Entry requirements, skills and interests (strategic management)

You'll usually need to have experience of a range of areas in order to enter a role in strategic management

Entry requirements

There are a variety of entry routes into a career in general management. The following are general entry requirements. As a manager with a strategic responsibility, you’ll usually need experience and/or knowledge of a range of areas in management. This might include communications, risk management, general administration, planning, public and patient involvement, clinical governance and purchasing.

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

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 management, health analysis or policy and strategy management. The scheme prepares trainees for very senior managerial roles within the NHS. 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 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 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 – for example, you may need experience of providing health or social care services or working in the public service sector.

Find out more about the training you’ll receive for a career in strategic management

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