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Career Development

Guide to working for the NHS in a HR role

The Human Resources Department is an essential part of any organisation but perhaps even more essential for the NHS. Being the largest organisation in the country and employing over 1.7 million employees the NHS is constantly relying on their HR Team to manage their employees. There are a number of opportunities on offer within the HR Department and range from HR Administrator/ Officer to HR Advisor and up to HR Manager and Director level roles, each with their own responsibilities and duties.


In the role of a HR Professional you will normally be responsible for the following duties:

  • Managing performance, absences and disciplinary procedures
  • Recruitment
  • Keeping all staff records up to date
  • Keeping up to date on and enforcing all employment laws
  • Working with Unions and professional trade bodies
  • Introducing new employment policies


Common skills associated with a role in HR include:

  • Very good communication skills
  • Very good negotiation skills
  • Good conflict resolution skills
  • Keen interest in working with people
  • Capable of dealing with challenging situations which can involve very strong emotions


Qualifications and entry requirements:

Whilst there are no standard qualifications required to join the NHS as an HR Trainee, people looking to work as a Human Resources Professional can be expected to have the following qualifications and experience for an entry level position:

  • 5 x GCSE’s (Grades A-C) including Maths and English
  • 2-3 A Levels (Grades A-C)
  • BTEC, HND or HNC
  • NVQ
  • Customer Service Experience
  • Office Experience

It is worth noting that each NHS Trust has its own specific requirements for each new hire and it is important that you read the job description thoroughly. Apprenticeships within the HR Department are very common.

As you progress through your career as an HR Professional there are additional qualifications that you can take which include:

  • A degree in Human Resource Management
  • Diploma in Human Resources Practices
  • Level 3 Foundation Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Personal Development


Is a HR role in the NHS right for you?

Do you have a good idea what it takes to work in the HR Department for an NHS Trust after reading this article? Are you a strong communicator with strong negotiation and conflict resolution skills with a keen interest in employment law? If so then this job might be perfect for you.


You can check all of our latest HR vacancies and apply today for a job in an NHS HR Department. Alternatively, take a look at the rest of our Blogs here with plenty of other resources like how to create the perfect CV for an NHS job or top NHS interview hints and tips.

Good luck with your job search!

Written by Mark Cherry, Operations Manager at GoToJobBoard


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