News : Saturday, 20 July 2019



The Trustees usually meet three times a year to consider all applications to the Trust for funding.

Applicants should please note the scheduled meeting dates for 2016 are as follows :

26th JANUARY , 17th MAY and 20th SEPTEMBER


The OETT welcomes all applications for funding to support orthotic education and training. It is hoped this web-site outlines the increased scope for funding by the Trust, including travel fellowships and conference attendance. Whilst not exhaustive, the Application for Funding section offers clearer guidelines as to the areas of training and development costs that the Trustees will now consider for funding.

A great number of Orthotists have already benefited from the use of Trust funds throughout their professional careers. The Trustees hope that many more Orthotists will benefit in the future by following the guidelines now available on this web-site.


The OETT continues to provide financial support to many UK based Orthotists who are undertaking postgraduate education and/or participating in short courses. The Trustees are currently taking a particular interest in the training of new graduates in their first year as Orthotists. The OETT is planning a meeting to bring together the employers of new graduates (both commercial companies and NHS) to identify good practices in supporting Orthotists through this fledgling stage. We also want to involve Orthotists who have recently transitioned through their first year and would like to contribute reflections on your experience. If you would like to be involved in the meeting please send your contact details to


The BAPO annual conference is now the largest assembly of Prosthetists and Orthotists in the UK and provides an educational forum with lectures and seminars on many different and interesting areas of practice. The technician programme is held concurrently providing education on technical aspects of prosthetics and orthotics. In addition to a very comprehensive lecture programme there is also an Exhibition with many orthotic suppliers and manufacturers demonstrating their products and services to the delegates.

BAPO particularly target young people who are considering their future careers by offering advice and information whilst promoting the technical and clinical opportunities within our field. In addition, BAPO work with the User organisations to raise awareness of the clinical and product developments within a controlled environment.

For further details visit

RECENT EVOLUTION OF FUNDING BY THE TRUST and its links with other Stakeholders

In May 2007, the Trustees of the OETT invited around 30 representative stakeholders in postgraduate professional development for orthotists to a meeting. The aim of this meeting was to consider the postgraduate training needs of orthotists and orthotic technicians, and how these needs might best be met. The meeting was convened to facilitate discussion amongst orthotists, technicians and their employers with providers of short courses and training opportunities. The programme is appended and shows that there were two main sessions of short presentations. The first session comprised a series of presentations by orthotists, technicians and those responsible for training staff in NHS and commercial organisations. The second session heard presentations from individuals, companies and organisations which deliver postgraduate training opportunities. Several themes were repeated in presentations which are outlined below.

Training Needs

The training needs of orthotists depended on their stage of career; for instance early in their career there was a need for ‘on the job’ mentorship. Orthotists have to develop generic competencies in time management, communication and interpersonal skills as well as technical skills in making footwear and more complex orthoses such as KAFOs. However, a couple of years post-qualification orthotists wanted training over and above the basic knowledge taught at undergraduate level and this was harder to find. Such opportunities might reflect upon ‘real-world’ scenarios and lead to changes in clinical practice. Some of this training might perhaps be better delivered in a multidisciplinary context to teams of people who actually work together. One of the key barriers to this kind of training is that taking time off is perceived as a low priority with difficulties staffing clinics. Another set of skills training that experienced orthotists seek are in research skills and the perceived competencies of extended role practitioners, such as diagnostic testing. As well as recognising personal knowledge gaps and learning needs, motivation is required to seek out and make the most of opportunities; some participants acknowledged apathy amongst colleagues.

Training Opportunities

The NCTEPO at Strathclyde University has run a series of short courses for several years; three or four of these continue to be popular but some orthotists have difficulty taking time off clinics to attend. Similarly it has been a challenge to recruit orthotists onto the distance learning courses offered by the National Centre. Regional groups such as the London Orthotic Interest Group coordinated by Paul Charlton have been successful in bring multidisciplinary audiences together. These early evening events typically involve an invited speaker on a topical issue followed by a facilitated discussion. Other regional groups are also running and allow orthotists to reflect upon specific clinical issues in a structured way. BAPO has an education committee and seeks to ‘approve’ courses after reviewing their curricula; the committee is also involved in developing courses in key skills which can then be rolled out around the country. The cognitive processes by which orthotists transition from newly qualified staff to more experienced clinicians should inform strategies to provide training throughout the duration of an orthotists career. That is the challenge.

Technician Training

Technician training is recognised to be inconsistent and previous training initiatives such as the NVQ scheme had poor uptake. However there continues to be a need for technician training outside of the organisation in which the person works. Collaboration between the BAPO Technicians Committee and Strathclyde University will hopefully lead to more opportunities becoming available. Some excellent ideas presented at the meeting included training related to specific products and training orthotists and technicians together.


It is yet to be seen if this meeting has any lasting impact; the trustees appreciated the efforts of all those who made presentations and participated in the discussion. The lack of any clearly defined recommendations from the meeting was acknowledged; however the trustees hope that by bringing together stakeholders in CPD for orthotists and technicians some myths about the OETT were dispelled and some advancement may occur. Clearly some mismatch exists between the training needs of orthotists and technicians and the educational opportunities available; whenever possible the OETT would like to overcome any financial barriers. The OETT is unable to deliver courses itself; the trust is a charity that exists to fund the training and education of orthotists and technicians. The trustees encourage creative applications that can meet the stated purposes of the trust (which can be found at


♣ Gary Parfett, Orthotist, Plymouth NHS
♣ Jim Ashworth-Beaumont, Orthotist, RNOH, Stanmore
♣ Andy Dewsbury, Technician, RJAH, Oswestry NHS
♣ Miles Dearden, Orthotist, Trulife
♣ Steve Osborne, Orthotist, Blatchfords
♣ Gary Gordon, RJAH, Oswestry NHS
♣ Paul Horwood, NOC, Oxford, responsibility for training orthotists & technicians
♣ Mags Miller, HR Manager, RSL Steeper, training for orthotists & technician
♣ Liz Condie, Strathclyde University, short course organiser
♣ Paul Charlton, Orthotist, Peacocks, Regional interest group organiser
♣ David Simpson, Strathclyde University, distance learning organiser
♣ Ian Adam, BAPO technician training
♣ Colin Martin, Strathclyde University, technician training
♣ Martin Matthews, Trulife, specialist products course organiser
♣ Brian McLaughlin, BAPO short course coordinator
♣ Sophie Hill, BAPO & Salford University

The Orthotic Education and Training Trust · Unit 3010 Mile End Mill · Abbey Mill Business Centre · Paisley · PA1 1JS · UK · Telephone: +44 (0)141 561 7217 · Reg Charity No 294114