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Workforce Development


Scottish Multiprofessional Anaesthetic Assistants Development Group

The Scottish Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (SMASAC) published the report " Anaesthetic Assistance A Strategy for Training Recruitment and Retention and the Promulgation of Safe Practice" in 2003 calling for, amongst other things, a set of nationally agreed competencies for post registration nurses in anaesthetic assistance.

Following this NHS Education Scotland (NES) set up a subgroup to draw up a set of competencies which resulted in the publication of the first  edition of Core Competencies for Anaesthetic Assistants in 2006. These competencies were reviewed and revised in 2011.

The Scottish Multiprofessional Anaesthetic Assistants Development Group (SMAAD Group) was set up by NHS Education Scotland and the Advisory Board to the Royal College of Anaesthetists in Scotland in 2006 to address the issues of endorsement of externally provided nursing courses, the process of certification of completion of in-house education, maintain a register of all engaging in the process and undertake reviews of documentation.

A portfolio document was developed to make it easier to define and record the achievement of each competency and to maintain evidence of continuing professional development. This portfolio has been reviewed and republished in June 2012.  Anaesthetic assistants working through the 2007 portfolio should have achieved all competencies by December 2012.  New entrants should use the 2012 portfolio which is an interactive pdf document.  Anaesthetic assistants with certificates of competency predating December 2012 should download the pdf with changes in the portfolio and achieve these reviewed competencies during their continuing professional development.

Nationally recognised certificates of completion (doc) of the core competencies and appropriate specialist competencies are provided by the SMAAD Group following the process approved by the Council of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, supported by NHS Education Scotland.

This website has been developed to provide means of communication across Scotland between anaesthetists and anaesthetic assistants involved in the delivery of education and training for skilled anaesthetic assistance. Feedback on further development will be warmly welcomed.