What are NHSScotland’s core values?

If you’re applying for a role in the NHS, you should share our core values. During the job application process, you’ll be asked about these values and how you’ve demonstrated them.

Our vision at NHSScotland is that we’ll respond to the needs of the people we care for. We’ll adapt to new, improved ways of working and we’ll work with colleagues and partner organisations. We’ll continue to modernise and embrace technology. We’ll do all of this in a way that lives up to our core values.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through each of the core values. We’ll also explain how you can show that you’ve got experience of living these values.

Care and compassion

When we talk about care and compassion, we mean completing your work in a way that shows care for what you do. For example, trying your best to help others, whether they’re colleagues, patients or people from our partner organisations.

We want to know that you’ll be able to show care and compassion to everyone you’re in contact with. When you’re thinking about examples of showing care and compassion, think about a time when you’ve:

  • volunteered to help a person or organisation
  • done extra work in school or during an extracurricular activity
  • taken a lot of care with a piece of work or activity 

Dignity and respect 

Practicing dignity and respect means making sure that you interact with everyone in a professional manner. Keep the feelings, wishes and rights of others in mind.

When you’re thinking about how you can show examples of dignity and respect, think of a time when you’ve:

  • found someone struggling to complete a task and helped them
  • dealt with someone in a professional manner
  • helped elevate the voice of someone from an underrepresented group 

Openness, honesty and responsibility

The value of openness, honesty, and responsibility is the commitment to be truthful, transparent, ethical, and accountable in work.

When you’re considering how to show examples where you’ve been open, honest and responsible, think of a time when you’ve:

  • taken charge of a task on behalf of a group
  • been responsible for managing a budget
  • worked to find something out and shared it with your team
  • taken responsibility for something when you didn’t succeed 

Quality and teamwork 

A commitment to quality means delivering quality work and encouraging others to maintain the quality of their work. We want to know that you can contribute to a culture of continuous improvement.

When you’re thinking about how you’ve delivered quality in the past, consider a time when you’ve:

  • made changes to a process to improve the outcome
  • maintained your work’s quality despite challenging circumstances
  • highlighted a way your team could change to improve their work

Teamwork is about making sure your group can work to the best of their ability, nurturing and developing professionalism so that you can all do excellent work.

To give an example of teamwork, think about a time when you:

  • worked in a team to achieve a certain outcome
  • created and supported a team to successfully deliver a piece of work

Explaining your examples

Once you think of an example for each one of the core values, you should try to write them down using the STAR method. STAR stands for:

  • situation
  • task
  • action
  • result

To begin your example, give some context for what you’re about to discuss. What’s your role in this situation? What led you to this situation?

For "task", explain how your situation led you to an idea that you needed to carry out. Did you see an opportunity to show extra care to someone? Did you think that organising your team in a certain way would help your situation? Maybe you found an opportunity to improve the quality of a piece of work.

For "action", tell us in detail what parts of the task you carried out.

For "result", explain the outcome of your actions. You might also want to reflect a bit on the result of your actions. If the action didn’t go well, think about what you would do differently if you had the chance to do the task again. If your action went perfectly, consider why that might be and reflect on how you would use those skills in the role you’re applying for.


When applying for a job in NHSScotland, make sure you know our core values.

You should be able to tell us examples of how you’ve lived these values in the past.

If you’re able to give STAR format examples of each of the values, we’ll know that you can carry out these values in your new NHSScotland role.

Good luck!