Specialist Interest Groups

Information on areas of specialist interest, networking, discussions and support

We’re fortunate to have a wealth of expertise and experience within our membership.

Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide members with a support network where they can share their knowledge and exchange ideas. Through this virtual community, members can ask for advice, find information and discuss issues and concerns.

Advice given by members of the SIG will not necessarily be AfPP policy and at times there may be some ‘editorial control’ exercised on the responses.

Remember, if you’d like to discuss a confidential issue you can contact the AfPP Professional Advice Service. 

You can read information on our Specialist Interest Groups (SIGs) by selecting from the list below. To access the forums, please login below.

Operating theatre staff gather around a patient

Advancing Surgical Roles Forum

The Advancing Surgical Roles Specialist Interest Group (ASR SIG) has been developed to support practitioners who are training for, undertaking, or planning to develop the following roles:

  • Surgical First Assistants (SFAs)
  • Surgical Care Practitioners (SCPs)
  • Assistant Theatre Practitioners (ATPs)
  • • Anaesthesia Associates (AAs)
  • • Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs).

Advanced roles in the perioperative domain have increased due to changes in surgical practice, innovation, workforce requirements and training programmes. Each role has a specific educational pathway, role boundaries, scope of practice and professional and legal implications. These roles are crucial in ensuring high-quality patient care in the perioperative environment. The ASR SIG forum offers members the opportunity to seek advice, and information about advanced roles, discuss issues relating to extended roles, exchange ideas and engage with like-minded professionals.

Anaesthetic and Recovery Forum

The Anaesthetic Recovery and Day Surgery (ARDS) Specialist Interest Group (SIG) is for all healthcare professionals working and interested in these areas of perioperative care including practice development and practice educators.

The importance of Day Surgery in the current post-Covid 29 context, can’t be underestimated. Working as a well-oiled machine, the Day Surgery setup following the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) model has the potential to be decisive in clearing up the backlog of operations nationwide.

The ARDS SIG has been created to allow theatre practitioners to network and address issues related to best standards of practice in these three areas, thus contributing to a smooth collaboration, interplay and rotation of staff as the new way forward.

Clinical Management and Leadership Forum

This Management and Clinical Leadership (SIG) group exists to meet the specific needs of experienced clinical leaders, managers and aspiring managers working in the perioperative environment.

Clinical leadership in the context of perioperative practice is important as management structures are evolving to manage services and improve services.

As a manager and clinical leader, you are required to provide high-quality care, partner with patients and other professionals a the point of care, and use existing clinical team leadership skills within a management role.

This SIG forum is a place for you as an AfPP member to exchange ideas, act as a sounding board, discuss issues and generally contribute to this support network.

Educators Forum

 Welcome to the Educators Special Interest Group. You do not have to be an educator to join the group. The Educator SIG aims to offer support and guidance to perioperative practitioners and academic professionals regarding education and the development of staff and students. It is a platform to share knowledge, provide information, post questions, and provide peer support.

For those of you whose primary role is education, the group will provide access for you to network and share common issues and themes. It enables responses from fellow educators who can share their experiences and provide solutions to problems.

As practitioners, you are always involved in education and development, so if you have a passion for education, developing your staff, facilitating students, and creating a culture of learning the SIG can help you pursue your passion.

By posting queries on the chat or emailing the SIG Lead your queries can be addressed. We know that education enables us all to be empowered and influence practice as this forum aims to provide that information, knowledge and support through collaborative shared learning.

The SIG is looking forward to you joining us and being part of a group passionate about education.

Human Factors Forum

Welcome to the Human Factors Specialist Interest Group (SIG) for all healthcare professionals working in the perioperative arena.

Human Factors are a major contributor to errors in the operating theatre, communication, situational awareness, teamwork and decision-making are key in playing a significant role in patient outcomes. Providing standardised training and education, including the use of simulation further improves patient safety and efficiency of surgery.

This forum will give you as AfPP members a platform to discuss and engage with like-minded practitioners on current practice issues around the application of human factors in improving patient safety.

Military Forum

Our Military Specialist Interest Group (SIG) is dedicated to those working in perioperative care in the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force.

Deployed Perioperative Care is not well known or understood within the civilian community. It is one of the aims of this SIG to provide a method of communication with Defence Medical Services and act as a single point of contact for anyone wanting to find out information on the DMS – whether you are a member of the Armed Forces community or an interested person.

This Special Interest Group aims to discuss DMS topics and broaden your knowledge of Defence Perioperative Care.

Non-Registered Perioperative Practitioners Forum

Welcome to The Non-Registered Perioperative Practitioner (NRPP) Specialist Interest Group (SIG) forum for all healthcare professionals and roles working in the perioperative practice who are not currently regulated.

This forum provides a platform for non-registered perioperative practitioners to share their knowledge, exchange ideas, ask advice, act as a sounding board, find information and discuss issues and concerns relating to perioperative care and their role (scope of practice).

Ophthalmic Forum

The Ophthalmic Specialist Interest Group (SIG) is for those healthcare professionals working in clinics, units and surgical Hubs where Ophthalmic surgery is undertaken.

The Ophthalmic SIG forum provides AfPP members the opportunity to seek advice and information about ophthalmic clinical practice in the perioperative environment for both adults and paediatrics. This virtual community allows members to share their knowledge and best practices, exchange ideas, ask for advice, discuss issues and concerns and engage with like-minded professionals.

Orthopaedics Forum

The Orthopaedic Special Interest Group (SIG) aims to support all perioperative practitioners with their ongoing challenges within the field of Trauma and Orthopaedics.

Orthopaedics as a surgical speciality is vast. It covers planned elective procedures, planned trauma reconstruction, urgent trauma, and emergency trauma procedures. In recent years there has also been an increase in the incidence for Orthopaedic surgical teams to have Plastic surgery skills with the expansion of Major Trauma Centres across the UK.

Using the AfPP forum Orthopaedic practitioners can broaden their knowledge and expertise to support, guide, educate and share their learning and experiences enabling us all to explore the daily challenges we face in our Orthopaedic theatres. The forum can also be used to discuss current practice challenges as they arise such as location of implants, NJR, use of tourniquets and infection control challenges.

Paediatrics Forum

The Paediatric Specialist Interest Group (SIG) aims to support healthcare professionals with a specific interest in the paediatric patient or those of you working within this specialised area of perioperative paediatric care.

There is a drive to promote a family-centred care approach, education and clinical practice within paediatrics to improve surgical outcomes and anaesthesia. This incorporates all three phases of perioperative care, preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative practice. As a member, this forum provides the opportunity for like-minded professionals to discuss current practices, and engage in sharing knowledge through a wealth of expertise and experience within the paediatric field.

Research and Development Forum

The Research and Development Specialist Interest Group (R&D SIG) is a forum to support RNs, NAs, ODPs, Non-Registered Perioperative Practitioners and wider team members to identify a research topic, develop a research or audit project as well as provide advice on sourcing research funding and getting your findings disseminated.

We will also be sharing research ideas, topics that could be explored and academic writing tips. The R&D SIG lead has a wealth of experience with numerous types of research studies and their methodology, as well as clinical audits. Healthcare professionals play a crucial role in shaping and changing existing practices through research.

Whether you are a pre-registration student, a newly qualified practitioner, a postgraduate student, a mature practitioner or an academic let’s get sharing to make sure the knowledge is out there to support colleagues in both practice and education.

Robotics Forum

Welcome to the Robotics (SIG) for all perioperative healthcare professionals working across multiple specialities within Robotic Assisted Surgery (RAS).

The implementation of RAS innovation has led the way forward to published guidance and good practice in the United Kingdom (UK), providing structured pathways within a governance framework. However, there is a growing need for recognised training for theatre practitioners/teams to be provided with nationally recognised standardised training.

This forum will give you as AfPP members a platform to discuss and engage with like-minded practitioners on current practice issues relating to RAS.

Students and Early Careers Forum

Welcome to the Student and Early Careers (SEC) Specialist Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to those working towards a career in perioperative care through a college, university or an apprenticeship scheme.

This SEC Specialist Interest Group aims to support all students through their apprenticeship or degree pathway into a career in perioperative practice, offering members the opportunity to seek advice, discuss aspects of clinical practice, provide support in early careers and act as a sounding board through the student forum network.

Sustainability Forum

In this Special Interest Group (SIG), you will find information relating to sustainable theatres. This is an important topic in modern healthcare and all theatre departments should be taking steps to become more sustainable.

The NHS has pledged to become the first national healthcare system in the world to be net zero for emissions by 2045. Sustainability does not just refer to the environment though and we welcome discussions and information on other forms of sustainable development. This group will give us a place to find ideas. It provides a space to engage with like-minded people and share best practices. It will also be a repository of information to help guide evidence-based practice in theatres.

Writers Forum

Welcome to the new Writers’ Special Interest Group.

The SIG has been launched to support members who are interested in writing for the Journal or IPP, but don’t know where to start. We’ve also noted that many of you feel doctors often dominate the content published in the Journal, and there’s a desire to see more papers written by nurses and ODPs. To make this happen, we need more nurses and ODPs to submit a paper to the Journal.

For those of you new to writing for a publication, we would like to encourage you to consider writing a short piece for the IPP, perhaps something which focuses on a topic related to your role in practice. For those of you who have pursued academic courses at university level, whether as an undergraduate, master’s or doctorate, we strongly encourage you to consider submitting your work/dissertation to the Journal for consideration. Guidance for authors, including word limit, categories and referencing, can be found on the Journal’s submission paper at here.

Things to consider:

  • Have you participated in a service improvement project, either individually or as part of a team, that you’d like to share with the wider perioperative community?
  • Have you recently written an academic piece of work which received a high score that would be suitable for publication in the Journal?

As leads of the Writers’ Special Interest Group (SIG), our primary goal is to help you get published.

Please contact us on the forum, using the questions provided as prompts to kickstart your writing journey. We look forward to collaborating with you and reading your work in print.