Entry requirements (knowledge and library services)

This page has information on the skills and entry requirements needed for knowledge and library services within the NHS.  

It covers what you need to be a library assistant, librarian or knowledge and library services manager.

Library assistants

You will enjoy working with people and be a great communicator as you will be helping users both in-person and online. You will have excellent IT skills as you will be using a range of websites, databases, and creating documents. You will need to have at least five GCSEs, including English and Maths. Previous working or volunteer experience in a library may be beneficial but is not essential.

Some library assistant posts offer the opportunity to complete a Level 3 Library and Information Apprenticeship. 


You will need to be an outgoing person as you will be working directly with healthcare staff to promote the use of high-quality information to inform decision making. You will need to be confident in finding high-quality information online using a variety of websites and databases. Librarians usually need a postgraduate library or information science qualification. It is also beneficial to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and to be able to demonstrate your commitment to continuing professional development. 

Knowledge and library services manager

You will be skilled at championing activities and initiatives that encourage staff to share knowledge, learning, and experience across the organisation. You will be an inspirational leader who shapes the vision and direction of the knowledge and library service to support your users and the organisation's needs. You will need a postgraduate qualification in library or information science or an equivalent qualification or experience. You will need to have some experience of managing staff and projects. You may be required to be a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

  • Good communication and team working skills are needed for all roles within knowledge and library services. Many roles will also require good presentation, IT and organisational skills.

    You’ll also need to have strong influencing skills, show political awareness and sensitivity as health is a complex system. You’ll need to be enthusiastic, be able to work under pressure and on your own initiative. Certain roles will need specific skills and you should look at job descriptions on NHS Jobs when applying.

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