Human resources staff


Human resources (HR) staff support clinical and business operations throughout NHSScotland. This includes the recruitment, welfare and development of clinical and non-clinical staff.

HR staff are normally based in human resource departments at hospitals and in the headquarters buildings of health boards and public bodies. Senior roles include HR advisers and HR managers, who are usually supported by HR administrators and HR assistants.

The Role(s)

Working as an HR adviser, you could be involved in:

  • promoting career development and providing staff training
  • introducing new employment policies and providing advice on existing ones, such as equality or health and safety
  • advertising vacancies on external job boards and staff intranet
  • carrying out job interviews
  • keeping and updating employee records
  • supporting managers through disciplinary procedures

As an HR manager, you would help to:

  • develop new policies and procedures
  • advise on employment law
  • negotiate staff payment and benefits
  • monitor staff welfare and provide additional services where needed, such as counselling

Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include:

  • excellent communication skills
  • reliability and discretion
  • good time management and organizational skills
  • good team working skills
  • good IT skills

Useful abilities include

  • the ability to remain calm in difficult of challenging situations
  • the ability to build good working relationships with people from different backgrounds, lifestyles and experiences
  • the ability to work on own initiative
  • the ability to prioritise tasks and workload

Entry Requirements

HR administrators and HR assistants are likely to need a good standard of English and Maths. Some office experience and basic IT skills are useful skills to have for this role.

The specific entry requirements will depend on the Agenda for Change (AfC) band (2, 3 or 4) for the job. The qualifications asked for may also vary depending on the recruiting NHSScotland board. You are advised to contact each individual board to find out its specific entry requirements.

To apply for a job as an HR assistant at band 5, you will need undergraduate degree or an HND in subjects like human resource management. Entry requirements for these courses vary depending on the university, college or provider. To apply for an undergraduate programme you must use the UCAS application process.

HR managers at band 7 must also be fully qualified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and have experience of:

  • providing complex HR advice to both managers and staff
  • carrying out investigations
  • holding disciplinary hearings
  • performance / absence management
  • change management

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

Modern Apprenticeships in Business and Administration at SCQF Level 5 or SCQF Level 6 are frameworks for people interested in working in business and administration, and customer service. Find out more about these Modern Apprenticeships on the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) website:

Healthcare Support (Non-clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is another framework for people interested in working in a healthcare setting in a non-clinical support role. For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at:

Contact your local Board to find out if these Modern Apprenticeships are available in your area.

Learning and Development

You will be encouraged to develop your career in NHSScotland and you will be given the training you need for the job including:

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • health and safety
  • risk management

During your career, you may have the opportunity to study for additional qualifications, such as:

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) provides courses for human resources professionals, which are recognised across the UK. Qualifications awarded by CIPD are essential to career progression in HR. These include:

  • Foundation qualifications
    • CIPD Level 3 Award in Human Resources Essentials (QCF)
    • CIPD Level 3 Certificate in Human Resources Practice (QCF)
    • CIPD Level 3 Diploma in Human Resources Practice (QCF)
  • Intermediate qualifications
    • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Development
    • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management
    • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Development
    • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Award in Human Resources
  • Advanced qualifications
    • CIPD Level 7 Advanced Certificate in Human Resources
    • CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management
    • CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Development
    • CIPD Level 7 Advanced Award in Human Resources

Career pathways

Gaining new qualifications will help your career prospects, leading to more senior roles with a greater level of responsibility.

HR advisers normally join NHSScotland at band 5. With further experience and training, it may be to progress to become a supervisor or a manager in an HR department at band 6 or 7. You could also move into a senior management roles such as an HR Business Manager at band 8.

Professional Bodies

Human resources staff will be able to join the following organisation:

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development in the UK. Find out more on the CIPD website.

http://www.cipd.co.uk