Work experience requirements
- At least 70 hours of health or social care related work experience in the last three years (15th October 2020 to 15th October 2023).
- At least two experiences; including two health or social care organisations and two roles/professions.
- Work experience must be undertaken by a health or social care organisation that is regulated by the CQC in England or equivalent body in other countries of the UK and internationally and/or must take place under the supervision of a health or social care professional who is registered and in good standing with their regulator and/or professional body. For the UK, see https://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/arrangements.htm and for England, Services we regulate - Care Quality Commission (cqc.org.uk).
Expected work experience outcomes
You must meet all the following outcomes across your combined work experiences (it is not necessary to meet all outcomes in each experience):
- Insight into working as a health or social care professional, ideally in the UK National Health Service (NHS).
- Experience providing direct, face-to-face (in-person), hands-on health or social care to people with health and/or social care needs.
- Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses as a health or social care professional.
- Experience of and/or insight into working in a multidisciplinary team providing health or social care.
- Experience of working in a public-facing role where you have direct responsibility for the health and welfare of others.
What work experiences do we recommend?
It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of acceptable work experiences as roles and expectations vary between organisations. It is therefore up to you to be able to evidence how your combined work experiences meet all the expected outcomes listed above when asked about them during your Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).
Some general recommendations based on the performance of previously successful candidates at interview include:
- Hands-on, face-to-face (in-person) experience interacting with patients or people with health and/or social care needs is key. Such roles will focus on health or social care provision AND take place in a health or social care setting. Examples include: professional healthcare roles (e.g., nurse, paramedic, pharmacist, optometrist, physiotherapist) and non-professional health and social care roles (healthcare assistant, vaccinator, work in a care home where you are addressing healthcare needs such as feeding).
- Shadowing of health or social care professionals e.g., doctor or nurse, often provides valuable insights.
- Work experience roles in a health or social care setting that do not focus on health or social care provision rarely allow you to reach the expected outcomes. Examples include: porter, ward greeter, meals assistant, laboratory researcher, pharmacy till assistant, GP receptionist, auditor, shopping assistance and activities co-ordinator in a nursing home.
- Work experience roles outside a formal health or social care setting rarely allow you to reach the expected outcomes. Examples include: working with children with a disability in a school and riding for the disabled.
- A range of experiences, each experienced for enough time to allow meaningful insights, is key.
- Each experience must last for a minimum of seven hours (the equivalent of one day).
- Hours spent on duty or on call but not providing health or social care do not count towards the minimum requirement of 70 hours (e.g., hours spent on duty with St John’s Ambulance).
- Training and/or induction for a role does not count towards the 70 hours.
- Experiences can be paid, voluntary or part of hands-on requirements for a health or social care qualification.
- There is no maximum number of online/remote or shadowing hours allowed (although to meet outcomes #2 and #5 not all your experiences can be online/remote/shadowing).
- Successful completion of the BSMS online work experience programme counts for a maximum of 10 hours.
- Caring for friends and/or family members does not count towards the 70 hours.
Due to the number of enquiries we receive, we are unable to provide a comprehensive review service on whether your work experience would be acceptable. Use this flow chart to check you meet the work experience requirements.
How do I evidence my work experience?
You will be asked to complete an online survey providing details of your work experiences including:
- Total number of hours of work experience.
- Title of each of your work experience roles.
- Health or social care organisation or private practice where each role was undertaken.
- Start and finish dates.
- Hours spent in each role.
- Confirmation that each work experience was through an appropriate individual/organisation (see Key requirements section above).
- You must also provide a PDF reference on headed paper for each work experience to evidence the organisation’s status/professional’s registration, your role title, dates and hours worked providing health or social care (not just on shift/duty). You can view a template letter here.
- Virtual or online work experiences must be verified or assessed – you must provide details of the assessment (e.g., certificate of passing). A certificate of attendance alone is not sufficient.
- Any work experiences not evidenced in this way will be excluded and will not count towards the minimum requirement of 70 hours.
- Survey responses must be submitted by 30th October 2023 and references by 15th November 2023 or these will not be considered. If you applied to WMS in previous years, you must complete a new survey and submit references again.
Work experience and the Selection Centre
At the Selection Centre (Multiple Mini Interview) you will be asked to reflect on the work experience you declared to us in the online survey (and provided references for), drawing out what you have learned about your own strengths and areas for development and what is required of someone aiming to be a doctor. Acknowledging that you have areas for development is NOT a weakness.