Recruitment events

Nurse by equipment, smiling

We organise assessment centres for Band 5 Staff Nurse and Band 2 Healthcare Assistant posts, in Medicine, Surgery and specialities such as paediatrics, intensive care, midwifery and theatres. Here’s some more information about what to expect at an assessment centre and how to prepare.

What is an Assessment Centre?

The assessment centre lasts approximately 3 ½ hours and involves:

Skills assessment which assesses literacy and measures compassion and appraises values and behaviours in a clinical setting

Numeracy assessment

An interview lasting approximately 30 minutes*

*Please note that the minimum benchmark must be achieved in all assessments, in order for any candidate to progress to an interview (which will be held on the same day).

This is seen as a fair and accurate way of selecting staff, as it provides various ways for you to show us your full potential and helps us to assess that you can do what you say you can.

How do I book?

If you have applied for a post and have been shortlisted, we will send you an email invitation via NHS Jobs to attend our assessment centre. The email gives you full instructions on what to do and where to go.

A morning assessment centre runs from 8.45am – 12.30pm   (Healthcare Assistants).

An afternoon assessment centre runs from 1pm – 4pm   (Band 5 Staff Nurses).

The assessment centre places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. If you do not book a place, we will assume you have withdrawn your interest in the post.

You can only book your place by confirming on NHS Jobs as instructed in your email or by contacting the resourcing team directly. If you need any adjustments or adaptations, you must let us know when you confirm your attendance.

Where are they held?

The assessment centre is held at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. Your invitation email will provide details regarding the specific venue. Please refer to the Getting here page of this website for directions on how to get here.

Plan your journey to arrive on time - you will not be allowed to enter if you arrive late, as the assessments will have already started.

What to bring?

Please bring:

  • Photo identification such as passport or driving licence (the original).  Without the original documents you will not be able to participate, so please have them ready
  • Other identification such as bank statement , birth certificate, utility bill
  • Your original university certificates where applicable
  • Proof of completion of the Care Certificate training (HCAs only)
  • Proof of your professional registration (e.g. NMC PIN) where applicable
  • Pens
  • Applicants can also bring a calculator for use during their Numeracy assessment.

How to prepare?

You will have read the job description and person specification when you applied online for the post. The criteria (e.g. skills and behaviours) in those documents are what you will be assessed against during the assessment centre; therefore, you may find it helpful to review them and consider how you have demonstrated the skills and behaviours outlined. This may have been in the workplace or outside of work.

When at the centre:

  • Be yourself – do not try to act, as it will show
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Do not try to second guess what you are being assessed on
  • Assume we are assessing you at all times
  • Follow the instructions you are given for each task and complete all of them.  Listen carefully, and ask if you’re unsure about anything
  • Join in discussions and ask questions, but don’t dominate
  • Keep up to date with current issues. You can do this by reading current journals and our website
  • Practice skills you think you might be tested on, such as clinical skills and drug calculations
  • Re-read your application form or CV before attending
  • Get some rest the day before
  • Don’t worry if you feel you have performed badly in one of the assessments; concentrate on showing your potential in the others.

The results

You will be told the outcome of your assessment and interview on the day. We will also offer verbal feedback regarding your performance.

If you are successful, you will receive an offer within 48 hours, via email from HR.

If you are unsuccessful, please do not apply to attend another assessment centre for three months.  This gives you time to reflect on the process and your feedback and to gain the skills you did not demonstrate on the previous occasion.

Your offer of employment

If you are successful, you will be told on the day and the interview panel will let you know which department you are being appointed to. Assuming you wish to take the role, you will then receive a formal offer of employment via email. You will need to respond to this email within 48 hours to accept, then the resourcing team will begin your pre-employment checks.

Your offer email will confirm your start date, subject to pre-employment checks. If we do not receive all pre-employment checks prior to this date, the Trust reserves the right to withdraw the offer or delay your stat date.