Domestic Services Staff

In NHSScotland, Domestic Services staff maintain clean and hygienic hospitals, health centres and office accommodation.

As a Domestic Assistant, Supervisor or Manager, you might work in both clinical and non-clinical areas. Your role is vital in making sure all areas are well maintained, clean and safe.

Domestic Assistant

Domestic Assistants often have a lot of contact with patients, depending on where they work. Your tasks would normally include:

  • damp dusting
  • using vacuum cleaners and other floor cleaning equipment
  • cleaning toilets and bathroom areas
  • cleaning kitchen areas
  • cleaning other clinical areas and non-clinical areas

Domestic Supervisor

Working as a Domestic Supervisor, you would oversee the work of a team of Domestic Assistants. To ensure cleaning is carried out where and when it is required, you would assist in the production of shift rotas and allocate work. Supervisors also have patient contact.

Domestic Manager

As a Domestic Manager, you would be responsible for planning and organising the cleaning operations for a healthcare facility. You may have other management tasks such as:

  • recruiting and training staff
  • making sure all cleaning activities meets quality standards
  • managing absence and discipline
  • controlling budgets

Useful skills include:

  • a good level of physical fitness
  • good cleaning and housekeeping skills
  • excellent attention to detail
  • teamwork skills
  • organisation skills
  • good communication skills

Useful abilities include:

  • the ability to work unsupervised
  • the ability to take responsibility for their own work
  • the ability to follow instructions and procedures

To apply for a job as a Domestic Assistant, you are likely to need a good standard of general education. It is also useful to have some experience of cleaning or hotel work either from paid employment or voluntary work.

To join NHSScotland as a Domestic Supervisor, you may need the following qualifications:

The specific entry requirements will depend on the role. The qualifications asked for may also vary depending on the NHSScotland Board. You are advised to contact individual Boards to find out about specific entry requirements.

To apply for a job as a Domestic Manager, you will need an undergraduate degree or an HND in a subject such as Hospitality Management or Facilities Management.

Entry requirements for these courses vary depending on the university, college or provider. Specific entry requirements, including other accepted qualifications, are provided on each university website. To apply for an undergraduate programme you must use the UCAS application process.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

Dependent on the area of work and patient type, you may also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

MA Frameworks for people interested in working in domestic services include:

  • Hospitality at SCQF Level 5
  • Facilities Services at SCQF Level 5
  • Facilities Management at SCQF Level 7 

Find out more about these Modern Apprenticeships on the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) website:

The MA in Healthcare Support (Non-clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is another framework for people interested in working in a healthcare setting in a non-clinical support role. For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at:

You will be encouraged to develop your career in NHSScotland and you will be given the training you need for the job including:

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • specific skills training
  • infection prevention and control
  • COSHH – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • mandatory training programes
  • health and safety
  • risk management
  • the domestic services workbook provided by Health Facilities Scotland (HFS)

During your career, you may have the opportunity to study for additional qualifications such as:

Career pathways

Gaining new qualifications will help your career prospects, leading to more senior roles with a greater level of responsibility.

With further experience and qualifications, you could progress from Domestic Assistant to Housekeeper or Domestic Supervisor.

Other senior management roles include Domestic Manager and Facilities Manager.

Learn more about the NHSScotland Estates and Facilities career pathways.

Domestic services staff can join the following organisations:

British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc)

The BICScis is an independent and professional body for people working in the cleaning industry. It aims to ‘raise the status and standards of the cleaning industry, through education and accredited training.' Find out more on the BICSc website.

Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS)

REHIS is an awarding body for qualifications in Food Safety, Food and Health and Occupational Health and Safety. Find out more on the REHIS website.

British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM)

The BIFM is the professional body, which represents facilities management organisations and practitioners in the UK. Find out more on the BIFM website.

The Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (AHCP)

The AHCP represents a range of healthcare staff across Laundry / Linen, Portering, Transport, Telecommunications and others. Find out more on the AHCP website.