VBR case studies

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NHS Employers has produced a range of case studies and podcasts to showcase good practice in values based recruitment (VBR). We have grouped the case studies into three broad areas: interviews, assessment centres and developing and embedding values. 


Values based interviews (VBI) examine a candidate's values and behaviours, alongside their skills and competencies. Below are some examples of how trusts have successfully used interviews to recruit for values.

  • 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust developed a suite of VBI tools for a range of staff groups. These tools support recruiting managers to assess values alongside competency by providing them with a bank of questions and related scoring matrices. 
  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust implemented VBI for medical consultants following the development of its new trust values in 2013. To do this the organisation mapped the trust's values against the General Medical Council's 'Good Medical Practice' guidance. 
  • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust developed a bank of values based interview questions linked to the trusts values and behaviour framework.
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust worked with the NSPCC to design and implement VBI . Listen to Oxford University Hospitals podcast or read the Oxford University Hosptials case study to find out how they developed and implemented VBI.
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust uses the results of psychometric testing to identify areas for futher investigation in senior appointment VBI. Download the Leeds Teaching Hospitals case study to find out more about how they use the test results in interviews.
  • Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust piloted open days and interviews for healthcare assistants. This approach has reduced attrition and sickness rates, as well as receiving positive feedback from recruiting managers. Find out more about how the trust piloted the approach by downloading the Plymouth Hospitals case study.
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has implemented VBI for medical consultant recruitment. Listen to the University College London Hospitals podcast to find out how it integrated pyschometrics and practical exercises into the process.
  • Bradford District Care Trust introduced VBI to help them more closely assess a candidates potential within their organisation. Listen to the Bradford District Care Trust podcast about how the trust determined the values and behaviours it was looking for and how it assessed these through the interview process.

Assessment centres

An assessment centre approach to VBR involves candidates undertaking a range of tasks and activities designed to assess a range of values, behaviours and skills. Below are examples of how trusts have used assessment centres to recruit across a range of staff groups.

  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust introduced values based assessment centres for support staff and senior appointments. Listen to the York Teaching Hospital podcast to find out more.
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust uses assessment centres to recruit bank staff for values and competencies. Download the Sussex Partnership case study to find out how they developed the approach and the initial results.
  • NHS Blood and Transplant piloted assessment centres to recruit to high volume areas, and to give candidates a realistic insight into the role. Download the NHS Blood and Transplant case study to find out how the assessment centres are structured and some initial outcomes.
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust used an assessment centre approach and values based interviewing for international recruitment in Spain. Download the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole case study to find out how the trust implemented this approach and the initial impact it has had.
  • North Bristol NHS Trust piloted an assessment centre approach for nursing and support staff, inspired by John Lewis. The trust is also piloting an assessment centre approach for medical consultants.
  • A values based assessment centre approach was piloted for apprenticeships in the Health Education Yorkshire & Humber area, with many participating trusts now adopting this approach for their apprenticeships. Download the apprenticeship case study to find out about the pilot and the subsequent approach by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.  

Developing and embedding values

Each trust has its own values, which are unique to them and don't stop when the recruitment process ends. This section contains examples of how trusts have formulated the values and gone on to embed them across a range of employment processes.

  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust created its values through engaging with staff and patients. Download the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole case study to find out how the values were developed and launched.
  • Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust created a behaviour framework linked to their organisational values and the 'six Cs', to be used at all stages of the employment journey.
  • Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust involved patients, staff and the public in forming its local values. These values are now lived by staff across the trust and demonstrated in the trust's monthly Schwartz Rounds, annual Star Awards and the way policies and procedures are formulated. Download the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital case study to find out how values were embedded across the trust.

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