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Eligibility for Associate (Surgical Care Team) Membership

If you have any questions about eligibility or the application process, please contact our membership support team.

Find out how to join.

Role Eligibility                                                              
Surgical Care Practitioners

Completion of a two year programme at masters level, accredited by the RCS – comprising of both taught and practical elements.


Registration as a healthcare professional e.g. nurse, operating department practitioner.

Surgical first assistant

Successful completion of a nationally recognised programme of study. There are two training routes:

  • An in-house training package supported by the AfPP competency toolkit
  • A University accredited programme, such as the College of Operating Department Practitioners’ BSc in operating department practice

    Universities that offer accredited modules for SFAs must ensure that the programme offered follows the recommendations of the Perioperative Care Collaborative


Registration as a healthcare professional (e.g. nurse, operating department practitioner)

 Physician Associates

Successful completion of a nationally recognised physician associate programme, including those accredited by:

  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or its successor agency,

or by one of its predecessor agencies:

  • Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)


Have passed the Physician Associate National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by:

  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
Advanced Nurse Practitioners

Successful completion of Master’s degree in advanced practice.


Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Currently working in a surgical care role.

Advanced Clinical Practitioners

Applicants must be a registered nurse, midwife, SCPHN, health visitor, physiotherapist or pharmacist, or paramedic educated to at least degree level.


Practitioners must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), or General Practitioners Committee (GPC).


Currently working in a surgical care role.

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