BOA Standards for Trauma and Orthopaedics (BOASts)

BOASts are short standards documents that are downloadable and can be printed for display in hospitals. The first BOASt was published in 2008, overseen by BOA Trauma Group, and with the acronym defined as ‘BOA Standards for Trauma’. More recently, the BOA has developed the meaning of the acronym to BOA Standards, to allow a wider remit of BOASts to include all aspects relevant to Trauma and Orthopaedics.


Since 2008, the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA) has been committed to enhancing orthopaedic care in the UK through the development of BOA Standards for Trauma. These standards, informed by evidence, provide clear and concise recommendations in a uniform format that are now ingrained in routine clinical care. The scope expanded in 2020 to include elective standards, leading to the modification of the acronym to the now BOA Standards (BOASts).

There are now different types of BOASts published by the BOA: Trauma BOASts, Elective BOASts and Specialty Standards (SpecS - documents produced by a Specialist Society). We also maintain a record of past BOASts that are no longer considered to be current, which can be found under ‘Archived BOASts’.

You can download a PDF of each BOASt by clicking its title below, or you can read summaries by accessing the dedicated page for each category through the menu.

British Orthopaedic Association Standards (BOASts)

British Orthopaedic Association Standards (BOASt) set auditable guidelines for common groups of musculoskeletal conditions managed in the generality of an orthopaedic practice. These detail expectations relating to clinical management, pathways and delivery of services that are applicable to all orthopaedic patients.  

BOASts require a large amount of work from conception to production and this can typically take 1-2 years. This reflects the high quality of the work and the value they hold in our clinical practice. 

Speciality Standards (SpecS)

Specialty Standards (SpecS) are documents produced by a Specialist Society. They are recommendations, and relate to specific practices not necessarily applicable to the generalist surgeon. They will concentrate on the subsequent management according to recommendations from experts in this field. Where feasible, this should be based on extant consensus documents or published literature. They are also intended to provide an auditable set of recommendations but not act as a definitive description of management.

It may be determined that a BOASt proposal is more suited to be a SpecS document. If so,it does not imply a lesser quality or importance of the topic, but rather that it remains niche or less applicable to the generality of orthopaedics. 

SpecS documents will be the remit of individual Specialist Societies and will follow an agreed format. These documents will typically run to 2-3 A4 pages, contain more references and will be colour coded to ensure that they can be easily distinguished from a BOASt.

Proposing new standards

Proposals for new standards will be considered by the Clinical Standards Committee and those considered suitable will be presented to the BOA Executive for ratification.
Proposals are anticipated from a variety of sources, including individual members, Specialist Societies, BOA Committees and BOA Executive.

Specialty Standards (SpecS) and BOASts will be reviewed by the Clinical Standards Committee who ensure the content is valid, auditable, and relevant and utilise appropriate non-ambiguous language. The BOA executive committee acts as the final arbitrator on ratifying all documents.

Proposals should include a working title, a statement outlining the proposed subject with inclusion and exclusion criteria and a draft of the proposed standards. Options for co-badging should also be included and engagement with Specialist Societies and additional experts secured at the initial stages and before the first draft is submitted.

After acceptance of an initial draft, the proposed BOASt or SpecS will be reviewed and further developed by the Clinical Standards Committee with assistance from representatives from appropriate Specialist Societies. 

If you or your society is interested in proposing a document, please contact the BOA Policy and Programmes team at [email protected] 

Trauma BOASts

Elective Care BOASts

Archived BOASTs