Previous Opportunities

Associate Director of HR

Associate Director of HR

£88,385 – £92,424 per annum
Flexible Location: 
   Based throughout Scotland, NES is a remote friendly employer supporting office, remote and hybrid working.  We’re happy to talk about how you want to work.

NHS Education for Scotland is a national health board responsible for providing, co-ordinating, developing and advising on the education and lifelong learning of staff across the health and care sector in Scotland. Its aim is to ensure the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. It designs and supports the delivery of career of paths across a wide variety of disciplines, leads on leadership development and supports staff gain key transferable skills such as digital. The mission of NES is to contribute to the highest quality of health & social care throughout Scotland, ensuring the 350,000 people working in health and social care roles are well trained and are continually developed through each stage of their career.

The role of the Workforce Directorate is wide-ranging and exciting. We not only enable NES to attract, recruit, support, train, develop, reward and recognise its own workforce, but also play a significant role in employing doctors and dentists in training across Scotland. Furthermore, we support recruitment of medical and dental trainees and other vocational groups for the whole of Scotland’s health sector. We support the management of change, providing organisational consultancy. We also play an active part in the organisation’s commitment to fulfilling its Equality and Diversity responsibilities, not just to its own staff but throughout all the activities of the organisation.

As a senior member of the Workforce Directorate within NES, the Associate Director of HR is responsible for leading the HR function within NES to contribute to the development and delivery of the NES Strategic Framework and operational plans; and for developing and implementing people strategies to support the delivery of these plans.

If you were in this role today, here are some of the things you would be doing:

  • Providing senior professional HR and employment law expertise, strategic vision, and leadership to the HR function to develop, shape, drive and support all aspects of the Workforce, People and Organisational Strategies.
  • Working in partnership to develop and deliver the NES People and Organisational Development Strategy and 3-year Strategic Workforce Plan, underpinned by an aligned set of strategies, policies and interventions to ensure the delivery of the NES Strategic and facilitate delivery of the national Health and Care Workforce Strategy.
  • Interpreting Once for Scotland policies and Scottish Government directives related to the HR functions scope, ensuring their understanding and implementation within NES.
  • Leading the development and implementation, in partnership, of local NES people policies and processes relevant to the HR functions remit.
  • Leading day to day delivery of services to NES staff and line managers, for example, in relation to recruitment and selection; onboarding; organisational design and change; organisational working arrangements; workforce planning and development; establishment control; employee relations; equality, diversity and inclusion; employee well-being; employee data ad analytics; partnership working; Board, Staff Governance Committee, Remuneration Committee and Partnership Forum assurance.
  • With the Workforce Management Team contributing to the development and implementation of strategies, policies and processes that enable the development of an organisational culture that engages, energises and enables all staff to give of their best, achieve their potential and live the NHSScotland values, NES ways of working and leadership behaviours.
  • Leadership and management of the Equality, Diversity & Human Rights team in NES to deliver a wide range of internal and external services to NES as well as developing and reporting on the organisations equality outcomes and plans in accordance with its statutory responsibilities.
  • Management of comprehensive and robust staff governance reporting and workforce data and information systems within NES to ensure accurate and timely reporting, including to the Staff Governance Committee, to the board and Scottish Government on NES workforce, including DDiTs.
  • Mitigating employment risk to the organisation through the interpretation of relevant legislation and robust application of policy and processes across the HR function.
  • Supporting the UK wide shared services in relation to the assessment, recruitment, and pre-employment processing for application to trainee posts in medicine and dentistry; and on a Scotland wide basis for application to training posts in Pharmacy, and Healthcare Science. Inclusive of managing all Disclosure Scotland checks and acting as Tier 2 Visa sponsor for all Doctors and Dentists in Training
  • Providing national programme management to the delivery of Lead Employer arrangements geared to achieving an efficient, high quality employment experience for doctors and dentists in training across Scotland. In addition, to manage all employment aspects relating to those doctors and dentists directly employed by NES.


What we can offer you:


  • A fantastic culture – NES has an outstanding track record for staff engagement and you get to work with great colleagues
  • Life-work balance – with wide-ranging opportunities for flexible working and remote working
  • Generous NHS pension scheme
  • Incremental progression through the salary band (up to the maximum of the band) plus annual NHS salary scale review
  • Annual Leave – 27 Days increasing in line with service plus 8 days public holiday
  • NHS discounts and more


Some of the knowledge, skills and experience you might have:


  • You’ll have significant experience of working at a senior level with the NHS, care or wider public sector or in a complex organisation such as a university or private sector organisation as well as experience in playing a leading role  I strategic planning and decision-making
  • You will be confident and experienced working at executive and senior management level both within and outside your own organisation
  • You will be a great leader, values driven and performance focussed ensuring that the large HR team are energised, high-performing and role model ambassadors for the organisation
  • You will have a strong customer mindset and experience in delivering a wide range of HR services at volume, establishing the processes, controls and measures to ensure high quality, reliable, delivery
  • You will have HR and employment law expertise as well as substantial strategic HR business partnering experience
  • You will be able to provide HR professional advice and challenge to colleagues where required as well as providing coaching and development to team members
  • You will be experienced in working in partnership and building highly effective relationships at all levels internally and externally
  • You will have the knowledge and skills to undertake risk assessments and high-level decision making in complex employee relations cases
  • You will be experienced in working in partnership and building highly effective relationships at all levels internally and externally
  • You’ll have excellent report writing and presentation skills with the ability to convey highly complex information to different audiences including Board level Committees both verbally and in writing


For a confidential discussion contact Donogh O’Brien or Lauren Crichton, at our recruitment partners Aspen People, on 0141 212 7555.

Further information is available at

To apply, please email your CV and completed Cover Letter Template (available below for download here) to 

Closing date for applications: Friday 17th June 2022