NHS Graduate Application ProcessPrepare Now!
How to Prepare for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – A Complete Guide

How to Prepare for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – A Complete Guide

All products and services featured are independently selected by WikiJob. When you register or purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission.

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme offers a challenging yet rewarding path to prepare you for a senior management role in healthcare. It's a highly competitive programme that can lead to a fulfilling career in the National Health Service.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the entire process, from entry requirements to succeeding in the application, and tips for preparing for the scheme.

NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme Entry Requirements

Aspiring candidates of the 2023 NHS Graduate Scheme should be well-versed in the essential entry requirements.

The scheme welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, offering a range of opportunities for those interested in shaping the future of healthcare management.

Prepare for the NHS Graduate Application Process with JobTestPrep

Here's an in-depth look at the various entry requirements and management scheme specialisations available:

Degree Requirements for NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme

Applicants should hold a minimum of a 2:2 degree in any subject to be eligible for the NHS Management Scheme.

However, the scheme is open to considering degree-equivalent qualifications, like a diploma in healthcare or management.

Degree Subject Requirements

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme doesn't impose specific requirements regarding the subject of the degree.

However, tailoring your academic background to match your chosen specialisation can demonstrate your commitment and suitability for the programme and enhance your chances of successful integration.

Age and Nationality Requirements

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is open to individuals of various age groups and nationalities, reflecting the NHS's commitment to an inclusive and diverse workforce.

This inclusive approach encourages applicants from different backgrounds to bring their unique perspectives and experiences to healthcare management.

Other Possible Requirements or Limits

While the core entry requirements primarily revolve around the academic qualifications and personal background of the applicants, certain specialisations within the scheme may have additional requirements.

For example, candidates interested in the NHS finance graduate scheme specialisation might benefit from having a background or qualification in finance or accounting.

Similarly, those aiming for roles in health informatics will find prior experience or knowledge in the field advantageous.

Specialisations Within the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme

The NHS Management Scheme offers a range of specialised paths, allowing participants to hone their expertise in specific areas of healthcare management.

These include:

  • General Management
  • Finance
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Policy & Strategy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Analysis

Understanding the NHS Graduate Scheme Application Process

Navigating the application process for the esteemed NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is the first step in a career in healthcare management.

Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the application process:

1. Fill Out the Online Application Form

The first step involves completing the online application form.

Ensure that all required fields are accurately filled, highlighting your relevant qualifications, experiences and aspirations within the healthcare sector.

Be mindful of any specific deadlines provided by the NHS Graduate Scheme.

2. Do the Online Assessment (Stage 1 and Stage 2)

Following the submission of your application, you will proceed to the online assessment stages.

Stage 1 involves preliminary cognitive and personality assessments, providing the assessors with an understanding of your abilities and characteristics.

Stage 2 will delve deeper into situational judgement tests, verbal reasoning and numerical assessments, evaluating your decision-making skills within healthcare management scenarios and academic ability.

3. Participate in the Virtual Assessment Centre (VAC)

Successful completion of the online assessment stages will lead to an invitation to the Virtual Assessment Centre (VAC).

This phase entails interactive exercises, role-playing scenarios and group discussions, simulating real-life managerial challenges within the healthcare setting.

4. Wait for Allocation

Following the VAC, the hiring managers will carefully review and assess all candidates' performances.

5. Receive Your Offer and Take Part in Onboarding

If successful, you will receive an offer to join the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, marking the commencement of an exciting and enriching journey.

Practising NHS Grad Scheme Online Tests

To succeed in the application process, it's essential to be well-prepared, especially for online tests. Here are a few tips and examples of the tests you might encounter:

Situational Judgement Test


You are overseeing a team responsible for implementing a new policy in a hospital department. One of your team members has expressed concerns about the practicality of the policy and its impact on the department's workflow. The team member suggests modifications that could potentially improve the policy's implementation. How do you handle this situation?


a) Acknowledge the team member's concerns and collaborate to find a middle ground that addresses both the policy requirements and the team member's suggestions.
b) Disregard the team member's concerns and instruct them to follow the policy strictly to ensure its timely implementation.
c) Discuss the team member's concerns privately and discourage them from voicing dissenting opinions that could undermine the policy's implementation.
d) Report the team member's objections to senior management and request their intervention to address the concerns immediately.


You are managing a project that involves the introduction of a new digital health records system in a healthcare facility. Some staff members are resistant to the change due to their limited technical skills and concerns about potential disruptions in their work processes. How do you address the staff's concerns while ensuring a successful implementation of the digital system?


a) Organise training sessions and workshops to familiarise staff with the new digital system and its functionalities, emphasising its benefits and offering continuous support during the transition period.
b) Ignore the staff's apprehensions and implement the digital system without considering the impact on the employees' comfort and workflow.
c) Reprimand the staff members for their resistance to change and emphasise the importance of adapting to new technologies to enhance the efficiency of the healthcare facility.
d) Delay the implementation of the digital system to accommodate the staff members' concerns, even if it means postponing the benefits associated with the new system.

There are no set right or wrong answers in situational judgement tests because the responses are often subjective.

Instead, the focus is on evaluating the candidate's judgement, problem-solving skills, ethical decision-making and understanding of appropriate workplace conduct.

The aim is to assess how well the candidate aligns with the values, culture and expectations of the organisation.

Numerical Reasoning Test

This test evaluates your ability to work with numerical data and is crucial for NHS graduate jobs related to finance and health analysis.

Here are a couple of examples:

Example Question

In a hospital's budget, the annual expenditure for medical equipment accounts for 40% of the total budget, while staff salaries make up 30% of the budget. If the remaining £300,000 is allocated for maintenance and miscellaneous expenses, what is the total budget of the hospital?

a) £1,000,000
b) £1,500,000
c) £1,300,000
d) £750,000

Example Question

The number of patients admitted to a hospital increased by 15% from January to February and then decreased by 10% from February to March. If the hospital admitted 400 patients in January, how many patients were admitted in March?

a) 430
b) 420
c) 414
d) 400

How to Prepare for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – A Complete Guide
How to Prepare for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme – A Complete Guide

If you need to prepare for a number of different employment tests and want to outsmart the competition, choose a Premium Membership from JobTestPrep.

You will get access to three PrepPacks of your choice, from a database that covers all the major test providers and employers and tailored profession packs.

Get a Premium Package Now

Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test measures your ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information. It's essential for NHS graduate jobs involving policy and strategy.

Here are a couple of examples:

Example Question

Read the following paragraph and answer the question below.

"The implementation of new healthcare policies resulted in a significant reduction in waiting times for critical surgeries. The streamlined procedures and enhanced coordination among hospital departments contributed to this positive development."

According to the passage, what was the impact of the new healthcare policies on critical surgeries?

a) Increased waiting times
b) Improved efficiency
c) Reduced coordination
d) No significant impact

Example Question

Read the following sentence and choose the word that best completes the sentence.

"The recent study emphasized the need for a more _________ approach to patient care, integrating both physical and mental health treatments."

a) Comprehensive
b) Specialized
c) Fragmented
d) Superficial

How to Succeed Applying for the NHS Management Scheme

Securing a position within the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme requires planning and an understanding of the application process. To increase your chances of success, it's important to be well-prepared and use the resources available.

Here are essential tips for navigating the application process effectively:

Step 1. Use NHS Information and Conduct Thorough Research

Engage with the NHS website, social media channels and other relevant resources to gain valuable insights into the application process and the healthcare sector's intricacies.

Accessing information on healthcare leadership models and organisational frameworks can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the NHS's mission, values and operational strategies, enabling you to align your application with their vision.

Step 2. Maintain Confidence and Composure

The 2023 NHS Graduate Scheme is a demanding programme, emphasising the importance of remaining composed even when faced with complex challenges and high-pressure situations.

Develop coping mechanisms and practise techniques that promote calm and rational decision-making.

Step 3. Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Utilising online tests and assessments can help you gain valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses.

Embrace these evaluations as opportunities to identify your core competencies and assess your performance objectively.

Use the results to refine your approach, focusing on enhancing your skill set and addressing any identified weaknesses.

Step 4. Enhance Interpersonal Skills

Emphasise the significance of cultivating positive relationships and fostering a collaborative work environment.

Showcase your ability to engage with diverse teams, demonstrate empathy and navigate challenging situations diplomatically.

Highlight instances where your interpersonal skills have contributed to successful collaborations and efficient problem-solving.

Step 5. Demonstrate Passion and Commitment

Articulate your understanding of the NHS's core values, challenges and future initiatives, emphasising your alignment with its mission.

Provide concrete examples that illustrate your commitment to healthcare management and your dedication to making a meaningful impact within the industry.

The NHS Grad Scheme: Preparing to Start Your Programme

Upon securing a place in the NHS Grad Scheme, it's crucial to prepare for the commencement of your programme.

Familiarising yourself with the essential details can contribute to a smooth transition into the scheme.

Here are some tips to consider when preparing for the programme:

Know the Deadlines and Course Schedule

Becoming familiar with the course timeline, including the commencement date, duration and any crucial deadlines, is paramount.

Understanding the course structure and anticipated milestones can help you plan your schedule effectively and ensure the timely completion of assignments and assessments.

Familiarise Yourself With Your Trust

Once accepted, you’ll be placed with an NHS trust. Being part of a trust requires a thorough understanding of its operations, values and mission.

Before you start, invest time in researching and familiarising yourself with the trust's organisational structure, key initiatives and any recent developments.

Developing insights into the trust's strategic priorities and operational framework can enable you to demonstrate a proactive and dedicated approach.

Connect With Past and Present Trainees

Engaging with individuals who have previously undergone the training or are currently part of the programme can offer valuable insights and guidance.

Seek opportunities to interact with alumni, gather tips and garner advice on navigating the NHS training scheme effectively.

Leveraging the experiences of past and present trainees can provide you with a deeper understanding of the programme and tips on handling its challenges.

Additionally, exploring trainee narratives and testimonials on the NHS website can offer a unique perspective on the programme's impact and the diverse career pathways it can offer.

Prioritise Rest and Relaxation

Preparing for the intensive nature of the training scheme is important. Prioritise adequate rest and relaxation before commencing the scheme.

Creating a balanced and sustainable lifestyle that accommodates sufficient downtime and promotes overall well-being is crucial.

Engage in relaxing activities, allowing you to approach the programme with a refreshed and focused mindset.

Frequently Asked Questions

NHS Grad Scheme pay varies by role, location and experience. Generally, salaries are competitive, in line with NHS pay scales and include benefits. The suggested starting salary is £27,701, with trainees earning around £44,000 in their first NHS role after scheme completion. However, this varies by location, role and experience.

The NHS Graduate Management Scheme is highly competitive, with numerous applicants applying for limited positions. For the September 2019 start, 9,000 people made applications, and just 262 were given trainee positions. Candidates should showcase their unique skills, experiences and passion for healthcare management to stand out in the selection process.

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme typically lasts for two years (two and a half years if you're specialising in finance).

The acceptance rate for the NHS Graduate Management Scheme is relatively low due to the high volume of applications received compared to the limited number of available positions. For the September 2019 intake, there were 9,000 applications, and just 262 were given positions as trainees.

The specific requirements for the lowest GPA for NHS may vary based on individual circumstances and the type of role being applied for within the organization. While the NHS does not have a strict minimum GPA requirement, a competitive academic record is generally favoured during the selection process.

The GPA required for the NHS can vary depending on the specific role, the type of programme and the level of competition. While the NHS doesn't have a strict GPA requirement, candidates with a strong academic background and a demonstrated commitment to healthcare management are typically preferred.

To become an NHS manager, securing a place on the NHS Graduate Management Scheme is the best start. Individuals should possess relevant education, experience and skills. A relevant healthcare management degree, practical experience in the healthcare sector and strong leadership and organisational abilities pave the way for NHS manager careers.

Final Thoughts

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is a prestigious programme that opens doors to a fulfilling career in healthcare management.

By understanding the entry requirements, excelling in the application process and preparing for the scheme, you can embark on this rewarding journey.

Remember to stay confident, passionate and adaptable, as these qualities are essential for success in the healthcare sector.

Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other Wikijob articles:

Or explore the Application Advice / Internships and Graduate Schemes sections.