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Operating Department Practice programme information

The following provides important information on placements, as well as useful documentation and frequently asked questions, to ensure you have the answers you'll need before embarking on your practice experience.

We are here to help you on your placement, so if you need to contact us please email a member of the Placements Support Team.


The placement programme ensures that students are adequately prepared for professional work and that they are fit for practice.

As ODP students at Bournemouth University you will be given your placements for the whole year at the beginning of the autumn term. Students must complete 1,800 hours of assessed, passed practice time to be able to qualify as an ODP. However, please be aware you must fully complete each placement; you cannot finish early because you have hit the 1,800 hour mark.

How will I find out my placement details?

You will be given a login and password for the Placements on the Web (POW) system and your placement details will be available to you on the site. We aim to upload the information three to four weeks prior to the start of your placement. Once you have finished a placement you must complete an online placement evaluation. The POW system has been constructed so that you will not be able to see your next allocation until you have completed the online evaluation, so it is essential that you complete this.

What info is available on POW?

The information will vary from area to area. However, you will see information such as uniform and dress code for the setting, parking, any accommodation available (this applies mainly to the larger hospital placements), facilities available on site or sometimes in the local area, hours of work, transport links, etc. If you find any information that needs updating, please advise your Placement Support Officer.

What hours will I have to work?

When on placement you will experience the full 24-hour shift pattern, including 12-13 hour shifts, weekend and night shifts. The general rule of thumb is that you work the same hours your PPE works throughout the week. Talk to your PPE about the hours and what your working week will look like.

The work carried out during these 'out of hours' times is often quite different and interesting. You will usually get a day off in the week in lieu of a weekend day (the systems for working vary from area to area, so this is just a guide for what you might expect). Areas will also work different hours during the week.

Weekend and shift work is the way that many services are now functioning, or will be in the very near future. It will be the world into which you qualify so it is best to understand these patterns and systems of work now whilst you are training.

What other funding is available?

If you are a student on an NHS course which started in September 2017 or after, you may be eligible for additional support from the NHS Learning Support Fund. Information regarding Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses, including how to apply, is also available via the NHS Learning Support Fund.