Entry requirements, skills and interests (performance and quality management)

Entry requirements and skills needed will vary, depending on the role.

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 administrative level and work your way up to management, supported by in-house and external training schemes. For most junior positions, you will need four or five 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 or three A-levels or equivalent vocational qualifications you may be able to start at a higher administrative grade, leading to a supervisory role and then into management. Internal and external training schemes, for example in communications skills or budget management, will assist your progress and enable you to apply your academic skills to work situations. Previous work experience can be an advantage. There are sometimes higher apprenticeships available

As a graduate

You can join an NHS trust 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 appropriate 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.

Find out more about the training you’ll receive for a career in performance and quality management management

  • For a career in performance and quality management, you’ll need a variety of skills and qualities, typically including:

    • a knowledge of quality and performance measures and processes
    • good communication skills
    • leadership skills
    • organisational skills
    • a willingness to work with others and respect their views
    • 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.

    The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.

    Find out more about the NHS Constitution

  • For specific posts, there may be particular skills or qualifications that are needed in addition to those listed above. Examples include:

    Clinical risk manager

    You’d need to be able to communicate on all levels, work independently and function as part of a team as well as have strong organisational skills and the ability to prioritise and plan workloads to meet deadlines. This particular vacancy would require applicants to possess a clinical professional qualification and have a minimum of two years in a senior clinical/managerial role.

    Head of performance management

    You’d typically need to be a strategic thinker, have expert knowledge and understanding of the NHS national performance management agenda, have considerable experience of identifying and interpreting national policy/performance indicator guidance, have excellent planning, organisation and prioritisation skills, the ability to analyse and interpret data and be educated to post-graduate degree level or equivalent experience.

    Quality assurance manager

    For this type of role, you need excellent communication skills, knowledge of the education and training requirements for healthcare professionals and ideally have experience of quality assurance processes within higher education.

    When applying for job vacancies, always check the person specification for details of skills, experience and qualifications required.

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