Level 6 – Specialist Perioperative Practitioner

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Specialist Perioperative Practitioners have a higher degree of autonomy and responsibility than Level 5 in the clinical area. People at this level require a critical understanding of detailed theoretical and practical knowledge, are specialist and /or have management and leadership responsibilities. They demonstrate initiative and are creative in finding solutions to problems. They have some responsibility for team performance and service development, and they consistently undertake self-development. 

Example roles include theatre team leader, practice educator, senior operating room practitioner and senior anaesthetic nurse.


  • Registered on the Nurses part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register or Operating Department Practitioner registered with the Health and Care Professions Council  
  • Ordinary or Honours Degree. Graduate Diploma 
  •  Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ 4) 
  • Post graduate expertise within speciality/ area of practice that demonstrates the required breadth of knowledge required to lead safely, effectively and efficiently 
  • SCQF Level: 9–10
Education development

Scottish Universities offer a range of postgraduate programmes for nurses. You can explore the options available below 

Glasgow Caledonian University deliver a range of standalone perioperative specific modules to support the postgraduate development of staff working in this area of practice. You can explore the learning opportunities available on their website 

Edinburgh Napier University offers a standalone module for staff working in the perioperative environment - Enhanced Perioperative Practice - Scrub and circulating role 


The Career Development Framework for the Perioperative Nursing, Midwifery and Health Professions (NMaHP) Workforce aims to provide an infrastructure to support the career development, and the learning and development needs of perioperative workforce. This framework is underpinned by the Career Framework for Health.   

Professional Portfolio   

TURAS Professional Portfolio is NHS Education for Scotland's e- portfolio application for healthcare staff. Portfolio has been designed to allow staff to record and share their learning, reflection, feedback and achievements as part of their career journey in NHS Scotland.    


If you want to find out more about a career as a perioperative practitioner, check out NHS Scotland Careers to discover the qualifications you will need, what the work will be like, and discover the learning and development opportunities for each role.

Adult nurse | Nursing | NHSScotland Careers

Surgical First Assistant