Anaesthesia associates

Anaesthesia associates

Anaesthesia associates (AAs), formerly known as physician assistants (anaesthesia), were introduced in 2004 and the role is now established within many NHS hospitals, where they work within the anaesthetic team under the supervision of a consultant anaesthetist or other autonomously practising anaesthetists.

The College’s role in relation to anaesthesia associates (AAs) is to provide leadership and guidance on their education, training and professional development.

Our work in relation to AAs is evolving, as is the wider debate about the role of Medical Associate Professions (MAPs). As a result, while we have sought to ensure that all the information and guidance on these pages is up to date, it may be subject to change.

In particular, please note that in response to concerns about patient safety expressed by members, including at an Extraordinary General Meeting in October 2023, the College has recently taken a number of actions, including to: 

We continue to work on updating the Guidelines for Anaesthetic Services (GPAS) in line with the positions noted above. This includes updating the GPAS references in the relevant standard within the Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation Scheme (ACSA).