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Manager talking to people

In management you could be responsible for a whole service division of staff and a multi-million pound budget in an acute hospital, a community service or a department providing services such as recruitment.

Roles will vary depending on the NHS organisation but will certainly involve:

  • people, resource and budget management
  • working alongside clinical colleagues
  • working with external organisations/stakeholders

Management roles provide a wide spectrum of choice; for example:

  • Assistant Directorate Manager
  • Directorate Manager
  • General Manager
  • Nurse, Therapy, Healthcare Science, etc Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • HR Manager

NHS Wales consists of seven Health Boards, three Trusts and two all Wales organisations which provide pan-Wales services. Management roles will exist in all of these organisations at different levels and there are various entry routes on to the management structure; you could work your way up from an administrative role, via a degree or with relevant management experience from another sector.

Entry requirements

There are a variety of entry routes into a career in management. The following are general entry requirements. For specific entry requirements check the person specification for individual job vacancies.

With moderate to high grade GCSEs and/or work experience

You can join the NHS at an administrative level and work your way up to into management, supported by in-house and external training schemes. For most junior positions, you will need four or five 5 GCSEs at Grades A-C or equivalent. Employers may also consider applicants with fewer formal qualifications if they can demonstrate they have the right skills, for example, previous clerical experience. There are sometimes opportunities to enter through an apprenticeship in a relevant area of administration.

With A levels/equivalent

If you have two-three A-levels or equivalent vocational qualifications you may be able to start at a higher administrative grade and then into management. Internal and external training schemes will assist your progress and enable you to apply your academic skills to work situations. Previous work experience can be an advantage.

As a graduate

If you have a degree or equivalent vocational qualifications you can apply for junior management posts or apply for entry on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme  in which you can specialise in general, human resource, informatics, finance or policy and strategy management.

As well as the fast-track graduate scheme, depending on your degree and your employment experience, you may be able to apply directly for junior management vacancies. Alternatively, you can join the NHS or other health-related organisation in an administrative role, gain experience of staff supervision and move on into management with appropriate training and support.

If you already have management experience

We welcome applications from people who have already built up management experience in the private sector or in other public or voluntary organisations. You can often join at a level corresponding to your skills and expertise. Some managers are recruited directly for specific positions.

Skills, qualities and interests needed

In addition to any qualifications and skills for specific posts in management, you’ll need a variety of skills and qualities, typically including:

  • Effective business acumen
  • The ability to get things done on time and to the required standard
  • Good communication skills
  • Budgeting and financial planning skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Organisational skills
  • A willingness to work with others and respect their views
  • Confidence with numbers
  • Confidence with information technology
  • Negotiating skills
  • The ability to challenge the way things are and find better alternatives
  • Honesty and fairness in dealing with other people
  • A commitment to the ideals of quality and fairness in delivering healthcare

If you’re applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you’ll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you’re applying for a university course funded by the NHS. To find out more visit our NHS Wales and Jobs pages.

Useful links:

NHS Wales graduate management scheme

This scheme will provide you with a first step into NHS Wales management - a unique career opportunity to make a real difference.