"I’ve had many great opportunities working across the NHS, whether it’s in mental health services, primary care services or teaching hospitals, and have done so in different parts of the country as well. I think one of the great opportunities that the NHS represents is a chance to work in different settings and different places."

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England

Lightbulb icon

Leadership

Put simply, our scheme is about creating the NHS chief executives and directors of tomorrow. Providing the experiences, training and opportunities talented and ambitious people need to ultimately lead our unique organisation.

Be flexible

Advancement can be far and fast. Leadership responsibility starts early and we have some chief executives who reached that level not much more than a decade after starting the scheme. To get the very most out of your career, you’ll need to be bright, bold, open-minded and flexible – from the get-go.

Comprehensive experience

What does this mean? Essentially, the best career opportunities go to people with the most in-depth and wide-ranging experience. Being prepared to move around NHS organisations is the only way to achieve this – in everything from mental health trusts to primary care trusts, ambulance services to arms-length bodies such as NHS England.

Different perspectives

But moving around geographically matters too. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare in England. For example, how people experience healthcare in the rural southwest will be very different to how it’s used in a big city like Manchester or Newcastle. Having exposure to the NHS at different levels, around different cultures and looked at from different viewpoints, will give your career a brilliant trajectory.

Humility goes a long way

We’re a values-driven organisation, so how you lead matters too. We look for people who are humble, passionate about learning, inclusive and team-spirited. We want people who’ll be respectful, empathetic leaders who’ll proactively consider the way they engage with different colleagues and stakeholders.