Operating Department Practitioner Reserve

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Royal Naval Reserve
Level:Rating
Healthcare
Humanitarian aid
Civilians
ODP
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The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Become a leader in your field, in an environment where leadership really matters. Joining the Royal Naval Reserve as an Operating Department Practitioner is your opportunity to hone your skills on medicine’s frontline.

You’ll gain experience over a number of different clinical areas, from airway management to recovery. And as you increase your expertise, you’ll also begin to realise your management potential, learning from some of the best in the business. 

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Deliver world class healthcare as part of a highly skilled and motivated team.
  • Provide vital support to maritime and wider military operations across the globe.
  • Provide support in a range of challenging conditions at sea, on land or in the air. Adapt to a variety of platforms including state of the art warships such as the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.
  • Travel the world as part of the front line medical services team.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Working as part of a multi-disciplinary Medical Team
  • The opportunity to undergo post-graduate specialisation qualifications
  • Leadership and management qualifications
     

Skills you'll develop

  • Military specific qualifications with cross benefit to NHS practice 
  • Professional skills will be broadened and enhanced with direct benefit to civilian practice

Career progression

Promotion is linked to successful completion of Basic Training and after that it’s merit based. After completing your initial professional training in your chosen branch and specialisation, you’ll be promoted to Leading Medical Technician. 

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You must be aged 20 and up to 52, (or 56 if you're serving or an ex-regular), when you start training
  • 5 GCSEs grades C/4, which must include English Language and Mathematics
  • DipHE or BSc Operating Department Practice
  • Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered, without restrictions
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen, or a Dual National
  • You need to be within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI) 
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test
     

Skills and interests

  • Self reliant, well-organised future leaders
  • Problem solvers with a keen eye for detail
  • Team players
  • A willingness to help shipmates

 

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Your first step is to request and fill in your online application. If you have any questions beforehand, you can phone us on 0345 600 3222

  • Presentation

    You will be invited to attend an Initial Maritime Reserves Presentation (IMRP) at your nearest Unit. This is your chance to have a look around, meet the team, ask any questions and find out about life in the Reserves

  • Recruitment test and interview

    You will be invited to your nearest Armed Forces Career Office (AFCO) for an interview, where we will check your eligibility and outline the joining process. See more advice here. You will then sit the Recruitment Test, which assesses your basic reasoning, literacy, numeracy skills and mechanical comprehension. You can try a practise test here. You will also be invited to have an interview with the medical recruiting team

  • Join your local Unit

    You will then be invited to join your Unit for Attestation. This involves swearing allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen and signing the Official Secrets Act. At this point you’ll be a Phase 0 recruit, and will attend weekly drill nights, however you won’t be able to start formal training until you pass your medical and fitness test

  • Medical and fitness test

    The medical tests are carried out by your nearest Ministry of Defence approved doctor, but eye tests can be completed at selected high street centres. The Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT) requires you to complete a 2.4km run on a treadmill at a local approved fitness centre. Check out this booklet for tips on how to prepare

  • Phase 1 training

    You’ll now be a signed-up member of the Royal Naval Reserve as a Phase 1 recruit. At this stage you’ll be given your Royal Navy identification card and uniform, and be able to conduct formal basic training

  • Training

    During your Phase 1 training you will learn about life in the Royal Navy. This takes place on weekly drill nights. You’ll also spend two weekends learning about life in the military and what it is like at sea

  • Confirmation course

    This two-week course is held at HMS Raleigh. Once you’ve completed this you will go on to specialise in your chosen discipline


Initial training

Training and development continues throughout your career with the Royal Navy Reserve.

Basic Training takes place at weekends and on weekday evenings at your local unit. These link in with national training weekends where you’ll train with people from other units. You’ll complete a 1-week weapons course, before attending a 2-week confirmation course at HMS Raleigh. There you’ll train alongside ratings who are completing their Basic Training for the full-time Royal Navy.

Training is also conducted online via a Virtual Learning Environment, so you’ll need access to the Internet. There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.


Professional training

Once you have completed basic initial training you will become a formal member of the reserve Medical Branch. Your training then includes broad operating department practitioner training, within the branch, and courses tailored to your specialty. You will have the opportunity to attend wider tri-service training across the Defence Medical Services including annual conferences and meetings. The training is designed to prepare you to support the Royal Navy and wider military, whatever the challenge, worldwide.