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Surgical Care Practitioner programmes

Providing a quality mark for surgical education

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and The Royal College of Surgeons of England are delighted to unveil the Managed Voluntary Register (MVR) for Surgical Care Practitioners alongside the new SCP Curriculum Framework. The new curriculum framework sets the clinical, technical, and professional standards expected of a professional practitioner working in this defined role of surgical care and will be adopted by UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in developing and delivering SCP postgraduate education programmes.

Both Colleges are totally committed to the inclusion of SCPs in the surgical team as their role is essential to meet the rapidly evolving changes in healthcare, working independently in the surgical team with appropriate supervision, and to complement the team’s workload to enable surgical trainees to have greater training opportunities, which are now more important than ever following the major adverse effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

The SCP has become well established in healthcare organisations and has been shown to:

  • enhance the capability of the surgical team
  • develop professionally within the team
  • support and enhance training opportunities for surgical trainees
  • provide surgical services that complement the medically trained workforce

The MVR provides the opportunity for trainee and practicing SCPs in the UK to demonstrate that they are appropriately qualified, working to the standards expected by the two Colleges and are committed to professional development. The Colleges would strongly encourage SCPs to apply, as collectively these initiatives establish and communicate the standards for the postgraduate education of SCPs. Joining the register means you are joining the official database of Surgical Care Practitioners and the wider surgical community.

The Curriculum Framework for the Surgical Care Practitioner (2022) pdf

Benefits of RCS accreditation

Having a SCP programme accredited will demonstrate that the programme meets the standards as defined by the RCS, and that it offers a high-quality learning experience. Recognition of these factors may assist in attracting students. Accredited programmes will also receive the following benefits:

Please visit the RCS Accreditation Portal under SCP Programmes, and for the fee structure.

How to Apply

RCS Accreditation process

Accreditation can be applied for on our Accreditation Portal, by registering for a free account and starting a new activity.  Once an application has been submitted, the stages broadly follow the cycle shown below.

Step 1 - Desktop assessment

Initial desk-based review of an application for accreditation, including assessment of course participant feedback.

At each step of the process, the applicant may be asked for further information, or to amend the educational activity they provide, to meet RCS education standards.

Step 2 - Panel visit

If the application is viable, a visit to the course by an RCS review panel (including one or more senior surgeons) takes place.

Step 3 - Report writing stage

A report is written by a QA team member, including input from the RCS review panel, to be presented to the Quality Assurance Operational Group (QAOG). This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider.

Step 4 - RCS Quality Assurance Operational Group meeting

The report is presented at the next QAOG meeting, which is held four times a year. Members of the QAOG discuss the application and the group makes a collective recommendation to approve or reject the application. This may include conditions and recommendations for the provider. If awarded, accreditation lasts for three years.

The HEIs listed below have been accredited by RCS to deliver Surgical Care Practitioner programmes. If you have any queries about these programmes, please contact the programme lead listed below:

MSc Surgical Care Practitioner

  • Provider: University of Plymouth
  • Period of accreditation: Initially accredited July 2016. Reaccredited Sept 2019 - Aug 2022
  • Contact: Tobias Rankin -  Programme Lead, Faculty of Health, 01752587467

MSc Surgical Care Practice

  • Provider: Anglia Ruskin University
  • Period of accreditation: Initially accredited July 2016. Reaccredited Sept 2019 to Aug 2022
  • Contact: Susan Hall -  MSc (Clinical Sciences), Senior Lecturer in Surgical Care Practice, Postgraduate Medical Institute Building, Chelmsford Campus, 0845 196 3119

Surgical First Assistant module

  • Provider: Anglia Ruskin University
  • Period of accreditation: July 2017 - June 2020
  • Contact: Susan Hall (see above)

MSc Surgical Care Practice


If you have any queries about the Surgical Care Practitioner Curriculum, or wish to discuss RCS accreditation of an SCP programme, please contact the RCS Quality Assurance Department at or on 020 7869 6236/6208.

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