Overview of the role

Caring for people who need an artificial limb or a device to support or control part of their body.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

A prosthetist and orthotist is a registered clinician. This unique occupation provides the opportunity to practise in two areas of healthcare. Most will specialise in prosthetics or orthotics; a small number continue in both. Prosthetists Provide gait (walking) analysis and engineering solutions to service users with limb(s) loss. They are trained in mechanics, biomechanics, and material science along with anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. They are able to design, provide and modify prostheses that replicate the structural or functional characteristics of a service user's absent limb(s). They provide care to service users with congenital (from birth) limb loss, as well as those with limb loss due to conditions including diabetes, reduced vascularity, infection and trauma. Orthotists Provide gait (walking) analysis and engineering solutions to service users with problems of the neuro, muscular and skeletal systems. They consider a range of factors when assessing service users, including mechanics, biomechanics, material science, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. They design and provide orthoses that modify the structural or functional characteristics of a service user's neuro, muscular and skeletal systems, enabling them to mobilise, eliminate gait deviations (improve walking), reduce falls, reduce pain, prevent and facilitate healing of ulcers and prevent physical deformities from progressing. They fit and modify orthoses and are accountable and responsible for the impact of any changes. 

Prosthetists and orthotists manage their own caseloads, working across all age ranges and with a wide variety of conditions, often providing lifetime care. Whilst acting as autonomous practitioners, with leadership and management responsibilities, they work collaboratively as a key part of a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) to provide holistic care through the provision of rehabilitation and long-term care. Prosthetists and orthotists work for both the NHS and independent companies. Prosthetists and orthotists demonstrate confidence, compassion, competency and effective judgement about risk and are responsible and accountable for their decisions. A prosthetist and orthotist instruct and guide their technicians in the specification and manufacture of prostheses and orthoses. They also advise them in matters of interaction and care when the technicians are dealing directly with service users; for example, for repairs. They use current evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of their practice, with the aim of continually improving outcomes for service users. They are responsible for ensuring their own knowledge and skills are current and support the development of others.

In their daily work, a prosthetist and orthotist interacts with:

  • Service users, their families and carers in clinical settings, such as hospitals, community clinics, care homes and general practices
  • Prosthetist and orthotist technicians
  • Other health and social care professionals; for example, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and care workers
  • Administrative and clerical staff providing support to the prosthetics and orthotics team

Typical job titles include:

Prosthetist and orthotist

Entry requirements

Apprentices will have to meet the entry requirements set by the university.  They must also have achieved Level 2 English and maths prior to starting this apprenticeship. 

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Practise safely and effectively within the scope of practice and within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11

Duty 2 Look after own health and wellbeing, seeking appropriate support where necessary.

K9 K10

S12 S13

Duty 3 Practise as an autonomous professional, exercising professional judgement.


S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21


Duty 4 Practise in a non-discriminatory and inclusive manner recognising the impact of culture, equality and diversity.

K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17

S22 S23 S24


Duty 5 Communicate effectively, maintaining confidentiality and records appropriately.

K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25

S25 S26 S27 S28 S29 S30 S31 S32 S33 S34

Duty 6 Work with others.

K26 K27 K28 K29 K30

S35 S36 S37 S38 S39 S40 S41


Duty 7 Reflect on, review and assure the quality of own practice.

K31 K32 K33

S42 S43 S44 S45 S46 S47


Duty 8 Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice and apply the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to the profession.

K34 K35 K36 K37 K38 K39 K40 K41 K42 K43 K44 K45 K46

S48 S49 S50 S51 S52 S53 S54 S55 S56 S57 S58 S59 S60 S61 S62 S63 S64 S65 S66 S67 S68 S69


Duty 9 Establish and maintain a safe practice environment.

K47 K48 K49 K50

S70 S71 S72 S73 S74

Duty 10 Promote public health and prevent ill health .

K51 K52

S75 S76



K1: The importance of continuing professional development throughout own career. Back to Duty

K2: The importance of safeguarding, signs of abuse and relevant safeguarding processes. Back to Duty

K3: What is required of them by the Health and Care Professions Council, including but not limited to the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Back to Duty

K4: The importance of valid consent. Back to Duty

K5: The importance of capacity in the context of delivering care and treatment. Back to Duty

K6: The scope of a professional duty of care, and how to exercise that duty. Back to Duty

K7: Legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice. Back to Duty

K8: The quality guidelines and device design principles that apply to the specifications of individual devices. Back to Duty

K9: The importance of own mental and physical health and wellbeing strategies in maintaining fitness to practise. Back to Duty

K10: How to take appropriate action if own health may affect own ability to practise safely and effectively, including seeking help and support when necessary. Back to Duty

K11: The need for active participation in training, supervision and mentoring in supporting high standards of practice, and personal and professional conduct, and the importance of demonstrating this in practice. Back to Duty

K12: Equality legislation and how to apply it to own practice. Back to Duty

K13: The duty to make reasonable adjustments in practice and be able to make and support reasonable adjustments in owns and others’ practice. Back to Duty

K14: The characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups. Back to Duty

K15: How regard to equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be embedded in the application of all HCPC standards and across all areas of practice. Back to Duty

K16: The psychology of loss and disability as it affects and influences prosthetic and orthotic management, and be able to apply such understanding to clinical decision-making. Back to Duty

K17: The social factors affecting the rehabilitation of service users. Back to Duty

K18: When disclosure of confidential information may be required. Back to Duty

K19: The principles of information and data governance and the safe and effective use of health, social care and other relevant information. Back to Duty

K20: The need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support, such as interpreters or translators. Back to Duty

K21: That the concepts of confidentiality and informed consent extend to all mediums, including illustrative clinical records such as photography, video and audio recordings and digital platforms. Back to Duty

K22: The characteristics and consequences of verbal and non-verbal communication and recognise how these can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences. Back to Duty

K23: The need to support the communication needs of service users and carers, such as through the use of an appropriate interpreter. Back to Duty

K24: The need to provide service users or people acting on own behalf with the information necessary in accessible formats to enable them to make informed decisions. Back to Duty

K25: The need for effective communication with technical staff to ensure the appropriateness and quality of prostheses and orthoses. Back to Duty

K26: The principles and practices of other health and care professionals and systems and how they interact with own profession. Back to Duty

K27: The need to build and sustain professional relationships as both an autonomous practitioner and collaboratively as a member of a team. Back to Duty

K28: The qualities, behaviours and benefits of leadership. Back to Duty

K29: That leadership is a skill all professionals can demonstrate. Back to Duty

K30: The need to engage service users and carers in planning and evaluating diagnostics, and therapeutic interventions to meet own needs and goals. Back to Duty

K31: The value of reflective practice and the need to record the outcome of such reflection to support continuous improvement. Back to Duty

K32: The value of multi-disciplinary reviews, case conferences and other methods of review. Back to Duty

K33: The value of gathering and using data for quality assurance and improvement programmes. Back to Duty

K34: The structure and function of the human body, together with knowledge of physical and mental health, disease, disorder and dysfunction relevant to their profession. Back to Duty

K35: The role(s) of other professions and services in health and social care and how they may relate to the role of prosthetists/orthotists. Back to Duty

K36: The structure and function of health and social care systems and services in the UK. Back to Duty

K37: The theoretical basis of, and the variety of approaches to, assessment and intervention. Back to Duty

K38: Human structure and function, especially the human musculoskeletal system. Back to Duty

K39: The aetiology and pathophysiology of human disease and general genetic principles relevant to prosthetic or orthotic practice, and recognise when disorders are not amenable to prosthetic or orthotic treatment. Back to Duty

K40: The structure and properties of materials and their appropriate application to prosthetic or orthotic hardware and clinical practice. Back to Duty

K41: Biomechanical principles and the appropriate application of forces to the human body following prescription and supply of a prosthesis or orthosis. Back to Duty

K42: The biomechanics of gait and interventions. Back to Duty

K43: The theoretical basis of prosthetic and orthotic science. Back to Duty

K44: A range of research methodologies relevant to own role. Back to Duty

K45: The value of research to the critical evaluation of practice. Back to Duty

K46: The need to maintain all equipment to a high standard. Back to Duty

K47: The need to maintain the safety of themself and others, including service users, carers and colleagues. Back to Duty

K48: Relevant health and safety legislation and local operational procedures and policies. Back to Duty

K49: Appropriate moving and handling techniques. Back to Duty

K50: How to position or immobilise service users correctly for safe and effective interventions. Back to Duty

K51: The role of own profession in health promotion, health education and preventing ill health. Back to Duty

K52: How social, economic and environmental factors, wider determinants of health, can influence a person’s health and well-being. Back to Duty


S1: Identify the limits of own practice and when to seek advice or refer to another professional or service. Back to Duty

S2: Recognise the need to manage own workload and resources safely and effectively, including managing the emotional burden that comes with working in a pressured environment. Back to Duty

S3: Keep own skills and knowledge up to date. Back to Duty

S4: Maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct. Back to Duty

S5: Engage in safeguarding processes where necessary. Back to Duty

S6: Respect and uphold the rights, dignity, values, and autonomy of service users, including own role in the assessment, diagnostic, treatment and/or therapeutic process. Back to Duty

S7: Promote and protect the service user’s interests at all times. Back to Duty

S8: Recognise that relationships with service users, carers and others should be based on mutual respect and trust, and maintain high standards of care in all circumstances. Back to Duty

S9: Obtain valid consent, which is voluntary and informed, has due regard to capacity, is proportionate to the circumstances and is appropriately documented. Back to Duty

S10: Apply legislation, policies and guidance relevant to own profession and scope of practice. Back to Duty

S11: Recognise the power imbalance which comes with being a health care professional, and ensure it is not for personal gain. Back to Duty

S12: Identify own anxiety and stress and recognise the potential impact on own practice. Back to Duty

S13: Develop and adopt clear strategies for physical and mental self-care and self-awareness, to maintain a high standard of professional effectiveness and a safe working environment. Back to Duty

S14: Recognise that they are personally responsible for, and must be able to, justify their decisions and actions. Back to Duty

S15: Use own skills, knowledge and experience, and the information available, to make informed decisions and/or take action where necessary. Back to Duty

S16: Make reasoned decisions to initiate, continue, modify or cease treatment or the use of techniques or procedures, and record the decisions and reasoning appropriately. Back to Duty

S17: Make and receive appropriate referrals, where necessary. Back to Duty

S18: Exercise personal initiative. Back to Duty

S19: Demonstrate a logical and systematic approach to problem solving. Back to Duty

S20: Use research, reasoning and problem-solving skills when determining appropriate actions. Back to Duty

S21: Make reasoned decisions to accept or decline requests for intervention. Back to Duty

S22: Respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in practice, recognising this can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences. Back to Duty

S23: Recognise the potential impact of own values, beliefs and personal biases, which may be unconscious, on practice and take personal action to ensure all service users and carers are treated appropriately with respect and dignity. Back to Duty

S24: Actively challenge barriers to inclusion, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible. Back to Duty

S25: Adhere to the professional duty of confidentiality. Back to Duty

S26: Respond in a timely manner to situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users, carers and/or the wider public and recognise situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users, carers and/or the wider public. Back to Duty

S27: Use effective and appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills to communicate with service users, carers, colleagues and others. Back to Duty

S28: Communicate in English to the required standard for their profession. Back to Duty

S29: Work with service users and/or own carers to facilitate the service user’s preferred role in decision-making, and provide service users and carers with the information they may need where appropriate. Back to Duty

S30: Modify own means of communication to address the individual communication needs and preferences of service users and carers, and remove any barriers to communication where possible. Back to Duty

S31: Use information, communication and digital technologies appropriate to own practice. Back to Duty

S32: Keep full, clear and accurate records in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines. Back to Duty

S33: Manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines. Back to Duty

S34: Use digital record keeping tools, where required. Back to Duty

S35: Work in partnership with service users, carers, colleagues and others. Back to Duty

S36: Contribute effectively to work undertaken as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Back to Duty

S37: Identify anxiety and stress in service users, carers and colleagues, adapting own practice and providing support where appropriate. Back to Duty

S38: Identify own leadership qualities, behaviours and approaches, taking into account the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion. Back to Duty

S39: Demonstrate leadership behaviours appropriate to own practice. Back to Duty

S40: Act as a role model for others. Back to Duty

S41: Promote and engage in the learning of others. Back to Duty

S42: Engage in evidence-based practice. Back to Duty

S43: Gather and use feedback and information, including qualitative and quantitative data, to evaluate the responses of service users to own care. Back to Duty

S44: Monitor and systematically evaluate the quality of practice, and maintain an effective quality management and quality assurance process working towards continual improvement. Back to Duty

S45: Participate in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance, clinical governance and the use of appropriate outcome measures. Back to Duty

S46: Evaluate care plans or intervention plans using recognised and appropriate outcome measures, in conjunction with the service user where possible, and revise the plans as necessary. Back to Duty

S47: Evaluate the supply, fit and delivery of any device on an ongoing basis as part of the review mechanism, including the body – device interface, functional alignment, mechanical integrity, functional suitability, cosmesis, clinical effectiveness, and the needs and expectations of service users. Back to Duty

S48: Demonstrate awareness of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process. Back to Duty

S49: Change own practice as needed to take account of new developments, technologies and changing contexts. Back to Duty

S50: Gather appropriate information. Back to Duty

S51: Analyse and critically evaluate the information collected. Back to Duty

S52: Select and use appropriate assessment techniques and equipment. Back to Duty

S53: Undertake and record a thorough, sensitive, and detailed assessment. Back to Duty

S54: Undertake or arrange investigations as appropriate. Back to Duty

S55: Conduct appropriate assessment or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and effectively. Back to Duty

S56: Critically evaluate research and other evidence to inform own practice. Back to Duty

S57: Engage service users in research as appropriate. Back to Duty

S58: Formulate specific and appropriate management plans including the setting of timescales. Back to Duty

S59: Use equipment and machinery appropriately to capture and modify anthropometric, kinetic, and kinematic data safely and effectively. Back to Duty

S60: Provide, where appropriate, a suitable cast or electronic data to accompany the written information. Back to Duty

S61: Use contemporary technologies that aid service user assessment. Back to Duty

S62: Complete an accurate clinical assessment. Back to Duty

S63: Demonstrate awareness of the weight and potential level of activity of service users, and the uses that prostheses or orthoses will be subject to, as part of health and safety assessments. Back to Duty

S64: Measure and cast for prostheses and orthoses and, where necessary, rectify them. Back to Duty

S65: Prescribe orthotic or prosthetic treatment including, where necessary, the specification for manufacture, and recognise the need to carry out risk analyses where required for unapproved combinations or applications of components. Back to Duty

S66: Analyse normal and abnormal gait, locomotor function and movement using both qualitative and quantitative means. Back to Duty

S67: Assess factors important to the relevant design specification of prostheses and orthoses and apply these when designing a device. Back to Duty

S68: Conduct neurological, vascular, biomechanical and dermatological assessments in the context of prosthetics and orthotics. Back to Duty

S69: Use a systematic approach to formulate a clinical diagnosis. Back to Duty

S70: Demonstrate awareness of relevant health and safety legislation and comply with all local operational procedures and policies. Back to Duty

S71: Work safely, including being able to select appropriate hazard control and risk management, reduction or elimination techniques in a safe manner and in accordance with health and safety legislation. Back to Duty

S72: Select appropriate personal protective equipment and use it correctly. Back to Duty

S73: Establish safe environments for practice, which appropriately manages risk. Back to Duty

S74: Apply appropriate moving and handling techniques. Back to Duty

S75: Empower and enable individuals, including service users and colleagues, to play a part in managing own health. Back to Duty

S76: Engage in occupational health, including being aware of immunisation requirements. Back to Duty


B1: Treat people with dignity, respecting diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences. Back to Duty

B2: Demonstrate respect and empathy for those with whom you work and have the courage to challenge areas of concern. Back to Duty

B3: Demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based best practice and consensus working. Back to Duty

B4: Be adaptable, reflective, reliable and consistent. Back to Duty

B5: Demonstrate discretion, resilience, self-awareness and leadership. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Apprentices will be required to complete a BSc (Hons) degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics or Level 7 qualification approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) where the apprentice already holds a Level 6 degree

Level: 6 (integrated degree)

Training provider must be approved by regulator body. EPAO must be approved by regulator body

MSc in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Level: 7 (integrated degree)

Training provider must be approved by regulator body. EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Additional details

Regulated standard

This is a regulated occupation.

Regulator body:

Health and Care Professions Council

Training Provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0601
Version: 1.2
Date updated: 01/09/2023
Approved for delivery: 31 October 2018
Route: Health and science
Typical duration to gateway: 48 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £24000
Regulated standard:
This is a regulated occupation
Regulator body:Health and Care Professions Council
Training Provider must be approved by regulator body
EPAO must be approved by regulator body
LARS Code: 368
EQA Provider: Office for Students

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Alder Hey Children's Hospital, BAPO ( professional body), Blatchford, Crispin Orthotics Ltd, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset Healthcare NHS University Foundation Trust, Halo Medical, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Limbless Association, Livewell Southwest, London Southbank University, Opcare, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Jones Agnes Hunt NHS, Salts Healthcare, Skills for Health, Staffordshire University, Steeper, Taycare, University of Salford, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.2 Standard, end-point assessment plan and funding band revised but funding remained the same. 01/09/2023 Not set Not set
1.1 Funding band revised but remains £24000. End-point assessment plan revised 10/11/2021 31/08/2023 Not set
1.0 Retired 31/10/2018 09/11/2021 Not set

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