Entry Requirements

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Entry Requirements

2:2 degree minimum in any subject 
This applies to graduates and to NHS in-service staff 


A postgraduate qualification (MBA, Masters, PhD)


Health or management related degree level equivalent qualifications 

Examples of equivalent qualifications

NVQ Level 5 in Management

Diploma in Management Studies (DMS)

Diploma in Nursing, Midwifery or Health Visiting (Dip HE Nursing) etc.

Diploma from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Diploma in Speech & Language Therapy

Diploma from the College of Occupational Therapy (DipCOT)

Diploma from the College of Radiographers (DCR)

Diploma in Social Work (DSW) or the Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW)

Qualifications we do not accept

Certificate in Management Studies

DipHE (Diploma of Higher Education) in any subject other than that listed above

ONC/OND (Ordinary National Certificate/Diploma)

HNC/HND (Higher National Certificate/Diploma)

CGLI/C&G (City & Guilds)

ODA/ODP Certificate or Diploma (Operating Department Assistant/Operating Department Practice)

Our Scheme has a significant academic study element.  Candidates must have a strong aptitude for assimilating, analysing and explaining complex concepts, data and statistics.

Department of Health and Social Care Health Policy Fast Track Scheme requirements
2.1 degree minimum, in any subject.

Permission to work in the UK

All candidates require legal permission to work in the UK for the entire duration of the GMTS.  It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right visa.  

GMTS Trainees will be in full-time employment for the duration of the Scheme. This is not a student programme.

The NHS uses public funds for recruitment and assessment of candidates, so we ask you to consider this and the permission to work in the UK requirements before you apply for a place on the Scheme.  If you do not have your right to work in place, your application/offer will be withdrawn.

Do you have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the Scheme?

To take up an offer of employment with the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS), you need to show us that you do. You also need to notify us immediately if there are any changes to your immigration status after you’ve applied.

Any offer made for GMTS is subject to pre-employment checks which include your immigration status. If you do not pass all these checks, you will not be permitted to commence the Scheme.

Skilled Worker Visa (previously Tier 2) – Sponsorship to work in the UK

We will accept applications from candidates requiring a Skilled Worker Visa who are currently in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa (excluding a Tier 4 dependant). All applicants requiring a sponsorship must be under the age of 26 on the date of application to GMTS and hold a valid Tier 4 Student Visa.

Please note we do not sponsor candidates under the “New Entrant” category.   

Please be aware that we cannot progress an application for a Skilled Worker Visa for candidates who are not in the UK.

More information about  the Skilled Worker Visa requirements can be found here.

The guidance and rules about working in the UK can change with a short notice, therefore, we recommend you review the UK government guidance regularly.

Please note that all EU Nationals who do not have settlement status will require a Skilled Worker Visa to work in the UK.

Other information

If you are offered a place on the Scheme and pass the pre-employment checks within the required timeline, you will undertake at least two years’ work experience, professional leadership training and academic qualifications. 

We don’t require any specific work experience to be eligible for our Graduate Management Training Scheme. However, any tangible examples of work experience (paid or unpaid) you can gain will be helpful at the interview stage. For example, you could volunteer at your local hospital. This would be a great way to get valuable experience and gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the NHS.

The NHS Leadership Academy is committed to equality of opportunity for all candidates applying to secure a position as a Trainee on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and is committed to employment practices, policies and procedures which ensure that no trainee, or potential trainee, receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, religion or belief, age, trade union membership, disability, offending background, domestic circumstances, social and employment status, HIV status, gender reassignment, political affiliation or any other personal characteristic. Diversity will be viewed positively and, in recognising that everyone is different, the unique contribution that each individual’s experience, knowledge and skills can make is valued equally.

Eligibility FAQs

Am I eligible to apply for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS)?

You need 2:2 degree or above, or equivalent in any subject and the right to work in the UK for the full duration of Scheme.  

Is there an age limit to apply to the GMTS?

No, there is no age limit when applying to the GMTS unless you require sponsorship to work in the UK.  

If you require sponsorship, you must be under the age of 26 on the date of application as per the guidance of the UK government.

Are clinical / current in-service NHS employees eligible for the GMTS?


I currently work for the NHS and want to join the GMTS. Do I need a degree, or will you recognise an equivalent qualification?

The entry requirements and assessment process are the same for all applicants. 

Am I guaranteed a job in the NHS when I complete the GMTS?

During the scheme you’ll be employed on a fixed-term contract of 24 or 30 months depending on your specialism.  

Towards the end of the GMTS, we’ll work with you to help you secure your first management post in the NHS, and this includes NHS job search advice from the GMTS support network.

There’s a wide range of posts to choose from across NHS organisations. Your experiences on the GMTS will help you decide what type of job you want to pursue after leaving the Scheme.   

I am not a graduate; can I still apply for the GMTS?

No. The GMTS scheme is open to UK undergraduates with a 2:2 degree or higher in any subject or listed equivalent. 

Non-graduates can apply for other NHS roles.     

I applied for the 2020 / 2021 GMTS intake, but I was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

Yes.  However, candidates wait 12 months between applications to address any feedback about the skills and experience.     

I can’t find the answer to my question here. Can I contact you?

Yes. Please email [email protected]  

Alert: Applications open in September 2022