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How to become a portering supervisor

You can become a portering supervisor by applying for a vacancy on our recruitment website.

What is a portering supervisor?

Portering supervisors coordinate portering activities in healthcare settings. They make sure that:

  • patients are transferred safely between wards and hospital departments
  • medicines are taken from the pharmacy to the emergency department or a hospital ward
  • biological samples are collected from wards and sent to laboratories
  • patient notes are collected and delivered
  • medical equipment, materials, and furniture are moved across the hospital site to where they're needed
  • clean linen is stored and delivered to wards and other hospital departments when requested
  • clinical waste and hazardous materials are transferred safely for disposal

The portering services team must be appropriately staffed at all times to maintain agreed service levels. Portering managers organise rotas, prioritise incoming tasks, and assign porters to achieve this.

Starting your career as a portering supervisor

Education and training

To become a portering supervisor, you'll need a good standard of education. There are no specific entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Administration and IT

A working knowledge of portering services in a hospital site is essential.

Workplacements 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.

Get to know the role

You'll maintain the smooth operation of the portering services team. This includes allocating staff and resources when needed and providing an efficient level of service to all departments in the hospital.

Tasks include: 

  • receive portering requests and responding appropriately
  • assign tasks based on priority
  • organise rotas, making sure that there are enough staff on duty to cover the required work

You'll also have administrative duties related to a supervisory role. These include making sure quality and service levels are maintained, arranging staff training, authorising leave, and conducting performance reviews.

You'll need these skills:

  • caring
  • communicating
  • organisation
  • attention to detail
  • leadership
  • problem-solving

Poertering supervisors work with: 

  • porters
  • healthcare support workers
  • ward clerks
  • domestic supervisors
  • security staff
  • nurses

You could work in: 

  • hospitals
  • national treatment centres
  • health centres

Learning and development

You will be encouraged to develop your career in NHSScotland and will be given training such as:

  • specific skills training
  • health and wellbeing
  • COSHH – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • mandatory training programmes
  • health and safety
  • risk management

During your career, you may be encouraged to study for additional qualifications, including:

  • SVQ Facilities Management at SCQF Level 7
  • IOSH Health & Safety awarded by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

With appropriate qualifications and experience, you can apply for more senior roles, such as a portering manager or support services manager. 

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