Location: The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh;
Audit Scotland, West Port, Edinburgh;
NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland, South Gyle, Edinburgh
About the Post
In memory of Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) senior health researcher Jude Payne we are offering the unique opportunity of a 12 month traineeship in health policy and research in collaboration with the three key bodies responsible for scrutinising health policy in Scotland – the Scottish Parliament, Audit Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
This traineeship will offer an outstanding opportunity for an enthusiastic graduate keen to learn about one of Scotland’s key policy areas, and how research and analysis is carried out by three bodies responsible for holding the government to account.
The successful candidate will be employed by the Scottish Parliament (based in SPICe), and will spend an initial three months working in SPICe then three month periods in Audit Scotland, and Healthcare Improvement Scotland, returning to SPICe for the final three months.
The trainee can expect a broad and rich experience of policy, research and scrutiny work in each organisation, but will also have a remit to look deeper into a particular topic, agreed with the three organisations and the trainee. We would expect the trainee would produce at least one published output which could include a SPICe briefing.
SPICe provides impartial information and analysis to individual MSPs of all parties and their staff (both in Holyrood and in the constituency offices), and to the parliamentary committees. SPICe has a team of 40, including 30 subject specialist researchers. Currently around £13 billion is spent on health each year and three SPICe researchers brief the Health and Sport Committee and individual MSPs on a wide range of topics in this area.
You can look at the type of briefings produced by SPICe [here]
About Audit Scotland
Audit Scotland is Scotland’s public sector auditor, independent of Government. They employ around 290 talented professionals who know that their work helps ensure the efficient delivery of public services in Scotland. Audit Scotland’s task is to help ensure that public money (around £37.5bn) should be spent wisely.
You can find out more about working for Audit Scotland [here]
About Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) is the national healthcare improvement organisation for Scotland and is part of the NHS in Scotland. HIS works with staff who provide health and social care in hospitals, GP practices, clinics and in the community. HIS works closely with patients, carers, the community and the public. Their work supports improvements in the quality of health and social care for people across Scotland.
You can find out more about working with HIS [here].
To successfully complete the traineeship in health policy in SPICe, Audit Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)
Reporting to a Senior Researcher in SPICe (and other designated officials in Audit Scotland and HIS) your responsibilities will include:
• Development of knowledge of health policy and the role of each organisation
• Production of at least one published briefing on health policy
• Involvement in a wide range of other tasks as designated by the host organisations to give a broad range of experience and to help deliver services.
• In SPICe this might include answering individual enquiries from MSPs and their staff, providing briefing material to support parliamentary debates, and providing briefings on petitions
Skills, Knowledge and Experience Required
You must be able to provide evidence to demonstrate the following:
1. Specialist professional or technical skills
• An ability to understand and evaluate complex policy issues drawing on a wide range of sources
• An understanding of some of the major policy issues for health
• Good quantitative and numerical reasoning skills
• An ability to explain complex issues in a clear and understandable manner – both in written form and face to face
3. Team working skills
• An ability to form effective working relationships with team members
• A flexible approach to support team members, and a willingness to be pro-active and take the initiative
• An enthusiastic attitude to tackling new challenges and taking an innovative approach to achieve results
4. Parliamentary and political awareness
• An interest in current affairs and an awareness of the respective roles of the Scottish Parliament, Audit Scotland and HIS
How to apply
Applying for this traineeship is straight forward
1. Please send us your CV
2. Please send us a short written briefing or video on health policy (details below)
Email both to email@example.com by Friday 21st April
A briefing on health policy
Please think about the following question:
How should we measure how well the NHS is performing?
We have chosen this topic as it is both complex and has been the subject of much debate. As background you may want to look into why we should measure performance, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of existing measures and targets.
The intended audience for this briefing are non-specialists with a keen interest in the topic. You should demonstrate:
• Effective communication skills – use of clear language and, where appropriate, tables and graphics to support or illustrate your points
• Impartiality – your briefing must set out the facts in a balanced manner, drawing on robust sources of evidence
• Political awareness – you should be able to quickly focus on the substantive issues of most interest to the parliament and in the media
We are looking for something short and straightforward. You can provide us with a written briefing (no more than 800 words), a short film (no more than two minutes), or a presentation in any other format you choose.
We expect to hold interviews for the position in June 2017.