Operating Department Practice (ODP) education


A service led, verified and approved Operating Department Practice (ODP) Diploma level programme commenced in Scotland in autumn 2019 to meet the identified gaps and needs in the workforce, both currently and to enable future workforce models and plans to service the planned enhance elective care activity.

The programme commissioning was led by NHS Education for Scotland on behalf of territorial health boards across Scotland.    The management of the service led approach is undertaken by regional leads (west, south east and north regions) appointed by health boards.

More information about the role of an Operating Department Practitioner can be found on the NHS Scotland Careers website.

DipHE in Operating Department Practice (ODP)

The DipHE in ODP programme is accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is delivered by the University of West of Scotland (UWS).

This programme prepares safe, competent and caring Operating Department Practitioners (ODP’s) that can deliver high quality care in all areas of perioperative practice.

Perioperative care  refers to the multidisciplinary delivery of person centred care by the integrated team from when surgery is considered until the completion of the recovery phase.  The Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is a key member of this mixed discipline team.

The programme prepares practitioners to be proficient in the role of an ODP within scrub, anaesthesia, surgery and post-anaesthesia person centred care.

The UWS two-year full-time programme combines online theory and work-based learning through practice placement in a variety of perioperative settings.  As such, students will engage with online learning while practicing simultaneously as an ODP student, learning and developing clinical skills within their home health board. 

On completion of the programme, students will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as an Operating Department Practitioner. 

University of West of Scotland website

The College of Operating Department Practitioners website offers more information about this role.


Territorial health boards each undertake their own recruitment to the DipHE programme, with differing employment models in place. The process is co-ordinated via the health board appointed regional leads who manage the service lead provision and liaise with University of West of Scotland.

Region Health Boards Regional lead contact

NHS Grampian
NHS Highland
NHS Orkney
NHS Shetland
NHS Tayside
NHS Western Isles


South East

NHS Borders
NHS Fife
NHS Lothian





NHS Ayrshire & Arran
NHS Dumfries & Galloway
NHS Forth Valley
NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
NHS Lanarkshire
Golden Jubilee National Hospital



The recruitment window is May– July each year, with online induction week in late August and programme commencement early September.

Full details of the DipHE can be accessed on the University of West of Scotland website.