Skip to main content

Health Policy Fast Track Scheme 2021

Posted: 16 Oct 2020 Closes: 16 Nov 2020
Leeds, London £28,966 – £33,985 (National) or £32,792 – £37,503 (London)
Flexible department-of-health-and-social-care/20201016184553

When you join the Health Policy Fast Track Scheme, you are joining the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) which plays a vital role in leading the nation’s health and social care to help people live more independent and healthier lives for longer. The Health Policy Fast Track Scheme provides an exciting opportunity to develop an understanding of the political environment and gain hands-on experience of how health and social care policy is developed and delivered by Government, in an unprecedented time. Working with front-line services, think tanks, academia and stakeholder organisations, you’ll build the skills needed to become a top-class policy professional and health care leader, developing and delivering high quality, evidence-based policies. You’ll develop a rewarding career that makes a real impact on people’s lives. 

Diversity and Inclusion is one of the DHSC’s biggest priorities and we recognise it’s a work in progress. One of our goals is to establish a workforce which reflects the society we serve, and DHSC welcomes applications from all. We are especially interested to hear from gender diverse, BAME, disabled and LGBT+ candidates who are currently under-represented. People with a range of experiences and backgrounds are needed to help us improve outcomes and reduce inequalities across health and social care, and to become a more inclusive place to work. We view flexible working as essential for all our employees, and it enables us to recruit and retain talented people. 

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Job description

You will be based at our headquarters in either Leeds or London, and will undertake several work placements over three years in your preferred location. The Scheme includes placements in core policy roles, our Arm’s Length Bodies/NHS and Private Office, or a similar type role, to give first-hand experience of working intensively with Ministers. 

Scheme participants receive a comprehensive development and support package including; a senior leader as a mentor and a fully financially supported MSc in Health Policy (delivered by the Imperial College). By the end of the Scheme, we expect participants to compete for leadership roles within the £49,529 to £53,355 bracket.


What we are looking for 

We believe the best policy professionals come from all walks of life. We want people who have a real passion for making improvements across the health and social care area. 

You will need to be: 

• A good communicator and be comfortable in dealing with ambiguity and shifting priorities. 

• An innovative leader and somebody who looks for opportunities to do things differently, while anticipating economic, social and technological opportunities and risks. 

• Someone who enjoys working with others, has good influencing skills, and is able to build collaborative relationships that balance challenge with support, developing trust and mutual respect across the wider health care system. 

• Able to use sound judgment and evidence to make effective decisions. 

• Able to manage and thrive in an environment which requires the ability to think and absorb information quickly. 

• Someone with at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree, in any subject. Current Civil Servants, who have served their probation period can apply without a degree. 


External candidates must have a minimum qualification of an undergraduate degree at 2:1, for those currently working towards and expecting to achieve this by September 2021 please select yes to this question. 

All OGD's, who have served their probation period please select yes to this question to prevent your application being rejected on eligibility. 

We accept applications from candidates with overseas degrees, provided that they can supply evidence that their degree is at a comparable level to that required . The onus (including any costs) of providing appropriate documentation is on the candidate. The National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC)) provides information about the comparability of different international qualifications. We would not normally ask for such evidence until you had been declared successful: it would then be required for our pre-appointment checks.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Developing Self and Others


• A fully financially-supported study package, including a postgraduate qualification in Health Policy delivered by Imperial College London. 
• Support from a cohort lead, who is invested in your individual development
• Mentoring, and sponsorship from senior leaders in the department 
• Coaching 
• A cohort of peers, providing community and support

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Ability and Experience.

As part of your application you will be asked to confirm that you have the right to remain and take up work in the UK before employment commences. Please be aware that a further requirement is that this must be for the duration of the Scheme. If you do not have this, or are unable to provide evidence of this at the assessment centre, your application will be rejected . 

After submission of your basic information, you will be invited to complete an Online Civil Service Judgement Test (CSJT). This is an online, multimedia multiple choice assessment. You will be provided with full instructions on how to complete the test and have until 23:55 Monday 16th of November 2020 at the latest to complete. Further information on the CSJT can be found here 

If you pass this test you will be invited to complete your full application which must be submitted by 23:55 Monday 16th of November 2020. 

Please note the test and full application deadline is the same, we therefore advise you sit the test at your earliest convenience ensuring you have sufficient time to submit your application. 

As part of the application you will required to complete a Personal Statement and CV. 

1. A Personal Statement (no more than 500 words) explaining your motivation for applying to the Scheme. You will be asked to answer: What excites and interests you about working for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)? and What has influenced your interest in the DHSC Health Policy Fast Track Scheme? 

2. A CV setting out your career history, highlighting specific responsibilities and achievements that are relevant for this role, together with reasons for any gaps within the last two years 

Failure to complete both sections (Personal Statement and CV) will mean the panel have limited information on which to assess your application against the criteria in the person specification. Further information on the application process can be found here 

If you progress onto the Prerecorded Video Interview stage, this consists of a video-based interview where your answers to a series of pre-set questions are recorded and subsequently evaluated by an assessor. You have 14 days to complete the Video Interview. 

If you pass the above stages, you will be invited to attend an online Assessment Centre. 

Sift/interview dates and location 

Video Interviews to start from w/c 22nd January 2020. 
Assessments to be held from Monday 22nd March to Friday 9th April 2020 

The HPFTS Assessment Centre reflects some of the key elements of the Scheme roles and full details of the assessment process will be made available to you in advance if you are shortlisted for the Assessment Centre. Any reasonable adjustments will be accommodated at the assessment centre and throughout the assessment process, so its very important that you let us know if this applies. 

Feedback will only be provided if you attend the Assessment Centre. 

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a Disclosure and Barring Security Check may be carried out. 

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band. Successful applicants who are current civil servants at grades HEO or SEO, whose salaries are above the DHSC HEO band minimum will have their current salaries honoured. 

A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. 

Any move to DHSC mean you will no longer be able to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. 

Reasonable adjustments 

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 

• Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs 

• Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional. 

Some of The Department of Health and Social Care’s terms and conditions of employment changed on 1st October 2013. These are often referred to as “modernized” terms and conditions. These changes will affect current Civil Servants transferring to the Department of Health and Social Care from another government department and those new to the civil service. In brief these changes are: 

• Civil servants from another government department who are in receipt of ‘modernised’ terms and conditions prior to the transfer will retain those terms and conditions on appointment. The rationale behind this is that changes to terms and conditions shouldn’t be underdone by a move to another department. 

• Civil servants who have been in service prior to the modernisation of terms and conditions will inherit the terms and conditions changes applicable to existing staff (including OGD’s) in the Department. See the attached word document. 

• New starters (external to the civil service) to the Department from 1 October 2013 will receive the full modernised terms and conditions. See the attached word document. 

The document attached to this advertisement provides more information on the changes we made, this clearly outlines the entitlements for both new starters (external to the civil service) and existing staff (including transfers from other government departments). Please note this is not a full list of the Department of Health and Social Care’s’ terms and conditions. If you need to discuss how these changes might affect you, please contact the vacancy holder. 

Please note that eligible established civil servants will not retain any allowances paid in the former government department, unless there are special circumstances. We urge new entrants to establish their terms and conditions before accepting a formal offer of transfer/employment. 

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Share Job