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Your guide to our core values

If you’re applying for any of our roles at NHSScotland, you should know and share our core values.

What are NHSScotland’s core values?

Our vision at NHSScotland is to respond to the needs of the people we care for. We’ll adapt to new, improved ways of working with colleagues and partner organisations and continue to modernise and embrace technology. We will 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 our core values. We’ll also explain how you can show that you have experience living these values when applying for a job in the NHS or attending an interview.

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 

Think about an example from your own experiences.

Dignity and respect 

Practising dignity and respect means making sure that you interact with everyone in a professional manner. 

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
  • helped someone in a professional manner
  • helped elevate the voice of someone from an underrepresented group 

Think about a time when you kept the feelings, wishes and rights of others in mind.

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 

How would you demonstrate our values of openness, honesty, and responsibility?

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 quality in your work 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. It's essential to nurture and develop 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 an agreed outcome
  • created and supported a team to successfully deliver a piece of work

Do you have examples from your own experience that demonstrate our values of quality and teamwork?

Preparing and explaining your examples

When completing your job application or attending an interview, you may be asked about our values. You'll find it useful to prepare some good examples of how you've demonstrated them in the past.

STAR method

Once you've thought of an example for each one of the core values,  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 was your role? What led you to the situation?


For "task", explain how your situation led you to an idea you needed to carry out. Did you see an opportunity to show extra care to someone? Did organising your team in a certain way help your situation? You may have 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 should also reflect 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 at 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, it will show us you can adopt these values in your new NHS role.



NHSScotland Careers

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NHS Education for Scotland