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How to become a project officer

To become a project officer in the NHS, apply for vacancies on our recruitment website. You could also do a Modern Apprenticeship.

What is a project officer?

Project officers work in teams with project managers, programme managers and administrators to support and coordinate project activities. This includes scheduling tasks, negotiating with suppliers, and creating progress reports.

Starting your career as a project officer

Choosing subjects at school

To become a project officer, you'll need a good standard of education. Useful subjects include:

  • Administration and IT
  • Business Management
  • English
  • Maths

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Education and training pathway

Modern Apprenticeship

Some project officers start their careers as Modern Apprentices. With a Modern Apprenticeship, you'll get the training and experience you'll need for the role and an industry-recognised qualification.

Modern Apprenticeship opportunities:

  • Business and Administration
  • Management

Find out more about becoming an apprentice.

College courses

If you choose to go to college, you could do an SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 5. You'll learn some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role.

You can apply for vacancies on our recruitment website.

Course search

Search for college courses on My World of Work.

Get to know the role

As a project officer, you’ll work with the project manager to plan, monitor and evaluate the project against objectives. You’ll also provide administrative support and meet with stakeholders, suppliers, and other external groups.

Tasks include: 

  • prepare, update, publish and distribute project documentation
  • use data, information and knowledge to improve, inform and support the delivery of the project
  • work with the project manager to identify and manage issues and risks
  • schedule tasks, manage resources and monitor quality to make sure the project is delivered on time
  • respond to enquiries from stakeholders, suppliers, other departments, and external agencies
  • deliver presentations and facilitate workshops

You'll need these skills:

  • communicating
  • sense making
  • collaborating
  • initiative
  • adapting

As a project officer, you could work with: 

  • project managers
  • programme managers
  • product managers
  • service delivery managers
  • administrative assistants

Project officers work in an office, or remotely.

Learning and development

You will be encouraged to develop your career in the NHS. As well as learning specific to your role, you'll need to complete mandatory training, including:

  • health and safety
  • occupational health
  • fire safety
  • counter-fraud
  • moving and handling
  • safe information handling

Your NHS employer will confirm their mandatory training requirements during your induction.

Career progression

You may also have the chance to study for additional qualifications, including:

  • Agile Project Management qualification
  • PRINCE 2 Foundation qualification
  • HNC Business at SCQF level 7

Gaining new qualifications will help you when applying for more senior roles, such as project manager or programme manager.

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