Operating Department Practitioner

ODP career and training

Requirements for training
Candidates normally require two A Level passes to access the course (Grade C and D) as well as English and Maths. It is also possible to access the course with 16 credits at Level 3 from an access course which includes English and Maths.

Qualification/ course duration
The course runs for two years after which you gain a Diploma in Operating Department Practice with the option of completing a degree.

Where will I train?
Candidates for Lincoln County Hospital (part of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust) train through Sheffield Hallam University. Other training institutes cover other hospital trusts.

How does the course run?
Candidates are trained through Sheffield Hallam University for relevant theory and practical placements at your designated hospital. Currently the students are required to spend six weeks at Sheffield and six weeks on placement continuously throughout the training.

The tuition fees will be covered through a bursary, this will also cover some of your living costs.

There is currently a shortage of ODPs, therefore gaining a job after qualification either in the NHS or private sector is relatively straight forward.

Newly qualified ODPs spend a short time on preceptorship for a period of three months, or more, if the newly qualified ODP needs the extra support during the transition from student ODP to qualified ODP. They run their own lists whilst in main theatres supported by colleagues, and when in outlying areas (ie Accident and Emergency or obstetrics etc) they are doubled up. This enables the newly qualified ODP to gain confidence in working on their own and to be assessed in their role to ensure continuing competency.

ODPs may progress onto a role of responsibility for a specific area/specialty, where they maintain a piece of equipment and ensure peers' training. A senior role becomes available after two years qualification. This extends the practical role with administration, training responsibilities and staff management.

Useful links

NHS Careers

Association of Operating Department Practitioners

Health Professions Council

Sheffield Hallam University Online Brochure