Training, development and registration (anaesthesia associate)

Training and development

To train as an anaesthesia associate, you first need to secure a position as a trainee within the NHS. You will then take the Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) Postgraduate Diploma.

The programme is 27 months full-time - 24 months of academic study and clinical training, followed by three months of supervised practice.

The programme is currently delivered by the University of Birmingham and topics covered include:

  • clinical practice
  • the anaesthesia machine and monitoring
  • the heart and circulation
  • the airways and lungs
  • the kidneys, liver, endocrine system and blood
  • management of life threatening emergencies

You’ll learn through a mixture of directed self-study, small  group teaching and clinical skills teaching.

You do not apply to the university directly as you need to secure a post as a trainee anaesthesia associate first.

Find out more about the course at the University of Birmingham.

For further information about the training please visit the Royal College of Anaesthetists website.


The Royal College of Anaesthetists holds a voluntary register of physicians’ assistants (anaesthesia) - the previous name of the role of anaesthesia associate. Once qualified, you will be invited to be an affiliate member of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.


Professional regulation of the medical associate professions needs to be explored as they become more widely employed in the NHS. The Department of Health is looking for your views on their regulation in the UK. More information on the consultation including how to share your views can be found on the Department of Health website. 

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