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Searching and applying


Searching and applying

Applying for jobs can be a daunting process; this section aims to help you understand how to apply and what to expect from us.

All of our vacancies  (excluding voluntary roles) are advertised on the NHS Jobs website; and must be applied for through this method. To view and apply for any of our current vacancies, click here. You can register with the site to enable you to receive email alerts when a suitable vacancy is placed. 

How to apply VIA NHS JOBs

If you do not already have an account with NHS Jobs, you need to select, 'register' from the tabs at the top of the NHS Jobs website and create an account. You can then search for vacancies from the NHS Jobs homepage by entering key words and location parameters. 

When you have found a role you wish to apply for, click 'apply for this job' to complete an application. You can save and return to your application at any time, giving you time to think about what you would like to include.

The NHS Jobs application form contains a number of sections in which you are asked to give important personal details. These include information such as a summary of your employment history, educational qualifications and there are some declarations that it is important that you complete honestly and accurately. 

There is an additional information section for you to give evidence showing that you have the knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal qualities needed to do the job.

You should refer back to the job description and person specification on the main advert page to ensure you are creating a strong application. Submit only when you are sure that you have all the details and the spelling and grammar are correct and this will be sent direct to us. For further advice on what to include in your application, click here. 

How to set up email alerts

To set up email alerts select the 'register' tab from the top of the NHS Jobs website. Fill in your personal details, there will be a section for 'jobs by email' where you can specify key words, the location and salary of your ideal position. You may need to also specific 'North West Ambulance Service' as the 'employer name or site' in the additional features section. You will be sent an email to activate your account and the email alerts. 

Make sure you have available your:-

  • National Insurance Number
  • Work permit details (if applicable)
  • Educational Qualifications (details including dates)
  • Professional Qualification (details including dates)
  • Registration/Pin number (including expiry/renewal dates)
  • Details of previous employers (including dates)
  • Details of supporting information – look at the person specification and see how you match this as an applicant.
It’s important you do yourself justice on your application form; so don’t be afraid to sell yourself and shout about your achievements. If you’re stuck, get in touch, we offer support for completing your application.
— Sarah, HR Manager

Who we want

Who we want

Let’s be clear – we want the best staff.  For the North West Ambulance Service, ‘the best’ means those who will strive to provide quality care now and in the future.  It means recruiting those who can work as part of a team to get the best outcome for our patients.  It is about individuals who can show compassion and strength in the most challenging and emotionally-charged situations.  As such, we are open to recruiting and retaining staff from all walks of life, from differing backgrounds, nationalities, ages and experience of work.  We view a diverse workforce as a strong one.  We do not discriminate against any protected characteristic.  Furthermore we will not tolerate abuse against our staff from any source. 


Interview and employment checks

Interview and employment checks


When you become successful at interview and are offered a job, we are required to carry out a series of employment checks. The checks will be dependent on the type of job you are going to do.

The types of checks that we will undertake are:

Identification documents

You will be asked to provide proof that you have the right to work in the UK. This will mean that you will need to produce either a document or a combination of documents to confirm you are eligible. For example, a passport, a visa or immigration documents if you are a non-national. We will advise you which documents you need to show them.

Employment history and references

It is important that you have stipulated your full employment history within your application form and highlighted any employment gaps. References will be sought covering a minimum period of three years from your current employer and previous employer/s.

Professional registration and/or qualifications

If your role requires a particular professional registration we will carry out a check with the appropriate regulatory body and secure confirmation of the appropriate registration. Where a check has been made we will not be required to verify your professional qualifications separately.

Where a licence is a requirement confirmation will be sought from the relevant regulatory body as well.  All qualifications that are not associated in any way with a regulatory body will be sought separately.

Criminal record and barring checks

Depending on the role, we may be required to check whether you have a criminal record. Your offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).

Background checks

Where a position is security related, we may wish to carry out background checks regarding your credit history.

Occupational Health checks

All NHS staff must receive a pre-appointment health check, which adheres to equal opportunities legislation and good occupational health practice.

All checks take into account the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and reasonable adjustments must be made to ensure that employees can work in their work place regardless of any physical impairment or learning disabilities.


A panel shortlists the applications and the HR Hub invites the shortlist in for interview. Applications are assessed based on a number of criteria; these usually consider the applicants experience and competencies listed in the Job Description.

All contact will made via your NHS Jobs account therefore it is important that you do not remove the job from your applications section and check the account regularly, otherwise you may miss the opportunity of an interview/assessment.



If you are successful at short listing stage you will be asked to attend a competency based interview. The questions asked in a competency interview will often ask you to draw upon previous experience to demonstrate your skills, capabilities and personality.

If you are applying for a job in a particular area of work, it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about the field. For example, look on the internet for news of recent developments. You should always find out as much as you can about the organisation you want to work for. You may wish to make sure you know how to find your way to the interview, if you are unsure you can contact the Recruitment Team for further information.

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Driving assessments


Candidates applying for some operational roles are required to complete a driving test. Candidates who do not hold the C1 category of driving licence will not be disadvantaged during the test, however it would be considered advantageous for applicants to gain some experience of driving a vehicle larger than a saloon car prior to the test, e.g. Transit van. We also recommend that you familiarise yourself with the Highway Code.

Candidates will need to present their driving licence which should be valid and signed prior to taking the test, if the licence is the new type both parts will need to be produced [Card and accompanying D740 form]

The test

The driving test is not a Department of Transport [DofT] assessment although it is similar in design and will be conducted to test conditions. The assessment criteria is to identify the potential for candidates to successfully complete a set four week advanced driving course with the emphasis placed upon being able to drive a vehicle under emergency response conditions whilst providing maximum safety to other road users.

Rectifiable driver faults will not be held against candidates during the test unless they pose a danger to other road users.Candidates will also be assessed on their ability to drive the vehicle in a safe and smooth manner and within the constraints of road traffic law.

The test will be conducted in an ambulance type vehicle, representative of length and width. Candidates who only hold a ‘B’ class licence will be legally entitled to drive these vehicles.  

There will be a requirement for candidates to perform a reverse manoeuvre [unassisted] in to a ‘coned’ area simulating an ambulance garage bay.

Results and Feedback following the assessment

Candidates will be provided with the results immediately at the end of the test, this will include feedback regarding any developmental areas that will be required during the driving course or the reasons for an unsuccessful outcome.

All of our operational roles are physically demanding as you will be responsible for the safe moving and handling of both patients and equipment. It is necessary to ensure prospective recruits have sufficient physical ability to cope with extreme work demands.

Candidates do not undergo a physical fitness test but the fitness, weight and BMI of successful candidates is assessed as part of the medical.
It is recommended that if you are considering an operational role, which will require manual handling; that you consider following a regular programme of fitness training, which should have commenced some months before applying for positions within the service. This is to ensure your fitness levels are to the standard required. 

Fitness guidance

You may consider undertaking any exercise which is continuous, rhythmical and engages any large muscle groups. Activities such as walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, aerobics or circuit training are ideal and should be brisk and vigorous enough to leave you slightly breathless and to have broken out into a sweat. 

The programme of training should be started at low intensity and gradually progressed over a period of weeks as your fitness increases. You should aim to complete three - five sessions per week at this intensity, beginning with 15 - 30 minutes and progressing to longer sessions as your fitness level increases.It is suggested you consult your GP before staring any exercise programme, especially if you have not engaged in physical activity for some time, are not used to exercise or suspect any problems (e.g. heart, joint or muscle), that may be made worse by exercise.

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Successful applications

Successful applications


When you first start working for the Trust in an operational role, you will work as a ‘reserve’, this means that you will have a changing shift pattern, typically including blocks of some day shifts and some night shifts. You will know your upcoming shifts approximately four weeks in advance.

You may swap a duty with another member of staff as long as they of an identical clinical designation and the hours for both shifts must be identical.

Regular shift patterns also operate within each Sector of the Trust, known as ‘lines’. A variety of shift patterns exist for example some are based on a four week rotating shift pattern, others on three-week shift patterns. Some lines consist only of shifts of 12 hours duration, while others exist with shorter nights or of shifts mainly on weekdays.

This variety aims to provide increased service coverage at peak times and offers a choice of working patterns for staff. There are a fixed number of regular shift patterns, or lines, available. When vacancies become available they are filled according to a set of criteria to ensure an equitable approach to all staff.

Successful applications

Following a successful interview, the interview panel will notify the HR Hub of the successful candidate.

For operational vacancies: The Heads of Service and Sector Managers will confirm the allocation of successful candidates to available vacancies. This means that we will do our best to match peoples' home addresses or preferences to our available vacancies.

The HR Hub will contact the successful applicant(s) and advise of a conditional offer and allocated sector (operations) subject to employment checks.