Thinking of joining HART?
There is no doubt that joining a HART team takes a lot of preparation and training. However it also calls for a range of personal attributes that will enable the team member to operate effectively within this environment.
Some characteristics of HART personnel
- Work well with others in a team
- Can communicate quickly and freely with others on scene
- Have good physical fitness and stamina
- Can think quickly and are ready to make difficult judgment calls
- Can see themselves undertaking clinical intervention in potentially difficult or extreme situations
- Are flexible and can readily adapt to changing circumstances
- Can remain calm under pressure
- Are mentally and physically resilient.
Recruitment and selection
The selection process
The selection process is made up of seven stages:
- Advertising and Self-Assessment for the role (download SAQ here)
- Application and short listing
- Occupational health screening
- Resilience & Capability Questionnaire (Psychological assessment)
- Physical Competence Assessment (Fitness Test) (download PCA here)
- Competency Based Interview (What is this? Potential operatives / team leaders: Click here for guidance, potential HART managers: click here for guidance)
- Training course
With the exception of the psychological test, all stages of selection are eliminatory, i.e. if candidates do not successfully complete a whole stage they will not be able to continue to the next stage.
Physical Competence Assessment
A national recruitment and selection process has been developed which includes a Physical Competence Assessment – assessing strength, stamina, dexterity, ability to work at height and in confined spaces. There is also a psychological assessment and competency based interview.
Following selection those appointed then have extensive training programmes to undertake including three weeks residential for IRU and three weeks residential for USAR, during which they will continue to be assessed.
We are not looking for ‘super-humans’ or ‘macho-mavericks’ and we are not creating ‘elite teams’. We are looking for level headed, motivated, team players who are ready to do something different in the way we provide care to our patients.
The selection process will find out:
- How physically fit you are – would you be safe working in high levels of PPE, carrying heavy breathing apparatus on your back? Do you have any medical conditions that would put you at additional risk?
- How mentally resilient you are – how would you face entering a hazardous area that poses risks to your own health and wellbeing? Could you work in darkness, in cramped spaces or at height and take difficult decisions under pressure and cope with the consequences? How might we avoid any potential development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
- What your preferred work style is and how you put learning and experience into practice.
We have a duty to protect our employees and that is why we have developed this careful selection process – it is for your protection.
Whilst it may look daunting and more thorough than any selection process you may have been through before, it has been designed to help you demonstrate your capabilities and work preferences in a way that is very relevant to this job, as well as identify any specific reasons why it may not be safe for you to work in this particular role.
It will also help us identify how we can contribute to your personal development whilst at work. So don’t be put off by the process – it is there to protect you not frighten you!
Frequently asked questions for HART applicants
Here are some frequently asked questions raised by those considering applying to join the HART team:
1. What does the recruitment for the post involve?
The Applicant Information Pack can be downloaded from the website and will explain the process in detail. In brief, there are a number of steps:
- Complete the application form and ensure you meet the deadline!
- Complete the online psychological assessment, and return your Occupational Health Screening form with your application.
- Complete the eye test form (send it with your application, if it has been possible to attend an optician by this time).
- Short-listed candidates will be asked to attend a full occupational health assessment after short listing.
- After this, a date will have been scheduled for your Physical Competence Assessment (PCA).
If you successfully complete the PCA you will be invited to interview shortly afterwards – known as a Competency Based Interview. (For more information about Competency Based Interviews, potential HART Operatives and Team Leaders should click here. Potential HART Managers should click here).
Within the following months after appointment you will be given dates for your various training courses: PPE, residential IRU training and residential USAR training (if applicable).
2. What if I am unable to get an eyesight test before the closing date?
If you are unable to have an eyesight test before the closing date for applications, you must ensure that you have a test as soon as possible afterwards if you are shortlisted. Your application cannot be progressed any further without this.
3. What if I have holidays booked during the dates of the assessments?
You need to notify your Trust’s recruitment team if you know of any dates that you will definitely not be available and they will do their best to accommodate you within the other allocated dates. However please note that there is no guarantee that this will be possible.
4. Why do I need to be able to swim 100m and will this be tested?
The nature of the role means that this is included as a basic safety requirement – we do not assess it specifically, but we do need to know that applicants are able to swim and are confident in water.
- HART eligibility criteria click here.
- Sample Trust job description for the HART operative role click here.
- Sample Trust person specification for the HART operative role click here.
- Sample Trust job description for the HART team leader role click here.
- Sample Trust person specification for the HART team leader role click here.