The Association of Orthopaedic Practitioners UK


British Casting Certificate 2014

9th Jan. 2014

Time for an update on the changes since September 2011 to the British Casting Certificate (BCC) and how our Joint Award with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is progressing.

We are so pleased to be working with Glasgow Caledonian University and our students now receive the British Casting Certificate with 60 credits at Diploma level 8 SCQF in Scotland equivalent to level 5 NQF in the rest of the UK. To become a fully Qualified Orthopaedic Practitioner now takes a minimum of 20 months and in most cases 2 years. Before attending one of the BOA Validated courses the trainee must work in casting for at least one full year. During this time they complete a Portfolio / learning log which includes a record of casting related experience, removal and application (supervised, supported and independent) and pages showing reflection of learning resulting from these clinical experiences. This portfolio / learning log must be completed ahead of the OSCE component.

Next is attendance at one of the Validated courses held over five weeks full time study at Stanmore 3 times a year or one of the six month Validated Day Release courses held annually at Bradford, Newport or Glasgow. Details of all courses are available at

The courses are followed by an Objective Structured Clinical examination (OSCE), where knowledge and skills are all tested. This examination now has Stations for preparation & reading of notes, assessment of the patient, injury & informed consent, application & removal of casts in various materials, communication & a documentation station, where the candidate writes in the notes. There is a separate station for the Viva with the Orthopaedic Consultant where knowledge of anatomy & physiology, orthopaedic conditions, trauma & trauma complications is tested.

In addition, a 3000 word assignment is completed. This essay is usually based around a case study and the student is given guidance on suitable topics and how to progress. Students complete the assignment either, during the 6 month day release courses with some time following or, in the case of the students attending Stanmore, they are written in the months after they have completed the course.

Not until all these sections have been completed successfully does the candidate receive the BCC, as stated before, this process now takes a minimum of 20 months.

Current BCC holders who are on the active register at the BOA can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and, providing they satisfy the requirements and pay a fee, will be able to gain the 60 Diploma credits by applying to

Awareness of the skills required to be an Orthopaedic Practitioner and the wages are certainly at a better level than the ancillary grades where they started. There is always room for improvement! It is in every technicians’ and practitioners' interest to ensure the training and certificate is well supported through all staff in Cast Rooms, Orthopaedic Theatres, Outpatients and other clinics. With increased numbers of personnel trained and Certificated, it will ensure that managers and government are made more aware that this is not just a 'job' that ‘anyone can do’. It requires knowledge of the essential underpinning theory, development and practice of the skills and, of course, continuing development and learning of new skills and techniques.

Regarding Regulation, the goal posts are continually moving on and the financial situation has not helped. There have been several new bodies and the latest one is the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, so we shall see where this one takes us! They may take on the BOA Register of British Casting Certificate Holders and so it is essential that those of you who hold the Qualification to stay Active on the register, please contact if you are in doubt of your status.

We must have the numbers on the register to have the power and only active members will count!
You have a responsibility if you have been fortunate enough to have gained the Qualification and all the benefits, to be professional and be on the register. Who loses out if you do not? We all do!

Sue Miles
National Casting Training Advisor

This page last updated: 18 November 2014

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