Friday, 30 June 2017

NHS Graduate Management Scheme

If you fancy using your chemistry or engineering degree in a health setting, you might want to consider applying for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. The next round of recruitment opens in October 2017. There are 6 specialist areas to choose from:

Finance Management - helping the health service tackle financial challenges to get the best value for money and ensuring delivery of vital services to patients.

General Management - working on the front line, ensuring services are managed and delivered in the best possible way for patients.

Health Analysis - through data, providing insight and evidence, and supporting decision-making in the NHS for the benefits of patients.

Health Informatics Management - the lifeline that ensures everyone has the information they need to make informed decisions for the benefit of patients.

Human Resources Management - having the best workforce to deliver the best patient care, and to tackle unprecedented change.

Policy and Strategy Management - creating programmes that improve patient care through evidence-based policy, systems thinking and strategy development.

For more details of each programme, see NHS graduate management training

The other week, an Edinburgh student was successful in gaining a place on the Graduate Management Trainee Scheme. The selection procedure and the assessment centre day was lengthy and hard work, so she very generously volunteered feedback about the process to help other U of E students.

Note: This is a brief summary - the FULL transcript will be available on MCH under "Interview Feedback", but will not appear until next semester.

How did the selection work?
The application is done in three stages: online application (video situational judgement, personality profile, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning), then interview, then assessment centre. For more info, see

What interview questions were you asked?
They included:
1. What attracts you to the NHS?
2. How do you keep up to date with issues in the NHS?
3. How did you develop an interest in Finance?
4. What do you think is the biggest challenge as an NHS Financial Manager?
5. What are strengths/weaknesses?
6. What have you done to support a team?
7. Give a scenario where you set a goal? What was the biggest challenge? What did you learn from the experience?
8. Have you led a project? How did you manage the project? How did you encourage your team?

At the Assessment Centre (a month after the interview), exercises included blog writing to convince the reader that patient needs were being met  (using emails, videos, newspaper articles), a 2 minute presentation of candidate's proudest achievement, a group exercise and a role play exercise.

In the group exercise, candidates received emails about the organisation's funding and potential investment initiatives. Task was timed, and it was important to come up with investment strategies within the time limit. Discussion format SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

In the role play exercise, candidates met a consultant to discuss a project and persuade the consultant to get on board. Candidates had information about the project as well as the consultant's background (a Linkedin profile) and personality.

Our Edinburgh student asked for feedback after the initial interview, so that she could work on any areas that needed development for the assessment centre. She also noted that you are assessed against a competency framework, not against each other, so it is always better to work as a team to achieve the greater goal.