Our approach to recruitment

We pride ourselves on providing a seamless recruitment process for anyone who is looking to join the trust, no matter what the job role, to become part of our successful team. Our process is designed to ensure a quick and easy way to find, apply and, if successful, be offered a job and join us here at the trust. If you have a disability and require any adjustments or support at any stage in the recruitment process, please let us know.

Our recruitment process

Online application: All of our jobs are advertised on our websites, NHS Jobs and other online platforms; to be available to the wider community and for ease when searching and applying for jobs.

Application review: Once you have submitted your application with us, you will hear from one of the recruitment admin team members, (after the closing date) with an update on your application.

Outcome update: If successful, you’ll receive notification and be invited to an interview with details of how to book your interview slot.

Invitation to interview: You’ll receive confirmation of your chosen interview date and time, complete with details of all documents that you will need to bring with you to your interview.

Interview: You’ll need to attend an interview during which you’ll complete an identity check.

Outcome update: You’ll receive an update on the outcome of your interview through a phone call from the hiring manager. This will either be a verbal offer or feedback on your unsuccessful application.

Conditional offer: If you’re successful, you’ll be issued with a conditional offer letter, based on the agreement with the hiring manager at interview and over the phone.

Pre-employment checks: Our dedicated recruitment administration team will begin the pre-employment checks which include all identification documents, your right to work, any professional registration, DBS, occupational health and reference checks.

Unconditional offer: With all pre-employment checks successfully passed, you will be issued with an unconditional offer letter, details regarding agreeing your start date and then your contract of employment.

Induction: On your first day you’ll meet with your new manager who will show you around, complete some further paperwork and welcome you to the trust.

So, you're thinking of applying


If I have previously applied for a job at the trust, do I have to complete a new application for any other jobs of interest to me?
Yes, however you can save your profile on the NHS Jobs website with your personal information, qualifications, employment history, references and supporting information so you do not need to duplicate information every time you apply for a new role, however you can edit it.
How long does the application process take?
You should normally receive a copy of your DBS check within four weeks however at certain times of the year, the DBS has a backlog of applications to process which may cause a delay in their response. Enhanced checks normally take longer than standard checks.
What should I include in the personal statement section of the application?
This section of the application is your opportunity to show that you have the skills and experience needed to do the role you’re applying for. Look at the requirements for the role and tell us about examples that show evidence that you have these skills. These examples could be from previous work experience, in education, voluntary experience, or in your personal life. It may help to use the STAR model when writing your personal statement – this helps you to explain the Situation, Task, Action and Results from previous experience. For more advice, please see Use STAR (futurelearn.com) and The STAR method | National Careers Service
What are considered suitable references?
We require references that will cover the previous three years and if you are external to the Trust, we require a minimum of two references. If these are from currentor previous employers it will need to be from your manager or line manager, if it is an educational reference it will need to be someone that had taught you or was a mentor, etc. We can accept personal references, but this must be someone in a professional setting who you have known for at least two years. We can only accept professional email addresses; these do not include Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Your application

Hints and tips
Please complete all sections of the application in full. Refer to the job description and personal specification to ensure that you've provided evidence that you possess the qualities, skills and relevant qualification required for the role you are applying for. Use the supporting information to sell yourself. Ensure you allow time to complete your application and don't leave it until the last minute. Check grammar and spelling before submitting your application.

Congratulations, you got yourself an interview


What ID do I need to bring to my interview?
Identification Documents. The following documents are accepted for proof of Identity and to confirm your right to work: You will need a combination of 2 proofs of photographic ID and a proof of address OR one photographic ID and two proofs of address. Photo Driving Licence, Passport, Birth Certificate, Bank Statement and Utility Bill within the last three months are the main ID documents we accept. We do not accept mobile phone/TV licence or Insurance bills. We do accept Council Tax/Water bills which are annual statements but must be for the current year. Please use this link to select your combination of ID documents to see if this is enough to satisfy NHS standards and DBS requirements (if applicable): https://apps.trac.jobs/candidate/iddocs If you have any queries relating to your ID documents, please contact the Recruitment Team prior to attending your interview. Right to Work Documents. Passport or Birth Certificate with proof of your National Insurance Number (NI card or HMRC letter). All documents must be originals or certified copies, in date, valid and show your current name and address. If the name on your documents do not match your current name, please bring the relevant documents with you to evidence the change, marriage certificate, deed poll certificate, etc.
Why do you require my ID?
The ID is required to complete an identity check as well as the DBS check; this contributes to your mandatory employment clearances. Names and addresses will need to match your application form.
What should I do if I need support or an adjustment to attend an interview?
We want to help you to show us your skills and to do your best at your interview. If you need an adjustment or support to attend an interview, please contact your recruitment advisor, or (is there a generic team email?). Examples of support or adjustments might include: o Ensuring the interview is held in an accessible room, for example a room that is wheelchair accessible o Providing interview questions in advance if you need additional time to process information due to dyslexia, ADHD or autism, o Arranging a British sign language interpreter o Having an online interview via video
Do you support video interviews?
This is at the discretion of the hiring manager, and therefore we cannot guarantee a video interview, however we do offer this occasionally. It helps us to understand why you would like to have an interview via video. If you have a disability and require a video interview as a reasonable adjustment, please let us know and we will arrange this for you. If the hiring manager is able to accommodate this request, we will require you to have access to Microsoft Teams in advance to allow us to then send an invite to your calendar.
If I can't make the interview date or time, can I reschedule?
This is dependent on the interview schedule and the discretion of the hiring manager, and therefore we cannot guarantee an alternative date/time, however please contact your Recruitment Administrator as soon as you can to discuss.

Your interview

Hints and tips
Research Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and the location and ward you've applied for. Re-read your application, job description and person specification. Plan your journey and leave plenty of time. It's best practice to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Think of a couple of questions you'd like to ask. Remember an interview is a two-way conversation and gives you the opportunity to find out more about the role. Try not to be too nervous.

Frequently asked questions

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

What is the DBS?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was formed by the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority in December 2012. The primary role of the DBS is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children. You can find out more information on the DBS, its history and its work by visiting the website, www.gov.uk/dbs.

If I already have a DBS check from a previous employer can I use this, rather than redoing a new DBS check?

Unfortunately we cannot accept DBS certificates from another organisation, as we need to be the employer running the new DBS check, however if you have a previous one it should speed up the length of time to complete, as the new check we run will be from the date of your last DBS certificate to present day. (We can however use the DBS update service if you have signed up to this. We can your most recent certificate against the update service)

If I pay for the DBS update service how can I complete your DBS check?

You will be required to bring your DBS certificate which is linked to your update service into the Recruitment Office, in order for your Recruitment Administrator to run an online check.

Other questions

I’m internal, why do you require recruitment checks?

Clearances may be required if records are not up to date and we must comply with NHS Standards and Employment Law. Identification and a new DBS may be required if the level of DBS is not relevant to the job role. A new occupational health clearance may be required if it is a change of job role or department. We only ask for new checks if they are required and this is for the safety of the employee as well as the patients within the hospital.

Will my current salary be matched?

If you are internal (employed by Somerset partnership or Taunton and Somerset) your current salary will be matched. If you are coming from an external NHS Trust, we will need proof of salary through the most recent NHS pay slip. If you are external to the NHS this is manager’s discretion but is possible through proof of salary from a pay slip and a salary justification form to be completed by the manager and the finance department. We cannot guarantee that your salary will be matched; you should discuss this with your new manager.

When can I start?

You will be able to start once all clearances have been retained, this will be confirmed by an unconditional offer letter sent from the recruitment team. You are not safe to begin employment at the trust without acceptable clearances unless this has been discussed with a member of the recruitment team prior to starting.

If you are looking to arrange a start date and are not sure if you have cleared please contact the recruitment team to confirm.

What are NHS Employment Checks?

The NHS Employment Check Standards outline the mandatory checks employers must carry out in the appointment, and ongoing employment, of all individuals in the NHS. NHS Employers has developed these standards with the Department of Health and employers in the NHS. The standards include those checks that are required by law, those that are Department of Health (DH) policy and those that are required for access to the NHS Care Record Service.

The six areas below make up the NHS Employment Check Standards:

1. Verification of identity checks
2. Right to Work checks
3. Registration and qualification checks
4. Employment history and reference checks
5. Criminal Record checks and Model Declaration Forms
6. Occupational Health checks