Orthotic Support Worker

The Role(s)

Orthotic Support Workers work alongside registered Orthotists who assess patients' needs.

You will work with people of all ages with a wide range of conditions including

  • arthritis
  • cerebral palsy
  • stroke
  • spina bifida
  • scoliosis

Orthotic Support Workers can work as Orthotic Technicians making splints, braces or special footwear for people of all ages to aid movement, correct deformity and relieve discomfort.

They are involved in the design stage, using digital imaging techniques, CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided modelling). They then manufacture the orthoses using the most suitable materials.

Orthotic Support Workers can also work as Orthotic Assistant Practitioners who see patients in clinics. They have a clinical caseload and see a number of patients as part of a team including Orthotists and other professionals. 

In some NHSScotland Boards, Orthotic Support Workers can carry out both these roles or carry out some aspects of both. Contact your local Board to find out more. 

Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include

  • creativity
  • practical skills
  • design skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • communication 
  • IT and CADCAM skills


Useful abilities include

  • ability to use hand tools
  • ability to work with different materials
  • ability to work to deadline
  • ability to work from technical instruction

Entry Requirements

Although there are no set entry requirements, employers usually ask for SQA National qualifications including English, Maths and a Science or Engineering subject.

Employers may ask for engineering or manufacturing experience.

They may also ask for experience in healthcare, particularly for jobs where you have contact with patients. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in health or social care, either in paid employment or voluntary work. 

You may also require or be encouraged to work towards an SQA SVQ Level 2 or 3 Healthcare Support (Clinical).

You will also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.


Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7

The Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is a framework for people interested in working in a clinical healthcare setting.

Contact your local Board to find out if this Modern Apprenticeship is available in your area.

For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at




Learning and Development

You will be given the training you need for the job including

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • how to use the equipment
  • manufacturing processes

You may have the opportunity to study for qualifications such as SVQs or BTEC.

You may also be able to attend short courses on particular topics.

Orthotic technicians can become members of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) or the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. Both organisations run courses, conferences and seminars where orthotic technicians can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.