Recruiting for values

Anyone applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services will be asked to demonstrate the values of the NHS Constitution and how they would apply in their everyday work.

People applying for university courses funded by the NHS will be also be tested on their values.

Nurse cadet smiling

Developed with patients, members of the public and staff, the NHS Constitution was first published in 2009 to establish an important set of principles and values for the NHS in England.

Rights, pledges and responsibilities

It sets out the rights to which patients, the public and staff are entitled, the pledges the NHS is committed to achieving, and the responsibilities that members of the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively.

Staff and future staff

The most important part of the NHS Constitution for staff is its six values that all staff – everyone from porters, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics and gardeners to secretaries, consultants, healthcare scientists and phlebotomists – are expected to demonstrate:

Test your values with a new e-tool

Health Education England has launched a free online tool to champion the values and behaviours of the NHS. The tool will show you some videos of staff working in various situations and ask you questions about how you would have handled the same situation. You'll then get an assessment report to show you how you've done. 

Try out the tool for yourself

Patients and people using NHS services

For patients and the people who use NHS services, the NHS Constitution reiterates that:


The NHS Constitution was refreshed in July 2015 to reflect current policy and legislation and to make it a more practical document. It makes clear that the NHS Constitution applies to any employee and contractor who commissions (procures services on behalf of patients) or provides NHS services, whether or not they are employed by an NHS organisation.

Further information

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