The Opportunity

When you join a HSC Graduate Training Scheme there are many rewards and opportunities. The results of your work can change the way Health and Social Care is provided, and can therefore impact upon people’s lives and benefit those using the service. Expect a challenge, expect early responsibility.

As a Graduate Trainee, you’ll be working at the leading edge of Public Sector management as part of an organisation with a yearly spend of over £2.7 billion, employing over 77,000 people.

The HSC in Northern Ireland is a unique organisation. It is the only organisation in the UK that provides integrated health and social care. The breadth and depth of its services is therefore diverse, as will be your experience. As a trainee, you will have a wide choice of career opportunities with the freedom to experience different areas of Health and Social Care.

Below are some of the different organisations you will be working with and procuring on behalf of:

Health and Social Care Trusts

Are the providers of health and social care. They manage staff and services on the ground and they control their own budgets.

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social care services for more than 340,000 people in Belfast and regional services to the whole of Northern Ireland.

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust provides a broad range of health and social care services for people across the local council areas of Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Cookstown, Larne, Magherafelt, Moyle and Newtownabbey.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust encompass the coucil areas of Newtownards, Down, North Down and Lisburn and provides health and social care for approximately 440,000 people.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social services care for those people living in the Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mource council areas.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social services for people in 5 local council areas.

Primary Care Services

Are commonly the patients' first point of contact for health and social care. Patients are provided with advice and treatment and may be referred onto specialist services as required.

Health and Social Care Board

On 1 April 2009 the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) replaced the previous four Health and Social Services Boards (Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western) in Northern Ireland. The focus of the HSCB is on commissioning, resource management, performance management and improvement.

Public Health Agency

The Minister with responsibility for health at the time, Michael McGimpsey, launched the new Agency on 1 April 2009 following the Review of Public Administration. This saw a range of functions in Health and Social Care brought together to focus on improving the health and wellbeing of everyone in Northern Ireland.

Business Services Organisation

Your post for the duration of the scheme will be in the Procurement department (PaLs) which is within the overall Business Services Organisation. The BSO has been established since 1 April 2009 to provide a broad range of regional business support functions and specialist professional services to the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland. Please visit the websites for more information.

Local Commissioning Groups

7 Primary care led local commissioning groups have been established and work in conjunction with GP's and other local primary care practitioners to commission services from the Trusts.

Department of Health & Social Services & Public Safety (DHSSPS), which administers the business of Health and Personal Social Services, which includes policy and legislation for hospitals, family practitioner services, community health and personal social services. It is also responsible for policy and legislation to promote and protect the health and well-being of the population of Northern Ireland. In addition, it encompasses responsibility for the policy and legislation for the fire and rescue services, food safety and emergency planning.

Health and Social Care is a dynamic and responsive system, and with the current reform agenda must continually adapt and change to meet public expectation and political demand. As a manager you will be expected to welcome change as well as drive and positively facilitate change.

There are many challenges and rewards working within Health and Social Care. Running an organisation of such size and complexity requires a range of diverse skills. We are looking for fresh thinking and potential leaders to develop through our Procurement Training Scheme and beyond. The Scheme will prepare you for rapid career progression, based on your own ability, determination and capacity for leadership.


The co-ordination of contracts for goods and services is carried out by Procurement and Logistics Service on behalf of the Board, Trusts and Agencies within HSC. Contracts are arranged to optimise value for money for goods and services within the HSCNI, to ensure probity and to minimise resources used in the contracting process. The Procurement and Logistics Service is required to comply with the Public Contract Regulations 2006 for contracts over a designated monetary threshold.

In addition the DHSSPS has issued a policy document DHSS Circular HSS (PPM) Mini Code covering procedures to be used to ensure competition is invited for the purchase of all appropriate foods and services within the HSCNI. Procurement and Logistics Services are based at a number of sites. Procurement is arranged in Sourcing Teams, who look after the letting and management of contracts for specific categories of product or service and Operational Teams who look after the ordering of goods and services for specific Health Trusts, Board and Agencies.