Operating department practice

Operating Department Practice (Apprentice)

About the course

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) are highly-skilled members of the surgical team who support patients in the dynamic and fast paced perioperative setting.

The ODP degree apprentice programme can be accessed from a range of health care settings and is an ideal opportunity to undertake work based experiential and reflective learning whilst being employed. Throughout your 3-year degree you will study alongside other student ODP’s on their BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practitioner programme. You will work and be assessed in a variety of specialist areas such as general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ear, nose and throat, obstetric surgery, anaesthetic and post-anaesthetic care (recovery).

The programme is delivered as a blend of campus-based classes including portfolio building, clinical placement learning, self-directed study and simulation in the universities award winning Allam Medical Building. Apprentices will be supported throughout their studies by an academic personal supervisor.

Assessment within the perioperative setting is achieved via demonstration of clinical competency and documented in an e-portfolio. It has been designed by the programme team to allow you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills knowledge and behaviours associated with operating department practice across a broad range of surgical specialities. There is a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice and clinical decision making throughout as you work towards achieving the required standards of proficiency. The programme is fully approved, upon completion you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and work under the protected title as an Operating Department Practitioner.

The programme is suitable for those who work at or above level 3 healthcare support worker within the perioperative setting.


In year 1- modules provide a foundation for safe effective practice in the work place and seek to instil a professional identity. There is a strong emphasis placed upon fundamental practical skills, which are developed alongside the skills and traits associated with reflective practitioners.

In year 2- modules build upon the learning from the previous year, it affords the apprentice an opportunity to demonstrate reflective and analytical skills related to the 3 phases of perioperative practice (anaesthetics, intraoperative and post anaesthetic care). The work placed element continues and complements the taught theory, as the apprentice begins to develop more complex reasoning and analytical skills.

In year 3 – this final year of the programme provides an opportunity to demonstrate a holistic approach to assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care. The emphasis is upon evidence-based practice and autonomous self-directed learning. This is very evident in the contextualising enhanced roles, literature review and leadership modules. You will be well prepared for the final Transition to Professional Practice module and will have met all of the gateway requirement of the apprenticeship standard. The assessment of this module is undertaken in the workplace by an independent end point assessor, it consists of an observation of your practice, followed by questions aimed at showcasing and assessing your underpinning knowledge.

The modules include:

Certificate stage (Level 4)  

  • Fundamentals of Operating Department Practice
  • Practice module - Identifying the needs of the surgical patient
  • Evidence based practice in the perioperative area
  • Practice module - Surgical/Anaesthetic intervention and its impact upon the patient
  • Personal and Professional development in operating department practice
  • Practice module (Management and organisation of the surgical/anaesthetic event) 

Diploma Stage (level 5)

  • Intra-operative Intervention
  • Intra-operative practice - Practice module
  • Preoperative and Anaesthetic intervention
  • Preoperative and Anaesthetic practice - Practice module
  • Post-operative / Post Anaesthetic intervention
  • Post-operative/Post Anaesthetic Practice- Practice module

Degree stage (level 6)

  • Evaluating Service Improvement
  • Contextualising Enhanced Roles in Perioperative Practice
  • Enhancing Perioperative Practice – Practice module 
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Transition to Professional Practice

Entry requirements

The Apprentices should:

  • Be currently employed in an appropriate health care setting and have the written support of their employer.
  • Hold an appropriate Level 3 qualification e.g. Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship, Subsidiary Diploma or NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care.
  • As well as the level 3 qualification have undertaken or be able to evidence the equivalent of 20 credits at level 4 (for example the university study skills module) or undertake and submit an essay demonstrating level 4 entry standard and the application of knowledge and experience relating to perioperative practice.
  • Possess GCSE English and Maths (Grade C or 4, or above) or Functional Skills level 2 Literacy and Numeracy.  If you have any other English and maths qualifications please contact apprenticeships@hull.ac.uk, 01482 466373 prior to applying.
  • If English is not your first language, IELTS 7.0 or above with no element below 6.5 (or equivalent) is required.
  • Be flexible as there may be a requirement to work shifts alongside their mentor
  • Be able to provide evidence of study within the previous three years. 

Those interested in this course should pursue the matter with their employer and then apply by completing the Apprenticeship application form.

On receipt of the application form and employer's support form, applications will be shortlisted and successful candidates invited to attend a values-based interview conducted by the employer and University staff.   

Any offers made for a place on the course are subject to:

  • Being aged 18 at the commencement of the programme.
  • Evidence of the Care Certificate within 3 months of commencing apprenticeship (arranged by Employer)
  • Completion of an annual Good Health and Good Character declaration 
  • Employer confirmation of Occupational Health clearance and completion of mandatory skills training and updates.

Candidates holding 112 UCAS tariff point equivalence may also apply (contact admissions tutor for further information: R.Daly@hull.ac.uk.


The Department of Health and Social Care in England has recently announced that all NHS staff will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if they wish to be deployed in roles that involve face to face contact with service users. These rules will come into effect, subject to Parliamentary approval on 1 April 2022. At present (November 2021), this requirement only applies to England and not to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

How to apply

To apply, fill in the downloadable application form and the employer support form and return them to fhs.admiss@hull.ac.uk  

For programme enquiries, please contact faculty admissions at fhs.admiss@hull.ac.uk


As a qualified ODP, you are trained in all areas of theatre work and can specialise in surgery, anaesthetics or post-anaesthetic care. You can develop your role through teaching or pursue theatre management roles. New areas of practice are also opening up to ODPs such as accident and emergency and intensive care units. Career opportunities exist within NHS hospital trusts and private hospitals, primary care trust clinics and the armed forces.


The course fees for the programme are £24,000 which will be funded via the employing organisation.

For larger employers, apprenticeship levy funding can fully meet the costs of training, assessment and certification. Employers themselves pay the apprentice's wages.

For smaller employers, funding may be available to support fees, please check with us for further details.

For funding enquiries, please contact at apprenticeships@hull.ac.uk or on (01482) 466373.


This Work-based learning pathway requires assurances signed off by their employer allowing the release of the apprentice for a minimum of 20% ‘off the job’ time over the duration of the 3-year programme.