We investigated the influence of resident training on anaesthesia workflow of three standard procedures – laparoscopic cholecystectomy, diagnostic gynaecological laparoscopy and transurethral prostate gland resection (TURP) – comparing 259 non-emergency resident vs 341 consultant cases from 20 German hospitals. Each hospital provided 10 random cases for each procedure, yielding 600 cases for analysis. Standard time intervals as documented in the hospital information system were: ‘Case Time’ (the time from the start of anaesthesia induction to discharge of the patient to the recovery area) and ‘Anaesthesia Control Time’ (which was the Case Time minus the time from the start of surgery to the end of surgical closure). Case Time was significantly shorter for consultants in all three procedures (p < 0.05, analysis of variance) and Anaesthesia Control Time shorter for consultants only in gynaecological laparoscopy and TURP. Patient comorbidity, patient age and geographical location of the hospital were not influential factors in the analysis of variance. We conclude that resident training significantly increases duration of elective operative times.