The Step into Health programme connects skilled candidates from across the Armed Forces community with employers and new opportunities in the NHS.
The aim is for NHS organisations to benefit from the transferable skills and values that Armed Forces community members bring to the workplace. We also raise awareness of the barriers into employment which members of the community may face.
With the support of our key partners, NHS England, Walking with the Wounded and The Royal Foundation, we work with NHS organisations across England and Wales to diversify the workforce and offer guidance on how to become more inclusive recruiters. Our work closely aligns with the NHS People Plan and the People Promise.
Step into Health also raises the profile of the multitude of NHS careers available to the Armed Forces community. We highlight the many roles, particularly non-clinical, which are suited to members of the community and support individuals to link with recruiters and take advantage of dedicated pre-employment opportunities.
Service leavers, veterans, members of the wounded, injured & sick community and military family members bring a unique and highly valuable set of transferable skills into the NHS, including:
- leadership and management
- communication and teamwork
- loyalty and commitment
- an enhanced ability to adapt to change.
In our 2018 evidence base report, 97 per cent of NHS employers surveyed said hiring members of the Armed Forces community had brought enhanced working behaviours into their organisations. A further 83 per cent of respondents agreed that members of the Armed Forces community had brought additional skills into their organisation.
Join Step into Health
Pledging to Step into Health involves making a public commitment to support the recruitment of members of the Armed Forces community into the NHS.
There are five mandatory pledges that we require all organisations to commit to, including:
- reviewing recruitment practices and removing any barriers to recruiting members of the Armed Forces community
- sharing dedicated Step into Health contact details
- building a relationship with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP)
- using the Step into Health branding to promote consistent messages about the programme
- using the Step into Health candidate system to record interactions with potential candidates and to refer between NHS organisations as required.
Pledged organisations receive bespoke guidance, permission to use our recognised branding and support with promoting and delivering dedicated pre-employment activities and events.
Organisations pledged to Step into Health gain access to the Step into Health candidate system, which connects employers directly with members of the Armed Forces community who are looking for employment within the NHS. The Step into Health Facebook group also connects pledged employers with members of the Armed Forces community who are interested NHS employment.
Pledged organisations can also choose to commit to optional enhancing activities such as hosting insight days, offering work placements and partnering with other NHS organisations in the region to share best practice.
If you would like to pledge to Step into Health, fill out our interest form. We will then be in touch to explain more about the programme, your commitments and how pledging will help you to tap into new talent.
Begin your journey to becoming a forces-friendly recruiter.
Key guidance for employers
Step into Health downloads
Access downloadable and editable resources, in both English and Welsh, to help promote your organisation's pledge to Step into Health.
8 November 2022
Latest resources and guidance
Going for gold at Dorset ICB
This case study explores how Dorset ICB achieved its gold award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
28 September 2023
NHS Employers Armed Forces networks
Connect with our Armed Forces team and with fellow employers at our regular engagement and networking sessions.
9 May 2023
NHS and the Armed Forces - Our people
Our annual virtual conference took place on 14 March 2023, celebrating and strengthening the working relationship between the NHS and Armed Forces.
14 March 2023 09:30 - 16:15 GMT