SVQ in Health (Perioperative Care — Surgical Support) at level 3

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Health (Perioperative Care — Surgical Support) at level 3 develops the knowledge and skills needed for working in a healthcare environment. Perioperative care is the term used for three phases of surgery — preoperative (before the operation) intraoperative (during the operation) and postoperative (after the operation) and can also be described as anaesthetic, surgical and recovery.

This qualification focuses on surgical support, which involves looking after vital theatre equipment, eg oxygen cylinders, and ensuring that operating areas are clean and tidy. As patients could be very ill or anxious, being able to communicate in a reassuring manner is an important skill for theatre support staff.

This SVQ comprises Units that have been developed by Skills for Health (the sector skills body for health care) based on the National Occupational Standards for health and social care. This ensures that patients receive the best possible conditions and level of care, during all stages of surgery.

As this qualification contains a number of practical Units, a job or placement in the sector is essential.

This qualification is available through training providers and colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The SVQ in Health (Perioperative Care — Surgical Support) at level 3 will meet the employment needs of health support workers.

The qualification provides candidates with the knowledge and skills to enable them to develop practical health care and general related skills.

Who does this qualification suit

The SVQ in Health (Perioperative Care — Surgical Support) is suitable for candidates working in health care support roles within a hospital or community setting.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. The nature of the qualification is such that candidates should be in a work role or placement which will allows them to demonstrate competence in practical tasks.


There are opportunities for progression to other Health SVQs.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Assessment is of competence demonstrated in the workplace.

Assessment is integrated with delivery and focuses on evidence of carrying out work activities.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code: G7WC 23

To achieve the SVQ in Health (Perioperative Care — Surgical Support) at level 3 candidates are required to complete 12 mandatory Units.

DK4R 04 (HSC31) Promote effective communication for and about individuals (155 KB)

  • Identify ways to communicate effectively
  • Communicate effectively on difficult, complex and sensitive issues
  • Support individuals to communicate
  • Update and maintain records and reports

DK4K 04 (HSC32) Promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security in the working environment (148 KB)

  • Monitor and maintain the safety and security of the working environment
  • Promote health and safety in the working environment
  • Minimise risks arising from emergencies

DP0F 04 (CHS36) Provide Basic Life Support (144 KB)

DP02 04 (PCS2) Contribute to the safe use of medical devices and supplementary items used in the perioperative environments

DN9M 04 (PCS3) Assist in preparing patients and equipment for transfer and movement within the perioperative environment (150 KB)

DN9L 04 (PCS4) Assist in positioning patients for clinical procedures within the perioperative environment (159 KB)

DN9Y 04 (PCS5) Assist in the support and monitoring of patients within the perioperative care environment (153 KB)

DN9R 04 (PCS6) Assist in the measurement and recording of patients’ body fluid output, blood loss and wound drainage during the perioperative phase (143 KB)

DP00 04 (PCS7) Carry out delegated activities to assist the registered practitioner in the assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of perioperative patient care (187 KB)

DN9T 04 (PCS8) Assist in the preparation and organisation of equipment and instrumentation for operative procedures in a non-scrubbed surgical role (149 KB)

DN9X 04 (PCS9) Assist in the provision, monitoring and recording of surgical instrumentation, supplies and equipment for operative and invasive procedures in a non-scrubbed surgical role (155 KB)

DN9P 04 (PCS10) Assist in receiving, handling and dispatching clinical specimens (148 KB)

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Information Sheets