NHS Assessment Centre Success Guide

This NHS assessment centre guide includes practice tests, top tips and insider secrets for success. We’ll walk you through each part of the day and show you how to prepare. Let’s get started.

NHS Assessment Centre

A Useful Starting-Point Resource

Before we look at each exercise in detail, let’s cover the basics.

The NHS As An Employer

The NHS is the world’s biggest public funded healthcare provider. It requires a vast array of skills and experience from its employee base and there is an incredible range of potential career paths available within the NHS.

The benefits are good and there are fantastic opportunities for growth and progression. In return, they expect the very best from their staff and the NHS has a strong sense of who it is and who they want to employ.

Action point: Watch this short video about the core values of the NHS as an employer. (It’s important to know these as your assessment will revolve around them.)

NHS Assessment Centre Overview

Your assessment centre itinerary will be determined by the role you are pursuing. However, there is a skeleton framework for all assessments centres. (You will be told which assessment activities you will be required to sit before you attend.)

Here are the activities that will be waiting for you at the NHS assessment centre:

  • Aptitude tests (Numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, etc.)
  • Group exercise
  • Role-play
  • Presentation
  • E-Tray exercise
  • Formal panel interview

Give yourself an advantage & prepare perfectly

Click here to download a 12-step assessment day cheatsheet

NHS Assessment Centre – Aptitude & Numerical Tests

You may be asked to complete your numerical test before or during your visit to the NHS assessment centre.  (You may even have to do both.)

We get more requests for help with numerical reasoning tests than anything else, so we created a Numerical Reasoning Hub where you can practice and learn how to pass this type of test.

IMPORTANT: It is vital to prepare for the correct type of test as they vary enormously.

For example the scientist training programme candidates need to practise Talent-Q tests. Graduate scheme candidates usually need to do Kenexa tests.

Action point: Find out which supplier makes your aptitude tests, then practice that type of test.

Practice the NHS assessment centre activities

You can practice the NHS assessment centre activities here.

Other common types of NHS aptitude test

You may also have to face the following aptitude tests:

NHS Assessment Centre Group Exercise

The point of any group exercise is to evaluate your ability to interact with others towards a common goal. You will usually face more than one group exercise at the NHS assessment centre, so it is vital that you know how to handle them.

The first session will see you join forces with another candidate and you will need to digest the exercise brief and discuss it. Your assessor wants to see how you operate when working with others.

The second session will see you join a larger group.  Your earlier discussions will now be discussed at a deeper level, with more voices being heard.

You will be required to find a solution or come to a conclusion as a group.

This exercise is fraught and most people dread it, but you can learn how to do well in this type of activity.

Action point: Read our popular guide ‘How To Shine In Your Assessment Centre Group Exercise

NHS assessment centre

NHS Assessment Centre Role-play

This is another activity that candidates tend to worry about beforehand.

Expect to have to deal with an unhappy patient or difficult relatives.  Your assessor will be looking for you to have the ability to think on your feet while under pressure.

This fills many candidates with dread but it doesn’t need to be that way. Again, you can learn a simple framework for role-play success.

Action point: Read our guide ‘How To Succeed In An Assessment Centre Role-play

Assessment Centre Role-play Tips

This video has some useful advice & guidance:

NHS Assessment Centre Presentation

You will be given a subject to base your presentation on and will be given time to prepare this beforehand.

You’ll be given the chance to use visual aids, notes will also be permitted.

Don’t be intimidated by this. Think of your presentation as a chance to showcase your intelligence and personality.

Action point: Read our guide ‘How To Deliver A World-Class Presentation At Your Assessment Centre

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Stop worrying! Download a 12-step assessment day cheatsheet & be perfectly prepared.

Click here to download your copy

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NHS Assessment Centre: E-Tray Exercise

You will need to carry out this e-tray exercise on the laptop provided.

You will have an hour and a half to complete the exercise, during this time you will need to assess all of the information and decide on the best outcome. Then you will have to write it all up as a report.

You can learn more about e-tray exercises here. We’ll show you what your assessor is looking for and how you can prepare.

NHS Assessment Centre

NHS Assessment Centre: Formal Panel Interview

(Depending on the role you are applying for, you may or may not have to do this exercise.)

This is a popular type of interview with the NHS as it is deemed to be a fairer process than a one-on-one interview. You will need to demonstrate the following skills & competencies:

  • Motivation – Are you driven to achieve and to improve results?
  • Working with colleagues and the public
  • Managing services
  • Numerical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Working under pressure

The questions asked will be hypothetical. You will need to supply answers based on your own experiences and beliefs.

Link your answers to the competencies of the role

It’s important that you focus on the core values we discussed earlier in the article. Relate your interview answers to the values and competencies of the role and you will be in a strong position.)

Action point: Visit the interview section of our site to learn how to succeed in an assessment centre interview. This area of the site will be a treasure trove for you.

nhs assessment day

The all-conquering importance of practice

If you’re serious about succeeding at your Deloitte assessment centre you must take the time to practice each of the assessment exercises you will face at the event.

We can give you great tips and advice, sure, but it’s down to you to put the preparation hours in.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from long experience it’s that preparation is the difference between success and failure. Successful candidates are consistently better-prepared than unsuccessful ones.


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