Human resources staff

Human resources (HR) staff deal with all issues relating to the employment of NHS staff, both clinical and non-clinical.

This page has information on the role of HR staff in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

As a member of HR staff, you

You also advise and support managers in dealing with, for example

HR staff work at different levels so job titles vary, for example

Find out more about HR managers

Where will I work?

HR staff are based in human resource departments at hospitals and in headquarters buildings.

Who will I work with?

You'll work closely with admin staff and others in the wider healthcare team. You may also work with clinical and non-clinical managers (eg those managing estates and facilities, finance and operational areas). You would not usually have contact with patients.

Entry requirements 

There are no set entry requirements for HR staff. Entry requirements vary depending on what level you join the NHS.

To enter as an HR trainee, you usually need at least two GCSEs including English and maths, or equivalent. Employers may ask for some customer service or office experience. Apprenticeships are often available in admin roles within HR departments.

You could also become a member of NHS HR staff by studying for a qualification in HR and then applying to join an NHS trust. Relevant qualifications include

Degree courses are three or four years full time. To get onto a degree course you usually need:

or alternative qualifications, including

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

Personal characteristics and skills needed

HR staff need to be

You'll also need

Training and development 

When you start the job, you will be given the training you need including an introduction to the department and its systems and procedures. You will be expected to keep your knowledge and skills up to date. Your employer may offer you the chance to go on short courses on particular topics such as employment law, negotiating or managing absence.

You could take further qualifications such as those offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

HR staff can become members of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). With experience and qualifications, they can apply for chartered status. As well as training, CIPD offers conferences, online communities and events where members can update their skills and knowledge and network with others in the field.

Other roles that may interest you

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers