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The NHS Scotland Academy is supporting the National Perioperative Training Programme through accelerated workforce development.

What is the Surgical First Assistants Programme?

The Surgical First Assistants Programme provides surgical first assistants with the skills training they need to provide surgical skills assistance to surgeons in the theatre environment.

The programme allows surgical first assistants to increase their ability within the surgical team and reduce additional training time. 

This programme has been credit rated by Glasgow Caledonian University at SCQF level 10, 40 credits and is accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons.

National Perioperative Training: Surgical First Assistant available on TURAS Learn 

Course Structure

The 34-week programme is delivered using a hybrid approach though online learning resources and workshop based learning with a key focus on simulation and skills training. 

Online learning resources also provide learners with the flexibility to study alongside their clinical role.

Who are we?

The programme is delivered by a multi-professional team with expertise relating to each workshop. 

How do I apply? 

Spaces for our Perioperative Programmes are allocated by the Scottish Government on a first come first served basis and must be applied for by your Health Board.

Individuals are not able to apply directly – your employer will apply on your behalf.  We will then arrange to transfer a payment to your Board to enable them to support you though the programme.

The relevant clinical/theatre manager within your Health Board is responsible for submitting applications on your behalf. If you are not sure who to contact, please email us at

All NHS Boards submitting applications can do so by visiting Surgical Fist Assistant Programme recruitment form  

The next intake for this programme will be 8 October 2024 and March 2025. 

Supportive Resources

Further careers information designed to support potential and existing Surgical First Assistants can be found on TURAS Learn

Access the Perioperative Workforce Guide on Perioperative Workforce Guide: TURAS Learn 

For more information contact

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