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About AfPP


Patient Safety is at the heart of what we do...


The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) was established as the National Association of Theatre Nurses, NATN, in 1964.

As a membership organisation and registered charity AfPP works to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, associated areas and sterile services departments.

AfPP aims to enhance the quality of care and patient safety in the NHS and the independent sector throughout the UK.

In April 2005 NATN changed its name, structures and systems in recognition of the significant changes that were happening in the healthcare sector and the wider perioperative environment and to accommodate the growing numbers of Operating Department Practitioners and Healthcare Support Workers who were previously not eligible for full membership.

AfPP also works to encourage the exchange of professional information between members and co-operation with other professional bodies.

These include the Departments of Health in the UK, the Perioperative Care Collaborative, the Medical Royal Colleges, Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) of all four member countries, Skills for Health and many of the British Safety Institution Committees and other groups set up to discuss specific issues related to perioperative care.

Charity Objectives

The objectives of the charity are:  

  • To advance health by improving patient care in perioperative practice
  • Determine standards and promote best practice
  • Facilitate education and practice development
  • Provide advice to practitioners
  • Foster and promote contacts and exchange information and ideas
  • Act as a consultative body
  • Institute or assist in instituting and provide support for any research
  • Publication and production of journals, books etc and communication in any medium
  • Procure contributions to funds by way of subscriptions, donations, grants etc
  • Ensure financial stability, appropriate insurance etc.
  • Integrated governance
  • Support and management of regional activity 

Facts and figures

  • AfPP has over 7,000 members throughout the UK and overseas.
  • It accounts for around 30% to 40% of all nurses and about 10% of Operating Department Practitioners working in theatres.
  • AfPP’s headquarters are in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
  • The aims of the association include the promotion of high standards of perioperative care, the exchange of professional information between members and co-operation with other professional bodies.
  • The board of AfPP comprises elected trustees and co-opted trustees. The term of office for elected trustees is usually three years. These trustees are based throughout the UK and work in a voluntary capacity in addition to their full-time healthcare roles. The Association President is an elected trustee.
  • AfPP produces a wide range of publications, which offer guidelines, advice or recommendations for best practice in operating departments. Regular publications include the Journal of Perioperative Practice (10 issues p.a.), AfPP newsletter (monthly) and Job Forum (monthly).
  • The Association offers its members the provision of professional indemnity insurance and access to a free employment legal helpline in addition to a professional and clinical advice service.


Perioperative    [per′i·op′ərətiv]

Etymology: Gk, peri, around; L, operari, to work
Pertaining to the time before (preoperative), during (intraoperative), and after (postoperative) surgery.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.


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