Service leavers and veterans

If you’re an armed forces service leaver or veteran, we’re here to help you find career opportunities in NHSScotland. You already have the knowledge and skills we’re looking for.

Our careers information may also be useful to the spouses, partners, and families of service leavers, veterans, and UK service personnel.

Message from Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive of NHSScotland

I am extremely grateful for the contribution that colleagues from the armed forces have provided to our Covid response. Working across the vaccination programme and providing additional Covid testing capability has helped support our NHS and protect our communities. This work has shone a light on the range of skills, experience, and adaptability that our military colleagues possess. It has also highlighted the shared value of a commitment to public service that is held throughout the NHS.

As we re-build our NHS, to ensure a first-class public health service to serve the people of Scotland, we want to make sure that the talented individuals from our veteran community can find a new role in NHSScotland. I am therefore pleased to announce that a new section on the NHSScotland Careers website has now been developed, dedicated to the veteran community and their families, which highlights the career opportunities NHSScotland can provide. In addition to featuring job profiles, it showcases case studies of veterans who have successfully transitioned from a service career to working in the NHS, as well as providing information on transferable skills.

I would like to encourage veterans to explore the career options available in NHSScotland. The skills, abilities, and experience that you have to offer is valued by us and I hope that we can provide you with new and exciting opportunities.

Working in the NHS

NHSScotland works to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of 5.5 million people here in Scotland. We provide safe and effective healthcare that respects the needs of everyone we care for.

Our workforce is key to delivering modern and sustainable health services. We have over 167,000 employees working across the health service, in more than 350 different careers.

The NHS is recruiting now. We’re looking for people like you, who can bring their strengths, skills and experience to a career in the health service.

NHSScotland structure

There are 14 regional Health Boards that cover the whole of Scotland. They are supported by 8 national Boards that provide specialist and national services.

Learn more about the structure of the NHS in Scotland.

Explore NHSScotland careers

There are lots of different clinical and non-clinical job roles in the NHS. Find out more by exploring our careers.

Each job profile will give you information about the role, including:

  • pathways to start your career
  • what the role involves
  • who you’ll work with
  • where you’ll work
  • career development opportunities

Armed forces qualifications

You may be unsure about how your qualifications and experience will be recognised in the NHS. When you’re applying for a role, we may ask for specific qualifications or equivalent experience. 

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) can help you understand your qualifications. You can find out more about the framework and the level of your qualifications on the SCQF Support for Veterans web page.

When searching for vacancies on our recruitment website, you’ll see that each job description includes minimum criteria. Knowing the SCQF level of your qualifications will help when you apply. Your qualifications and experience could also be suited to jobs you’ve not thought about before.

Transferable skills

Transferable skills are the skills you can use in lots of different jobs. You’ll develop them throughout your life, in education, in work and in your social life.

Think about the skills you can bring to a role in the NHS by watching our transferable skills video.

Recruitment process

You may never have experienced recruitment outside of the armed forces. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make a successful application.

How to apply

To view NHSScotland vacancies, search our recruitment website. If you want to know more about how to apply for a job in the NHS, watch our video about the application process.


If you’ve been invited to interview, it’s important to prepare. Think about the questions you might be asked. It’s essential to tell us why you want to work in the NHS and how your skills, knowledge and experience are a good match for the role.

Due to lockdown restrictions, we’re conducting interviews online. To help you prepare for this type of interview, read our top 10 tips for your online interview with NHSScotland.

Learn more about the NHSScotland recruitment process.

Case study

Kari served in the Royal Engineers, a corps of the British army, for 14 years, before transitioning to civilian life. She’s also an armed forces spouse.

Now, Kari works as an NHSScotland project manager, working to make her Health Board a more veteran-friendly service provider and employer.

At first, when Kari was leaving the army, she discounted the NHS because she only thought of clinical roles. Kari decided that she didn’t have the time or money to retrain. 

However, when Kari saw the advert for the project management role, she knew it would be ideal. She didn’t need to do any additional training and was able to use her knowledge of:

  • the armed forces and the veteran community
  • project management principles
  • teaching and training

Kari’s now excited to take advantage of all the training and development opportunities that NHSScotland provides. Once the project is complete, she hopes to continue working in project management roles with NHSScotland.

Find out more about Kari’s career pathway and her advice for service leavers and veterans. Read Kari's career story.

View more career stories.

Other sources of information and support

If you’re looking for additional help and support, visit: