Everything You Need to Know About NHS Graduate Scheme
The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is a programme that places talented young doctors and other specialists on a fast track towards a career in senior management. It is an option graduates outside of the medical field should consider, too, if they seek a career in the public sector.
The specialisms open to applicants attempting to join the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme include:
- General Management
- Policy and Strategy
- Health Informatics
- Health Analysis
Outstanding candidates who are accepted can look forward to a long and rewarding career — but the hiring process is daunting. Keep reading to discover the steps in the hiring process, what aptitude tests the NHS asks its Graduate Scheme applicants to take, and how to prepare.
Table of Contents
What Are The Stages In The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Hiring Process?
Graduates considering a career in the NHS first have to check whether they have the right qualifications — but don’t worry, you don’t have to have a degree in a medical field to apply. However, you will need a 2:2 degree or above in any subject.
Applicants should also have a degree in a health or management-related field, such as a Diploma in Management Studies or a Diploma in Social Work.
The application process is only open for a short period of time, so make sure to find the next opening and save the date.
The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme hiring process has three stages.
1. Complete An Online Application Form
Candidates are required to complete an extensive application form to be considered for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. This process takes approximately 40 minutes, and you don’t have to prepare to complete the online application form.
This first stage allows the NHS to determine whether you are a suitable candidate and teaches you more about the positions available through the Graduate Scheme.
Should you be successful, you will move on to the next round. Expect gruelling aptitude tests.
2. NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Aptitude Tests
In-depth aptitude testing represents the next stage in the NHS Graduate Scheme recruitment process. These tests aim to determine whether you are a good fit for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and, if so, where you would be most likely to excel.
The aptitude testing carried out during the Graduate Scheme hiring process is managed by the test provider Talent Q and is divided into two stages.
- Stage 1 – Virtual work-based scenarios. Graduates who made it to the second stage can take this aptitude test as soon as they receive a notification of their success. This assessment takes around an hour to complete and allows the NHS to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. Some of the responses are video-based and timed. Candidates who make it through Stage 1 of the assessment process are invited to move to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 – The virtual assessment centre. You will spend half a day being meticulously evaluated. While the NHS encourages candidates to simply “be themselves,” it is vital that you prepare ahead of time.
You can start taking practice aptitude tests similar to the ones the NHS Graduate Scheme administers as soon as you apply for the programme.
Job Test Prep offers an extensive selection of practice tests for the NHS Graduate Scheme. They also have a host of helpful tutorials that help you avoid common missteps. We highly recommend you get started as soon as you can!
3. An In-Person NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Interview
Pat yourself on the back if you make it this far — you have earned it, and a career in the NHS is well within reach now. An in-person job interview is the next stage of the NHS Grad Scheme hiring process.
Candidates will face a panel of interviewers and are invited to answer a set of questions in which they demonstrate that they have the competencies the NHS looks for.
Remember the core competencies, and incorporate them into every answer you give:
- A commitment to offering outstanding service
- Improving lives
- Embracing diversity
- Respect and dignity
- Working together to serve patients
The NHS Graduate Scheme interview won’t be like any other job interview you have attended. Successful candidates understand the framework, and Job Test Prep offers an interview preparation service to ensure you are ready.
Which Aptitude Tests Does the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Assessment Centre Include?
The aptitude tests NHS Graduate Scheme applicants take are tailored to the roles for which they are suitable, depending on their qualifications. This stage of the hiring process evaluates your cognitive abilities, leadership skills, resilience and adaptability, and problem-solving skills. It also assesses your technical capabilities.
We take a closer look at the aptitude tests you will take if you make it to Stage 2 of the NHS Graduate Scheme hiring process, so that you can prepare ahead of time.
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Numerical Reasoning Test
The numerical reasoning portion of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme testing process looks at your numerical competence, specifically:
- Your ability to identify key data.
- Your skill in understanding and processing graphs and numerical data.
- Your ability to be proactive in problem-solving based on data you are presented with.
This tough assessment includes multiple-choice and open-ended answers.
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Verbal Reasoning Test
The verbal reasoning portion of the NHS Graduate Scheme aptitude testing process appraises applicants’ verbal abilities.
High scores are essential for applicants, regardless of the track they wish to join. Excellent verbal and reasoning abilities are, after all, central to all the specialisms the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme offers.
Candidates are expected to read a series of information-packed passages during the verbal reasoning test. They must then choose which words are missing and insert the best possible option. After this task, Grad Scheme applicants look at a list of sentences to determine which best summarises the passage.
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Logical Reasoning Test
Logical reasoning tests evaluate your ability to think logically and quickly. The NHS values candidates who process abstract information seamlessly and problem-solve in a way that keeps the organisation’s core values in mind.
This aptitude test is challenging and timed. Although you can expect a multiple-choice format, the number of options is extraordinarily long.
Prepping for a logical reasoning test is vital, as practice familiarises you with the format and allows you to respond both quickly and correctly. Try a logical reasoning test similar to the NHS Grad Scheme test for free through Job Test Prep to get a feel for the structure.
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Health Analysis Test
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme candidates who are applying for the Health Analysis track have an additional aptitude test related to this specialism.
This portion of the NHS Graduate Scheme application process allows applicants to show their skills and share previous relevant experience.
How Do I Prepare For The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Aptitude Tests?
The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is often nerve-wracking, particularly for candidates who are passionate about a career in the public sector. The fact that NHS Grad Scheme applications are only open for a short time each year makes the application process even more challenging.
The vetting and interview process is rigorous — and although the NHS is the largest employer in Europe, only a minority of candidates are accepted. So preparation is key, no matter how qualified and intelligent you are.
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme applicants can significantly boost their chances of making it to the last stage of the interview process by preparing.
That starts with these critical steps:
- Immerse yourself in practice tests. NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme should not make the mistake of thinking that their education and experience have prepared them for the aptitude tests the NHS Grad Scheme administers. You will have an edge if you work with Job Test Prep, which offers a comprehensive package to prepare you for the NHS Grad Scheme testing process.
- Head into the Assessment Centre process with a clear mind. Stress — and specifically fear of failure — is your Number One enemy on testing day. Coming prepared is the best way to banish stress. You won’t have anything to fear if you know exactly how the aptitude tests work.
- Take your time. The passages and data NHS Grad Scheme aptitude test presents you with pack a lot of information. It is easy to overlook key elements if you don’t read the text question multiple times and consider all angles. Candidates may rush through, afraid to run out of time, but that is a mistake. Take as long as you can; it won’t affect your score.
- Brush up on your maths skills. Even NHS Graduate Scheme candidates who apply to work in a less data-driven specialism such as HR will need to ace the numerical reasoning test. Taking practice numerical reasoning tests is a must, but you may also want to refresh your maths skills.
Are NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Aptitude Tests Hard?
NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme aptitude tests are challenging, but you can ace them by preparing thoroughly. Understanding the format of the tests, and avoiding common mistakes by taking practice tests, gives you the best chance of succeeding.
How Long Do The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Aptitude Tests Take?
Stage 2 of the assessment process, which takes place after the NHS accepts your initial application, takes only 60 minutes to complete. Some questions have a time limit, while others do not.
Stage 3, the Virtual Assessment Centre, involves a rigorous process. Candidates can expect to spend half a day engaging in the assessments this process includes.
In addition, you will have the chance to meet senior NHS staff and recent graduates who have already successfully joined the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme.
What Happens After You Take NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Aptitude Tests?
Successful candidates — who earn excellent scores and demonstrate that they have the strengths and qualities to become a part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme — are invited to take part in a face-to-face interview.
Two interviewers conduct this step in the process, which continues to assess your skills and proficiency. The interviewers will look for evidence that you possess the competencies they are looking for, and you will have to weave them into your answers.
The face-to-face interview may be the most daunting part of the NHS Grad Scheme hiring process. You are so close to succeeding that you can already imagine yourself working in your chosen specialism but fail the interview, and your hopes will be dashed.
We warmly recommend that you take just as much time preparing for the interview as you do for your aptitude tests. Job Test Prep’s preparation package includes interview preparation, which will get you ready for your big day.
A Final Word
The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme offers a unique opportunity. Successful applicants will gain valuable work experience and receive the training they need to become leaders within the senior levels of the NHS.
The programme changes the lives of millions of patients across the country, and it can change your life, too, if you are accepted.
The NHS invests much into training and mentoring its Grad Scheme professionals, but it isn’t easy to get in. You don’t need to have attended a top university or have extensive work experience.
However, you do need to demonstrate that you have the competencies and cognitive abilities that make you an excellent fit for the NHS.
That is why preparing for the Grad Scheme interview process is so important. Job Test Prep can help you get a foot in the door. After all, understanding how the aptitude tests the NHS administers work and practising extensively gives you the skills and confidence you need to succeed.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.