The Faculty of Perioperative Care

FPC News

Mr Charles Auld, Faculty of Perioperative Care Lead 

Building on Success

3 May 2019

I am delighted to update you on the progress of the Faculty of Perioperative Care on completion of its 3rd year following its inception in March 2016. The Faculty has been created to support all advanced non medical practitioner groups in surgery, offering many benefits similar to the surgeons who have affiliated with RCSEd.

Courses and Conferences

CPD is the process which allows the practitioner to improve their knowledge skills and professionalism by keeping up to date but there needs to be a balance between internal and external activity. The Faculty has developed a series of courses specifically designed for the non-medical practitioner in surgery. Over the past 6 months, the courses on the Extended Surgical Team in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Leadership and Development held on the 2 Nov 2018 the day prior to the annual conference  in Birmingham were well attended and very successful. The course on Non-Technical Skills (PINTS) held in Edinburgh in Jan 2019 is always popular and received excellent feedback. Currently we are in the process of modifying our key skills course to make it appropriate for PAs and ACPs who may be required to provide surgical assistance as well as for SFAs to develop their extended skills. Our Basic Surgical skills courses are accessible to SCPs as noted previously.

In addition to the above courses, the archived webinars covering topics across all the surgical specialties are accessible to all membership categories of the Faculty. The 4th Annual Conference “ The Perioperative Practitioner: Working within One's Scope of Practice“ was held on 3rd Nov 2019, attended by over 100 delegates, and summarised in an article “Meeting Expectations“ in Surgeons News March 2019. Once again, the feedback was very reassuring, with 94% reporting the conference met their expectations. A poster competition was introduced at this conference with the theme of exploring the practitioners’ contribution to surgical care with a certificate and College Quaich presented for the best poster. The 5th Annual conference will be held on the 9 November 2019 with interactive workshops on surgical assistance and patient safety being held the previous day.

Partnerships with Universities

Over the past year, RCSEd has developed partnerships with Plymouth and Anglia Ruskin universities, both of whom run the MSc courses in Surgical Care Practice for SCPs. A similar process is being developed with Edgehill University. The agreed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will allow the College through the Faculty to promote the courses held at these institutions, supplementing their programme with ad hoc lectures by surgeons from RCSEd, as well as providing a best student award at the MSc graduation ceremony. In addition, the students in the first year of the programme will be enrolled as free Affiliate members of the Faculty with the associated benefits of the membership. The support and collaboration between the organisations will help to educate and engage this practitioner workforce in improving the care of the surgical patient.

Membership of the Faculty

In the year up until November 2018, overall membership increased by 73%, but over the past year Fellowships of the Faculty have been awarded to senior practitioners and surgeons who have been nominated for their outstanding contribution to the education, teaching and training of the non-medical practitioner in surgery. At present all 3 surgeons, being approved by our Awards committee, so far are from the Cardiothoracic speciality, so look forward to receiving nominations from other specialities! It is worth reminding you that both full Members and Fellows will be elected at one of the Colleges prestigious diploma ceremonies being awarded MFPCEd and FFPCEd respectively. The criteria required across the 5 domains for full membership are on the Faculty website and for Affiliates with a PG diploma/MSc the remaining criteria are not difficult to achieve!

Cardiothoracic Exit Exam

The national exam for Cardiothoracic SCPs was originally introduced by the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (SCTS) in 1997 but now run by RCSEd. It has recently been updated to consist of a single best answer (MCQ) paper and structured viva. Candidates are expected to have competed a minimum of 18 months in Cardiothoracic surgery. Successful completion of the exam will contribute to the award of the full membership of the Faculty. The exam is fully supported by the SCTS and the recent diet was run successfully in March 2019. It is certainly a blueprint for other specialities to follow.

Medical Associate Professionals

The Medical Associate Oversight Board (MAOB) was set up in 2016 to establish a common education and training pathway to statutory regulation for 4 groups of practitioner (SCP,PA, PAA and ACCP ). The Regulation of the MAPs in the UK document has now been published by the Department of Health and Social Care in Feb 2019. Irrespective of the decision not to grant statutory regulation for all 4 groups at present, it is nevertheless important to develop a common standard across all 4 MAPs in areas such as CPD, ongoing competency assessment and appraisal which should be consistently applied across the UK. After chairing a Task and Finish group at HEE, I am pleased to report that Gillian Manning and I have produced a document “Establishing common standards for CPD, Assessment and Appraisal Guidelines for MAPs” (2019 ) which will be a useful reference for MAPs, Colleges and Employing Organisations to refer to in order to ensure these practitioners receive the recognition they deserve.


From Strength to Strength

11 June 2018

It is with great pleasure that I am able to update you on the success of the Faculty of Perioperative Care, which has now completed its second year as a part of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd). Established in March 2016 to provide education, training and support for advanced practitioners in the field of surgery, the faculty offers practitioners an opportunity to network as well as sharing experiences and practices.

A flourishing Faculty – Rising membership numbers and a new Fellowship category

The Faculty was delighted to confirm its first full member in November of last year, with John Stirling elected at one of the College’s prestigious Diploma ceremonies. Incidentally, John is neither a surgical care practitioner nor a surgical first assistant, but satisfied all the criteria in the five of the domains! Following on from John, several more applications have been assessed and approved, with their Diploma ceremonies taking place in the coming months. Along with their Diplomas, successful candidates can, upon satisfying the criteria for full membership, be awarded the post-nominals MFPCEd.

Membership is not the only way the Faculty will grow, with Fellowship invitations being made to senior practitioners and surgeons who have made a major contribution to the education, teaching and training of this workforce, or the development of the wider field of perioperative care internationally.

Read more

Providing Professional Development Support for Perioperative Practitioners

25 April 2017

In my last blog, I spoke about how important it is for us as a relatively new Faculty to meet with perioperative practitioners to gain an understanding of what perioperative practitioners are looking for in terms of professional development and support.

I am pleased that since launching the Faculty, we have developed and launched some bespoke courses targeted specifically at perioperative practitioners. It is important to recognise that attendance and signing off at three of these courses, in addition to a PG diploma (or evidence of an education or training role for the more established practitioner) could qualify perioperative practitioners for full Faculty membership and postnominals MFPCEd. Read more about our membership categories here

Last summer, the first set of courses designed for perioperative practitioners were run by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. These courses were Perioperative Care Practitioners Intraoperative Non-Technical Skills (PINTS), Leadership and Development and the Surgical Anatomy Study Day for Perioperative Practitioners (Principles of Surgical Anatomy). The feedback from the delegates who gave an overall rating of excellent was 100%, 73% and 93% respectively!

These courses are running again this May and June, the only difference being that the Perioperative Care Practitioners Intraoperative Non-Technical Skills (PINTS) course will be in the RCSEd Regional Centre in Birmingham to give opportunity to reach more prospective perioperative delegates from across the UK. These courses have also been accredited by The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP).

In addition, we held recently in March, a successful Perioperative Key Skills course, tailored predominantly for Surgical First Assistants (SFAs) but also Surgical Care Practitioners (SCPs) in the early part of their training. We have also had agreement that SCPs can attend one of the College’s 20 Basic Surgical Skills (BSS) courses, which are run globally by the College throughout the year.

We hope as the Faculty continues to grow, we will develop and expand our portfolio of courses. We welcome your suggestions and feedback on what professional development support you would like to see the Faculty offer. Please email 

A Year in Reflection

10 April 2017

The Faculty of Perioperative Care launched one year ago in March 2016 to provide education, training and support for advanced perioperative practitioners in their role as members of the extended surgical team.

Membership was opened initially at Affiliate level with many benefits, and in November 2016, further categories of Associate and full Member were made available to practitioners who could satisfy criteria in three or five domains respectively (modified from the ISCP curriculum used for surgical trainees and accessible here).

This gives perioperative practitioners access to a wide range of resources including the eLogbook, as well as for full Faculty Members the use of the postnominals MFPCEd upon being conferred at one of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s prestigious diploma ceremonies, which are attended by surgeons and dentists from across the world.

The College feels it is important to recognise the standards that have been achieved by this important group of non-medical members of the surgical workforce, who provide excellent continuity of care to our patients, as well assistance to the operating surgeon.

Read more.