NHC UNISON - Northumbria Healthcare Employees

Operating Department Practitioners

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UNISON celebrates Operating Department Practitioners gaining Allied Health Status

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The College of Operating Department Practitioners has been established as an entity within UNISON for the past eight years, for much of that time maintaining separate membership. After a substantial review of CODP operations it was decided to merge the functions of CODP more fully into UNISON.

Under the new arrangements, CODP has become part of the Science, Technical and Therapy (STAT) occupational group. One of the drivers for change was the fact that over eighty percent of members were also UNISON members and this streamlines arrangements for the majority and provides the College Professional Council with access to greater support from UNISON’s considerable democratic structures.

For a minority of CODP members working in higher education, membership of UNISON might not be the most appropriate union. For this reason ODP members of the University and College Union (UCU) can continue to be members of the College through the reciprocal agreement between UNISON and UCU. This in turn means that the important work of the College Education Standards Committee will be maintained, for the wider benefit of the ODP profession.

The College structure within UNISON will compliment the separate CODP Professional Council. This will continue to represent the profession in all forums and lead on professional issues, such as the on-going development of the BSc Curriculum in Operating Department Practice, representing the professional interests of ODPs nationally with government, NHS bodies, employers. ODPs will continue to be the voice of the profession.

In the current structure the Professional Council is led by the president of CODP, with a vice president and officers with specific responsibilities.

ODPs and students continue to get advice and guidance on professional issues from members of the Professional Council while at the same time enjoying the full benefits of UNISON membership, such as indemnity insurance, workplace representation and access to legal representation on employment issues.

You can join UNISON and the College in the workplace or via

Please ensure that you state Operating Department Practitioner or Student as your occupation so that the College can better serve you.

If you are a UNISON member and you work in an operating theatre, please update your information by visiting so that we can send you regular communications based on your occupation and interests.

If you are an ODP and a member of the University and College Union please contact us by emailing Unfortunately, the wider UNISON member benefits are not available to you, these will continue to be provided direct by UCU.

If you are permanent member of Her Majesty’s armed services (not a reservist) and which to seek professional advice from the College we recognise that you are not able to be a member of a trades union and so the Professional Council will continue to provide professional advice to you directly.

The College celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2015 and continues to be the voice of the profession going forward.

Bill Kilvington FCODP, president, CODP

Christina McAnea, national secretary for health, UNISON

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