Prosthetist/Orthotist Practitioner BSC - Level 6

Health Improvement

A Prosthetist/Orthotist is a registered clinician. This unique occupation provides the opportunity to practice in two areas of healthcare. Most will specialise in Prosthetics or Orthotics; a small number continue in both. Prosthetists/Orthotists manage their own patient caseloads, work across all age ranges & with a wide variety of conditions, often providing lifetime care. Whilst autonomous practitioner with leadership & management responsibilities they work as key part of a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to provide holistic care to patients & work collaboratively with members of the MDT through the provision of rehabilitation & long-term care. Prosthetists/Orthotists work for both the NHS & independent companies. Prosthetists/Orthotists demonstrate confidence, compassion, competency & effective judgement about risk & be responsible & accountable for their decisions. Prosthetist/Orthotists instruct and guide their technicians in the specification and manufacture of prostheses and orthoses.

Skills and knowledge

To become a Prosthetist/Orthotist you will need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently


To become a prosthetist or an orthotist, you must first successfully complete an approved degree in prosthetics and orthotics. Only a few universities in the UK offer full-time courses which take three or four years, depending on the university. Once you’ve successfully completed your degree you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) before you can start practicing. The other option is to apply for an apprenticeship degree.

Routes into this job

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

- prosthetic and orthotic technician advanced apprenticeship
- prosthetist and orthotist degree apprenticeship

With experience you may be able to progress from a prosthetic or orthotic technician role to either a degree course in orthotics and prosthetics or a degree apprenticeship.

A degree apprenticeship with a healthcare provider is another way to become a prosthetist or an orthotist. Apprenticeships give you the chance to earn a living while gaining your qualification. As well as a genuine interest in prosthetists or orthotists, you’ll need to meet the academic requirements of the apprenticeship - typically holding qualifications at level 3. Your employer and the government will pay the tuition fees, so apprenticeships aren’t eligible for student grants but you will receive a salary.


You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

You can do a degree in prosthetics and orthotics, approved by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists and the Health and Care Professions Council.


You'll usually need:
- two or three A levels, including maths, physics, biology/human biology or engineering.
- five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science.

Or the equivalent qualifications:
- a BTEC, HND or HNC, including maths or engineering
- a relevant NVQ
- a science-based access course.
- equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications
- a previous degree or a full practicing qualification in a related area.

Career progression

Once you’ve qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, you can choose to specialise as a prosthetist or an orthotist. You may find jobs where you can do both. You’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins, where you will discuss your career aspirations and plan how to achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. You may also join the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO), where you can keep your skills up to date with courses, conferences and seminars.

You may choose to specialise in sports injury, diabetes, neurological conditions, or working with children. Teaching, research and management are other career pathways.

Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7

Advanced Clinical Practitioners are experienced clinicians who demonstrate expertise in their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners manage defined episodes of clinical care independently, from beginning to end, providing care and treatment from the time an individual first presents through to the end of the episode, which may include admission, referral or discharge or care at home. They carry out their full range of duties in relation to individuals’ physical and mental healthcare and in acute, primary, urgent and emergency settings (including hospitals, general practice, individuals’ homes, schools and prisons, and in the public, independent, private and charity sectors). They combine expert clinical skills with research, education and clinical leadership within their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners work innovatively on a one to one basis with individuals as well as part of a wider team. They work as part of the wider health and social care team and across traditional professional boundaries in health and social care.