Assistants to the Anaesthetist


During an episode of anaesthesia, the anaesthetist must be assisted by another appropriately trained person, in order to ensure the safety and quality of care for patients. Therefore, the Network established a working group to identify the skills that are necessary for an assistant to the anaesthetist.


  • Standardising education and training requirements for the anaesthetic assistant; 
  • Ensuring safe and efficient anaesthesia; 
  • Ensuring anaesthetic assistants are provided with the appropriate skills and training.


Anaesthetic assistants are important perioperative team members whose training and skills contribute to safe perioperative care, by minimising and/or preventing adverse incidents in the perioperative environment.

Queensland’s SWAPNET – the equivalent to the ACI Anaesthesia Perioperative Network – developed a number of competencies for the anaesthetic assistant. In 2012, SWAPNET agreed to share the competencies with the ACI and the Network subsequently recommended them as being worthy of becoming a minimum standard for NSW anaesthetic assistants. The document has subsequently been endorsed by a number of key bodies.

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) has requirements around the appropriate training for individuals whose role is to assist anaesthetists in the provision of anaesthesia. This document, PS08 Statement on the Assistant for the Anaesthetist, has been reviewed and was released in 2015.

The Working Group is now considering options to progress the implementation of the competencies in NSW.



Key Dates

Pilot Sites

Implementation Sites


Related Initiatives

Further Details


Ellen Rawstron
Manager, Anaesthesia & Perioperative Care Network
02 9464 4641

Donald MacLellan
Director, Surgery, Anaesthesia and Critical Care
02 9464 4604

Page Top | Added: 27 March 2014 | Last modified: 21 August 2015

Ellen Rawstron
Manager, Anaesthesia & Perioperative Care Network
02 9464 4641