professions Council request assurance that the entry criteria to the course assesses applicants’ ability to complete the programme. Therefore, an essential part of the selection process will be to ensure that apprentices meet the entry requirements agreed for this professional course which are typically:

112 UCAS tariff points, plus 5 GCSEs at grades a – c, to include mathematics and English

as well as evidence of recent study.


Maximum cost of the apprenticeship has been set at £24,000.

Delivery and assessment


Teaching and learning is divided between university and work-based learning. At university, learning is structured so that each module studied builds on the previous module. Therefore, knowledge and understanding of the concepts underpinning operating department practice develops, apprentices will be exposed to more challenging and complex learning. Course content is delivered using a combination of taught sessions and a case-based approach. Clinical scenarios provide the trigger for learning based on the cases the apprentices are likely to encounter in the work-based placements. The benefit of this approach is that learning will be in the context of clinical practice, developing key learning skills (such as searching for evidence, critical appraisal, problem-solving) which are essential to professional practice; apprentices will work both independently and as part of team which will enhance communication skills; and learning will take place with and from members of other professional groups.

Clinical skills are developed and practiced in our university-based operating theatre. Key skills such as scrubbing, gowning and gloving, and airway management, are practiced in a controlled environment before putting these skills into practice during work-based placements. Work-based learning forms approximately 50% of the course, where development is supported by a team of qualified ODPs and theatre nurses who will assess clinical competence at key stages in the course.

Some of the modules you will study are common to other health professions’ curricula (e.g. research, leadership and management, some clinical skills). Inter-professional learning forms an essential part of our curriculum and a part of the programme will take place in an inter-professional environment. Here apprentices will learn about the roles of the other professions which will enhance team working and patient care.

The curriculum is developed around four key themes which are embedded into every module:

  • Evidence-based practice is essential to high quality patient care. Ability to search for, analyse and critique clinical evidence and research will develop as the course progresses
  • Patient safety is paramount. Human factors and ergonomics are studied throughout the course and apprentices will reflect on how their actions and the actions of others in the operating department impact on patient safety
  • Communication in several different forms with people with specialist and non-specialist knowledge regarding effective patient care
  • Studying health and social inequality will develop understanding of the links between health and a range of social determinants, such as economic and environmental factors


A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course:

  • Assignments/Reflection: these are usually in essay format of varying length. Assignments must be presented in an appropriate scholarly format which develops academic writing skills.
  • Seminar/Presentation: the research, planning and presentation of findings to a small audience.
  • Examinations: either multiple-choice or oral (viva voce) examinations.
  • Drug Calculations: accurate calculation of drug dosages and preparation of medications will be assessed via the on-line package Safe Medicate. A drug calculations assessment is undertaken in each of the three years where the expectation is that 100% is achieved in year three.
  • Work-based assessment: demonstrates fitness to practice as an Operating Department Practitioner as a requirement for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. The apprentice is assessed against profession-specific competences by a team of practice-based ODPs and theatre nurses in each of the core areas of operating department practice (i.e. anaesthesia, surgery and recovery).

The Level 6 Specialised Perioperative Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) module has been developed to incorporate the End-Point Assessment activity which is a mandatory requirement of the degree apprenticeship standard. To access the End-Point Assessment, you must have successfully completed all other assessments at levels 4, 5 and 6.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties. You will also have full access to our support services such as Student Guidance.


Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

  • The employer must not ask the apprentice to contribute financially to the direct cost of learning
  • Ensure apprentice spends at least 20% of their time in off-the-job training
  • Enter into a contract with Staffordshire University
  • Participate in reviews with the apprentice and university, providing evidence and feedback on progress at work and success in meeting apprenticeship milestones
  • Provide a safe, healthy and supportive environment, which meets the needs of the apprentice
  • Provide apprentices with a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship on the first day of their apprenticeship and be paid at least a wage consistent with the law for both the time they are in work and in off-the-job learning
  • Provide the apprentice with paid time to attend off-the-job training, including additional support for English and Maths, or support accessed for learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Recognise that the apprentice must complete the apprenticeship within their working hours
  • Support the apprentice to gain new skills


Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are registered healthcare professionals specialising in caring for people of all ages before, during & after surgery. ODPs therefore mainly work in operating departments. They work alongside other professionals (such as doctors and nurses) and take a lead role in ensuring a patient is safe during each stage of a patient’s journey through the operating theatre.

To join a higher degree apprenticeship programme, enquire with us today.