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The NHS, launched in 1948, is the UK's health service and the world's largest publicly funded healthcare system.

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About The NHS

The main focus of the NHS is providing effective results for the patients who use its service. However, the NHS is also continually developing new technologies, such as robotic dispensing systems, to meet the needs of patients and increase effectiveness of the service. The NHS is going through an unprecedented period of change. The UK population is living longer, its services are needed as much as ever. On top of that the NHS has to achieve efficiency savings over the next few years, as directed by the government.

Your Career

What to expect

Is the scheme right for me?

To find out if you have the right attributes and skills to be a success on the NHS Scheme please use it's match me tool.


Your orientation period is designed as an introduction to how the NHS operates and how various components contribute to the delivery of care. Through hands on experience you will learn how health, social care and other related services operate on a day to day basis and will work alongside porters, nurses, doctors, managers, physiotherapists, social workers, midwives, directors, ambulance staff and a variety of other people to understand exactly how patients are treated within the NHS and related organisations. This will provide you with invaluable experience and knowledge for your future leadership role in the NHS.


Professional qualifications

After a comprehensive induction and orientation period, trainees begin their placements and commence their professional learning which is provided by well-renowned and respected university & education providers. The scheme offers a fantastic package of education which is fully funded and attended during day or block-release from placements and through distance learning.

All trainees, regardless of specialism, complete The Mary Seacole Programme. This is a fully accredited programme leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Leadership. For more information on this qualification please click here.

In addition to developing your leadership skills the NHS also provide you with a formal qualification in your chosen specialism. The 2014 intake studied the following qualifications:


CIPFA (professional qualification)

General Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership for Healthcare

Health Informatics

Postgraduate Diploma in Health Informatics


Postgraduate Diploma (CIPD) in Human Resources

As well as formal education, trainees take part in Action Learning Sets and Experiential Learning. So as well as challenging placements you'll be completing a challenging and varied education and development programme. For each intake it carefully reviews the qualifications the NHS offers.

What does the future hold?

If you work hard and are determined, a career in the NHS can also be financially rewarding. As a point of reference, the top 10% of earners from the 2003/4 intake are earning £66,000 and £96,000 and are likely to be working in Head, Assistant Director or Director roles (or equivalent).

What The NHS looks for

The NHS has the tools, training and techniques essential to shaping the leaders of the future. If you're a graduate committed to the NHS's vision, with passion, resilience and determination, here's where you can really make a difference.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

You are required to have at least a 2:2 degree in any subject. Some degree equivalents are also acceptable.
A postgraduate qualification (MBA, Masters, PhD)
Degree level equivalent qualifications that are health or management related.

There are also a few key requirements for HR and Health Informatics Specialisms:

  • Finance: The NHS cannot accept applications from individuals who are already qualified or have completed the first stage (e.g. the 'Professional Certificate', 'Professional Diploma' or 'Strategic' papers) of the professional accountancy qualification CIPFA - you will not be eligible to join the Finance specialism. All Finance trainees have to take this qualification as part of the scheme and the educational component has been designed specifically for the NHS. You can however apply to join another specialism if you wish.
  • HR: Applications cannot be accepted from individuals who are already qualified as graduate members of CIPD.
  • Health Informatics: Applications cannot be accepted from individuals who are already qualified or have a post graduate qualification in health informatics.

Previous Experience

No specific work experience is required for the Graduate Management Training Scheme. Any work (paid or unpaid) experience you can gain, however, will be helpful for example providing you with tangible examples to use at the interview stage. The Scheme has a significant academic study element, so all graduate trainees will need a strong aptitude for assimilating, analysing and explaining complex concepts, data and statistics.


The NHS is proud of its highly diverse workforce. Healthcare is provided to a diverse community and it is crucial to this delivery that the NHS can match the community with a diverse workforce. For this reason the schemes, and indeed all NHS jobs, are open to people from all backgrounds.