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Guidance for job applications


Before we get started, a few things we want to share with you upfront about our recruitment process:

Our adverts do sometimes close early, even where there’s a published deadline, so if you are keen, please apply as soon as possible.

We like it if you can provide email addresses for all references – this can speed up our employment checking process.

We tend to send communications about your application either via email or text message.  There are a few things we need to mention about this;

  • The security of emails is not guaranteed.  We have never experienced a problem sending documents to applicants via email but it’s something we have to tell you incase you’re not happy to proceed in this way
  • After you apply, please check your email address and account regularly
  • If you have a Hotmail or Yahoo! email address, please check your ‘junk mail’ folders – sometimes our messages get filtered into them.

In some circumstances, internal secondments will be considered for fixed term posts.  If you’re in an NHS organisation, and want to apply on this basis, please talk to your line manager and the recruiting manager to see if this is possible.

Our vacancies go through a Clearing House arrangement where priority is given to individuals whose employment in a comparable role has been formally placed ‘at risk’, either by our own Trust or an NHS England organisation.  This isn’t to put you off, as ‘redeployments’ only account for a very small proportion of our vacancy fill rate, but it is something we like to be open about.

If you need any reasonable adjustments to the application/ recruitment process under the Equality Act (e.g. an application form in a different format), or would like advice in regard to the recruitment process, please telephone the Trust Workforce and Recruitment Team on 01493 452674.

Thank you for your interest in working at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

Here you will find further information about our recruitment and selection process, and the things that you should be aware of as an applicant to our organisation.  The intention is not to provide exhaustive information about the Trust and all of its services, as we hope you will be able to find out more about these elsewhere on this website.

You can find out more about our privacy policy and how it relates to job applications under the 'Job applicants' paragraph here.

Whatever role you’re considering applying for, no matter where it is based, the thing which is really important to us when it comes to recruitment is who you are. We are looking for someone who shares our values, is motivated by them, and who will live them day-in and day-out while working for us.

Our core Trust values support the commitment shared by all of our staff.  They form an essential requirement of every position with our Trust, and you can expect that, as part of the selection process, our managers will be assessing the fit between your values and those of the organisation.  The assessment doesn’t need you to be able to cite from the Trust’s documentation, but it does need you to be prepared to share your views and personal experiences in order that we can make a considered decision about whether working for us is the right thing, not only for us, but for you as well.

We ask you to keep this in mind as you engage with our recruitment process. 

We have also provided some more general information about our process below.

Frequently asked questions about the recruitment process


How can I tell if the job is right for me?

Look carefully at the job description, person specification and the advert for the position.  Ask yourself why you are interested in the job and whether you meet the job requirements.  If you would like further information about the job beyond that detailed in the advert, please contact the recruiting manager on the number listed on the job advert.



What will my salary be?

Salary scales (pay bands) are shown on our adverts in each instance.  If you have not previously been employed in the NHS, the default position is that you will start on the lowest point of the salary scale for the position.  Exceptions to this are limited and would need to be agreed with the recruiting manager on the basis of your transferable knowledge, skills and experience.

If you already work in the NHS and are appointed to a position at a higher pay band, you will be paid at the lowest point of your new salary scale which provides an increase.  For moves within the NHS to an equivalent or lower pay band, your salary will be the same as in your current employment (provided that pay point forms part of the scale associated with the job you have applied for), so long as your current role and the job applied for are in the same area of work.



How long will I have to fill in the application form?

In order for your application to be considered, your completed form must be submitted before the specified closing date.  Our policy is not to accept any applications after this date unless a position is re-advertised.

Please be aware that for certain roles, which receive a high level of response, applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, with an arbitary cut-off being imposed when a target number of applications has been reached.


Making an application

What should I do if I have an IT-related problem with the application form?

IT-related questions can be answered by TRAC – please refer to TRAC’s FAQs page

Can I send my CV?

Unfortunately, we don’t accept CVs instead of a completed application form.  We use application forms because we can be sure of getting all the information we need to assess your suitability for the role, so it is important that you complete it fully.


Completing the application form

Do you have any tips on completing my application form?

Our main advice is that you do not copy the same application for a series of jobs and that you make sure your application relates to the requirements of the job description and the person specification. When you think you have finished, read through your application form carefully and check that each section is fully completed.  We recommend that you ask at least one other person to look at your completed application before you submit it.

Why do you collect ‘monitoring information’ through the application form?

Our Workforce team collate data about candidates’ protected characteristics for the purposes of review.  This is to allow us to ensure the effectiveness of our recruitment and selection process and help us to identify any issues that could prevent us from building a workforce that is representative of our local community.  It is not seen at any stage of the process by the recruiting manager or any member of the shortlisting/ interview panel.

Is there a word limit on the application?

Yes, 1500 words are allowed for ‘supporting information’.  Additional word limits apply to other sections of the form and are shown next to or below the relevant field.

Who can I use as a referee?

You are asked on the application form to provide the names of people who, as referees, are able to confirm your last three years of employment/ study.  The referees would ideally be your line manager or tutor from each period of employment/ study, although we will also accept employment references from your Workforce department or senior management if it is not possible to obtain the line manager’s reference.

If you have not been employed before, have recently entered the country, or the company you worked for has closed down, we would seek confirmation of your circumstances, along with a reference from a non-employer with standing in your community (e.g. your doctor, solicitor, teacher, bank manager).

Under no circumstances will references from relatives or partners be accepted.

In each case, please provide addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses for your referees, ensuring their accuracy, as any difficulty in obtaining references may prevent us from continuing with your application to the point of appointment.  It is also important for you to notify all of your referees that you have provided their details to us, and that we may be contacting them for a reference, for the same reason.


Selection and feedback

How will you decide which candidates to interview?

We select people based on values, skills, knowledge and experience.  The person specification in the job description will tell you the essential and desirable criteria for the job you are applying for.  We review people’s applications against this specification to see whether they might be able to do the job.  Our decision is not influenced by any protected characteristics (age, disability [including long-term conditions], gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity).  The personal information you provide is not shared with the recruiting manager until they have completed their shortlist, and your monitoring information will not be seen by them at any stage of the process.

How will I know if my application has been successful or not?

Everyone who applies for one of our vacancies will be notified of the outcome of their application, whether shortlisted for interview or not.

Can you clarify why my application was not selected?

We will endeavour to offer feedback on your application wherever possible.  If you wish to receive feedback, please contact the recruiting manager for the position (the name listed on the advert) with your application reference number.  It may not be possible to respond to all requests quickly; where this does take time, we apologise and thank you for your patience.


Coming to interview

If my application is shortlisted, what will I be told about the interview?

We will tell you the date, time of interview, where it is being held and let you know if you will be required to undertake any additional tests or assessments. 

You may find it helpful to look at our webpage here for information about getting to our hospital.

Will I need to bring anything with me to interview?

As a minimum, you will need to bring three items of personal identification with you to enable us to validate your identity and, in the event that you are appointed to the position, undertake employment checks in connection with you application.  We will set out everything that you need to bring to interview in your invitation.  Please ensure you bring everything that is required, as any omissions may prevent us from progressing your application.

Can I claim interview expenses?

With regret the Trust is not able to reimburse candidate expenses in connection with interviews, except for medical vacancies.


Following interview

What will happen after I attend interview?

After interview, the panel will make their selection decision.  All candidates will be notified of the outcome from interview. Candidates not selected for appointment are invited to seek feedback on their interview.  Any copies of their personal identification documents will be securely destroyed by the recruiting manager.

Candidates selected for appointment will be provided with a written offer of employment and have their employment checks progressed.  All offers of employment are conditional on the satisfactory completion of six checks: identity, right to work in the UK, qualification and/or professional registration, references and/or employment history, medical and – only where applicable – DBS.  Once employment checks have been completed, successful candidates will be provided with a start date and issued with a contract of employment.

How will my employment checks be completed?

Your documents (identification, right to work in the UK and qualifications and/or professional registration) should be completed at interview. If there is anything outstanding from interview, we will let you know so you can arrange to bring or send original documents to our Workforce/Recruitment Team.  When we send you a written offer, we will send you a link to our medical questionnaire, self-declaration form and, if applicable, a DBS check application which we’d ask you to complete and submit for processing as quickly as possible.  These checks will be completed when we receive notification from the Trust occupational health team and DBS (see below).  Your references will be requested at the earliest stage possible following the offer of appointment and will be considered complete when we have confirmation of your previous three years’ employment/study.

Can I re-apply if my application is unsuccessful?

You are welcome to re-apply, but you should be aware that deparments are able to decline applications from people for up to three months after a person has been deemed unsuitable for appointment following interview.  More generally, if you’ve been unsuccessful at interview, we’d strongly encourage you to take up feedback from the recruiting manger to understand the reasons why, and reflect on whether the vacancy that you applied for was right for you.

What if I was ‘pipped’ to the post by a candidate with a higher score?

If you’ve had a good assessment/interview but missed out only because of the strength of the applicant field then, with your agreement, we may hold your application on file for up to six months following interview with the intention of contacting you should another vacancy arise within the same department.


A note about probationary periods

Unless you are coming to work for us as a doctor, when you start a new job with the Trust, you will be required to satisfactorily complete a six-month probationary period.  This has been designed to support your induction into the organisation and provide you with the appropriate support and development to undertake your role.  Please be assured this will not alter the nature of the contract that you will be issued (e.g. where a vacancy is permanent, a permanent contract will still be issued to you).


Disability Confident and Mindful Employer

The Trust uses the ‘Disability Confident’ and ‘Mindful Employer’ symbols to signify its commitment to meeting the needs of employees and applicants with a disability or mental health condition.  We encourage applications from people who are disabled or have a mental health condition, offer adjustments to make our application process accessible, and undertake that we won’t make any assumptions about a person’s ability to fulfill a role.  As a Disability Confident Employer, we will also ensure that all applicants who consider themselves to have a disability, and wish to have their application considered under a Guaranteed Interview Scheme, will be interviewed if they have met the minimum criteria for a post.

We continue to work with partners, including the Access to Work Programme, to provide practical advice and support to help identify and remove disabling barriers in the workplace.


If you require a Tier 2 Visa

We welcome applications from job seekers who require Tier 2 sponsorship to work in the UK, and consider these alongside all other applications on an equal basis through the selection process. However please be aware that the organisation is unable to guarantee Certificates of Sponsorship for successful candidates. 

Non-EEA candidates may not be appointed to a post if a suitably qualified, experienced and skilled EU/EEA candidate is available to take up the post, as the employing body is unlikely in these circumstances to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test. 

For more information about the Resident Labour Market requirement, please visit the UK Government Visa & Immigration Service website at


Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as Criminal Records Check)

In accordance with UK legislation, DBS checks with the Trust are mandatory for any role which has access to patients as part of its normal duties.

We are committed to ensuring that our recruitment and selection decisions are based on the merits of individual candidates.

We seek to consistently provide a sensitive, considered and proportionate response to any application made by an individual with a criminal record.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar an individual from working in the Trust.  Whether they can be employed will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the individual and the offences.

In addition, we would like you to be aware of the following:

  • We actively promote equality or opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills, and potential, and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records.  We select all candidates for interview based on values, skills, qualifications and experience.
  •  A criminal records check (disclosure) with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.  For those positions where a disclosure is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
  • Where a disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants who receive a conditional offer of appointment to provide details of their criminal record as soon as possible following receipt of the offer.  The Trust’s Employment Declaration Guidance is enclosed with conditional offer letters, and you are asked to read this and disclose anything which warrants declaration by completing the form and returning this to our Workforce/Recruitment team.
  • In making a declaration, applicants should make sure they disclose offences.  Some old and minor convictions are protected from declaration under criminal record ‘filtering rules’.
  • Unless the nature of the position allows us to ask questions about your entire criminal record (with exception of offences that are subject to filtering), we will only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • We ensure that all those who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.  We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation in relation to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabiliation of Offenders Act 1974.
  • If a discussion about a criminal records disclosure or any other matter which has been self-declared is required, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that mght be relevant to the position.  Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
  • We undertake to discuss any matters revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing any conditional offer of employment.

Candidates seeking appointment to a job share arrangement

If you apply for a full-time role on a job-share basis, there are some implications of your job share partner leaving in future which you need to be aware of. 

This is the process that we would follow in those circumstances:

  • You would be offered the opportunity to increase your contracted hours to undertake the remaining hours
  • If you were unable to increase your hours, the remaining vacant hours would be advertised
  • If a suitable Job Share could not be recruited, the Trust would seek to identify suitable alternative work for you in accordance with our Redeployment Policy
  • In the event that suitable alternative work could not be identified, your contract would be brought to an end

If this were to occur, you would receive support through this process from your line manager and the Trust’s Workforce department, and we would do everything possible to avoid the final eventuality.


A note about the Trust’s Uniform Policy and Dress Code

The Trust operates a Uniform Policy and Dress Code which is available on request – some useful excerpts from the policy are included below for applicants’ reference:

  • Nose, eyebrow, lip, cheek and tongue studs or rings must not be worn whilst on duty
  • Visible tattoos that could cause offence, either to patients, work colleagues or members of the public, must be covered whilst at work
  • It is a requirement of the Trust’s Infection Prevention Policy that all staff must be bare below the elbow when undertaking any clinical duties with patients to facilitate effective decontamination and exposure of all aspects and areas of hands to the preparation being used
  • In respect of the stipulation relating to bare below the elbow, the Department of Health have consulted at senior level with all religious groups.  All are in full agreement that if a dress code is required for the job, to prevent microbiological related infections, it is permissible to comply with the DoH Guidelines (2007;2010).