Recruitment process

Selecting the correct person for each role is important to our patients, staff, and members of the public who rely on the services of the NHS. In NHSScotland, the recruitment process is made up of 4 key stages. Together, they help us to review your application and make decisions about your overall suitability for the advertised role.

All vacancies are advertised on our recruitment website.

1. Your application

To apply for a vacancy, you need to complete an online application form. It includes a set of questions to guarantee consistency and fairness for everyone. We'll get specific answers to the questions we've asked, which we may not otherwise get from your CV.

The job description, person specification and the questions on the application form will tell you exactly what information we're looking for. This makes it easy for you to match your skills, experience, and qualifications to the role.

Top 5 tips for completing your NHSScotland job application

Once you've found a vacancy you'd like to apply for, follow these simple tips to guide you through the application process:

  1. Read the job application pack - this includes the job description and person specification. What skills and experience are required? What examples can you provide to demonstrate them?
  2. Take time to prepare your information - if you have a CV, refer to it for important dates, examples of work experience, your skills, abilities and qualifications.
  3. Follow the instructions on the application form - complete all the required information.
  4. Don't rush - you can easily make mistakes, forget important information and give the impression that you're not really interested in the job.
  5. Make a note of the closing date - When does the application need to be submitted? Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete the form. The recruiting Health Board may close the vacancy early if there is a high number of applications, so please complete your application as soon as you can. Applications received after the closing date cannot be accepted.

2. Application shortlisting

As soon as the vacancy closing date has passed, applications are shortlisted by a recruitment panel. They review applications against the criteria for the post, outlined in the job description and person specification. All applications are reviewed using the same criteria.

3. Interviews

If you have already applied for a job in NHSScotland and you've been invited to an interview, congratulations! Now you need to start thinking about preparing for your interview, the kind of questions you could be asked and how to impress the interviewers on the day. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, interviews are done virtually, using Microsoft Teams.

At an NHSScotland interview, it is essential to show:

  • why you want to work for NHSScotland
  • why a role in healthcare is suitable for you
  • why you are interested in the job
  • what kind of person you are
  • the skills and strengths you already have
  • the skills you are developing

For some roles, it may be appropriate for you to complete a practical activity, such as a short assessment or to deliver a presentation. If you need to do this, full details will be provided when you are invited to interview.

4. After your interview

Once all interviews have been completed, the person selected as the preferred candidate will receive a provisional offer of employment, subject to satisfactory pre-employment checks.

Verification of identity

Before you start work with NHSScotland, we must confirm that your identity is genuine, relates to a real person and is being used legally. This check is carried out on every potential new employee, regardless of nationality.

Occupational health

Pre-employment medical screening is required. You will receive a paper form to complete, which must be signed and returned as instructed.


We need to check at least 3 years of previous employment or training history. We also require a minimum of 2 references, including your current or most recent manager. We will also you to provide contact details for each person so that references can be obtained. Please make sure your referees have agreed to provide a reference.

Confirmation of your right to work in the UK

You must confirm you are eligible to work in the UK.

Qualifications and professional registration

Original relevant educational certificates and verification of registration are required.

Background checks

Depending on the nature of the post, we will carry out a criminal record check. You may also need to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

It is important to return the occupational health questionnaire and reference information as quickly as possible to avoid any delays in your employment with NHSScotland.

If any of these pre-employment checks provide an unsatisfactory result, the provisional offer of employment may be deferred or withdrawn.