Anyone that is thinking of working for, or training to work for the NHS must have the right attitudes and values.

While training to become a nursing associate you will be taught many skills and will develop a good knowledge and understanding in order to perform the role. However, you need more than knowledge and skills to be a nursing associate; you also need the right attitudes and values.

The NHS is committed to only employing the right people with the right values and the right skills in order to provide the right care at the highest standards for our patients.

The six values the NHS looks for are set out in the NHS Constitution (Department of Health 2015). If you’re considering a career as a nurse or midwife, or indeed any other healthcare profession, the NHS Constitution is essential reading (NHS values). Along with the NHS values, it sets out the seven key principles upon which the NHS is founded, as well as the rights and responsibilities of patients and staff.


To begin training as a nursing associate you will require as a minimum, GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A to C) in Maths and English or Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English. You will also need to demonstrate:

  • an ability to study to level 5 foundation degree level
  • the values and behaviors of the NHS Constitution
  • a commitment to completing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship program.

It should be noted that some universities may have additional requirements such as UCAS points. You can obtain UCAS points in a variety of ways and the UCAS website is worth visiting to calculate your UCAS tariff points.

If you don’t have the required qualifications, you will need to obtain them before being allowed to start training. Most local Further Education Collages will provide free functional skills training and examination to any learner who does not hold Maths and/or English GCSE at C or above (or equivalent).

Applicants from abroad can obtain a statement of comparability to prove their qualifications are equivalent to English and Maths GCSEs. If you are from a non-English speaking countries will also need to have successfully completed a recognised English language test.

For more information, please view the Functional Skills Toolkit produced by HEE London.

Lambeth College

Southwark College

London South East Colleges