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Surgery is a crucial part of healthcare delivery which can transform the lives of patients, whether they are undergoing elective, urgent or emergency procedures.  

Perioperative care is delivered before, during and after surgery and includes: reception, anaesthetics, theatre, and recovery areas. Perioperative care is most often delivered in hospital theatre suites but may also be delivered in some specialist areas such as cardiac catheterisation laboratories.  

The perioperative workforce is a large and diverse team who have specialist knowledge and skills. They work together to deliver safe, effective, and person-centred care for those patients undergoing surgery. The team includes, surgeons, nurses in various roles such as anaesthetic practitioners and scrub nurses, anaesthetists, operating department practitioners (ODPs), theatre support staff and many more.  

This area of healthcare delivery is at the forefront of innovation in technology and care delivery including advancements such as robotic-assisted surgery. A career in the perioperative environment can be challenging, stimulating, and rewarding. 

The Perioperative Workforce Guide below highlights some of the career opportunities available to nurses, midwifes and health professions (NMaHP) within the perioperative workforce.

Perioperative Workforce Guide

This Guide has been created to showcase the diverse roles that make up the perioperative workforce. It is mapped to the Perioperative Career Framework using the Medical Associate Professions (MAPs) Resource to inform decision making towards role ability, diversification and workforce planning.  

Perioperative Career Development Framework

The Perioperative Career Development Framework describes careers levels 2 to 8. These levels reflect role development and progression, and not those of Agenda for Change which is related to remuneration. 

An overview of the career levels described in the Perioperative Career Development Framework can be found below. Details include: a description of the career level, example roles, qualifications, educational development opportunities, resources and careers. 

You can also navigate directly to individual career levels and career information on specific professions from the sidebar. 

Perioperative careers

Level 2 – Perioperative Support Worker 

Level 3 – Senior Perioperative Support Worker  

Level 4 - Assistant Perioperative Practitioner

Level 5 - Perioperative Practitioner

Level 6 - Specialist Perioperative Practitioner

Level 7 - Advanced Perioperative Practitioner

Level 8 - Consultant Perioperative Practitioner