How to Apply for NHS Scientist Training Programme?
Last Updated on February 9, 2023
The NHS is the largest employer in Europe and a cutting-edge scientific organisation with numerous impressive clinical opportunities.
Talented graduates passionate about a career in the public sector can take advantage of one of the many exciting graduate programmes the NHS offers. The NHS Scientist Training Programme is an excellent option for those with a degree in applied sciences or engineering.
This programme is prestigious and highly competitive. Applications open once a year, and winning a place is harder every time.
Do you have what it takes to get into the NHS Scientist Graduate Programme in 2023?
Keep reading to discover the entry requirements, how the application process works, and what aptitude tests you can expect.
Table of Contents
What Is The NHS Scientist Training Programme?
Scientist training programmes that combine fully-funded degrees with on-the-job training have long been popular in the United States.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme adopts this same model, offering talented young scientists the chance to complete a Master’s degree part-time while training them for a future leadership role within the National Health Service.
The NHS STP takes three years to complete, and successful trainee scientists can look forward to more career opportunities after finishing the programme.
This programme is open to talented graduates with a degree in applied sciences or engineering who are also passionate about patient care and a career in the public sector. At its core, the NHS Scientist Training Programme is a fast track for graduates who have what it takes to become leaders in their fields.
Who Can Apply For The NHS Scientist Training Programme?
The NHS Scientist Training Programme is designed to teach and mentor the senior NHS staff of tomorrow.
Applicants must have a relevant degree in applied sciences or engineering and meet the entry requirements:
- Graduates who apply for a place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme must have a 1st or 2:1 in an undergraduate Honours degree or an integrated Master’s degree directly related to the specialism they apply for. Applicants may only choose one specialism.
- Applicants must have relevant skills and knowledge. Due to the NHS STP’s competitive nature, research experience is highly desired.
The specialisms you may apply for vary from year to year. Broadly speaking, these specialisms may include clinical bioinformatics, life sciences, physical sciences, biomedical engineering, and physiological sciences.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme offers sub-specialisms within each of these categories. Interested candidates should check which sub-specialisms are available during one recruitment wave.
What Scientific Skillset Do NHS STP Applicants Need?
Successful applicants will meet and exceed the NHS Scientific Training Programme’s basic entry requirements.
Candidates who demonstrate that they have more than the required qualifications have the best chance of succeeding.
Those applicants typically:
- Have experience with patient care.
- Demonstrate that they have sound clinical judgement.
- Possess excellent analytical skills, including in processing medical literature.
- Show they can follow Standard Operating Procedures.
- Work well in general settings as well as in their specialisms.
- Demonstrate IT proficiency and show they can operate up-to-date medical equipment.
- Show they are passionate about professional development.
How Do You Apply For The NHS Scientist Training Programme?
Applications for the NHS Scientist Training Programme open once every year. Graduates can typically apply to join the STP from mid-January to the 1st of February each year.
The National School of Healthcare Science runs the NHS Scientist Training Programme, and keeping a close eye on their website is the best way to stay up to date.
Prospective candidates begin by completing a written application. This challenging application gives you a chance to show the NHS who you are and why you are right for the STP.
If you are chosen to move on to the next round, the NHS will invite you to complete a rigorous aptitude test. The NHS Scientist Training Programme Situational Judgement Test replaces several aptitude tests that the programme used previously.
Those who pass the Situational Judgement Test and achieve high scores receive invitations to participate in a face-to-face interview with a qualified interview panel.
What Is The NHS Scientist Training Programme Aptitude Test?
Aptitude tests allow employers to test which applicants are most suitable for their job openings and are an efficient way to filter out candidates who don’t make the cut.
The NHS is no exception. The National Health Service invests a lot in graduates who make it into the Scientist Training Programme. Aptitude testing is their way to ensure that only those who share the organisation’s values and have the potential to become leaders in the NHS receive spots on the programme.
Candidates applying to join the NHS Scientist Training Programme had to participate in a set of aptitude tests in previous years. Rigorous logical and numerical reasoning tests struck fear into previous applicants’ hearts, but this old battery of tests has since been replaced with just one aptitude test.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme Situational Judgement Test evaluates whether STP applicants have the skills and traits they need to succeed as National Health Service scientists. The test also assesses how candidates would react in workplace scenarios and if their behaviour fits NHS standards.
The NHS SPT Situational Judgement Test is short but challenging. Preparing is the key to making it to the next stage and getting an interview. Job Prep Test can help you with that. The platform’s STP Situational Judgement Test practice gets you ready for your test day.
What Is The Format of the STP Situational Judgement Test?
The NHS Scientist Training Programme aptitude test, the STP Situational Judgement Test, assesses your skills and looks at your values and behaviour. The test uses hypothetical scenarios to ascertain how you would react in different situations.
The answers you give show how equipped you are to take on leadership roles, problem-solve in your future role, and work within the NHS competency framework.
The SPT Situational Judgement Test takes only 50 minutes to complete. How can the NHS deduce whether you deserve a spot in the Scientist Training Programme from such a short test, you wonder?
You will stop asking this question as soon as you get a close look at the test’s format:
- The STP Situational Judgement Test offers 25 hypothetical scenarios. All are based on situations you can realistically expect to encounter in your role as a trainee scientist if you are accepted into the programme.
- Each scenario consists of a paragraph of text describing a workplace scenario.
- After carefully reading the passage, candidates are presented with a number of possible responses to the situation. Your job? Assess how appropriate each solution is on a scale from one to five.
- The fact that the STP Situational Judgement Test is timed adds more pressure. You will have to decide the right course of action quickly, but not so quickly you miss important details.
The answers you give will determine how suitable you are for the NHS Scientist Training Programme, as assessors check how your answers fit into the NHS competency framework.
How Do You Prepare For The NHS Scientist Training Programme Situational Judgement Test?
Some NHS STP candidates may feel they deserve a spot on the NHS Scientist Training Programme because they are skilled and qualified graduates who meet the basic entry criteria. You are different. You know that the NHS STP is a highly-competitive programme, and only the best get in.
How should you prepare for the STP Situational Judgement Test, which could impact your entire future?
Smart candidates who want to do everything they can to boost their odds of success should take all of the following steps to prepare for the STP Situational Judgement Test:
- Take STP Situational Judgement Test practice tests. Successful candidates come prepared! Reading about the format of the Situational Judgement Test will give you a slight edge, but you can only say you are fully prepared if you have immersed yourself in practice tests. Job Prep Test offers a comprehensive package to prepare you for the SPT Situational Judgement Test. Take advantage!
- Be picky about the practice Situational Judgement Tests you take. Because Situational Judgement Tests are widely used now, you can find plenty of free ones online. However, the SPT Situational Judgement Test contains scenarios that mimic those trainee scientists encounter. Not all practice tests are suitable for you!
- Prepare a comfortable working environment. Candidates now take the STP Situational Judgement Test virtually on their own computers. You should have a distraction-free and quiet working environment. You will need a comfortable chair, and your computer should be connected to the ethernet.
- Understand the format inside out. Candidates who have taken lots of practice tests know what to expect and will have more confidence when they complete the Situational Judgement Test. Familiarising yourself with the format allows you to rely on your intuition when you share what you would do in each scenario.
How Long Does The NHS Scientist Training Programme Aptitude Test Take?
The NHS STP Situational Judgement Test itself takes 50 minutes to complete:
However, candidates should set aside 90 minutes for the entire process. That is because you need to sign a non-disclosure agreement before taking the test. You also complete a short survey after you answer all the questions.
How Challenging Is The NHS Scientist Training Programme Aptitude Test?
The NHS STP Situational Judgement Test replaces more extensive aptitude testing. It is designed to streamline the process and is very challenging.
Successful candidates take the time to read the scenario carefully. Reading the passage twice gives you the best chance of processing all the information.
Remember that the NHS is a large employer and bureaucratic institution as you answer your questions. Successful applicants keep in mind that the NHS values leadership qualities and proactive workers as well as team players who put patients first.
What Happens If You Fail The NHS Scientist Training Programme Aptitude Test?
Failing the STP Situational Judgement Test disqualifies you from the programme. You may have the chance to reapply next year, but it is possible that the NHS will hold your previous failure against you.
That is precisely why it is so vital to prepare. Job Prep Test’s NHS STP aptitude test practice will help you out if you want to do the best you can.
What Happens If You Pass The NHS STP Aptitude Test?
The NHS will invite you to participate in a face-to-face interview process if you score well on the STP Situational Judgement Test. This is the last stage of the hiring process, and two panelists will usually conduct this interview.
Can you demonstrate that you are passionate about a career in public service, as well as qualified and experienced enough for the position? Then you may be offered a place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme.
Successful candidates have the chance to complete a part-time Master’s degree while they gain valuable work experience. Those who graduate from the NHS Scientist Training Programme can look forward to a rewarding career.
They can apply for positions in the private sector after completing the programme or remain within the public sector. If you dream of being fast-tracked to a senior position as a scientist within the NHS, the STP is for you.
A Final Word
The NHS Scientist Training Programme is the graduate scheme for talented scientists who look forward to taking on senior clinical roles in the future.
How can you get a spot on the programme? You have already worked hard to earn the degree that qualifies you to apply, and you may have valuable research experience under your belt.
However, to get a spot, you must show the NHS that you have sound judgement and share the organisation’s values. Acing the STP Situational Judgement Test is a key part of that process.
Why not start preparing for the STP Situational Judgement Test now? Job Test Prep offers a package that familiarises you with the format and gives you an intimate understanding of the right answers.
The NHS Scientist Training Programme is so competitive that you won’t get in unless you know exactly what the NHS is looking for — and now is the right time to start preparing.