Career Change from NHS

Hi everyone

I came across this forum as I was googling "career change to HR" and I'm really hoping that I can get some advice about on this subject.

I am currently a Therapy Radiographer in the NHS and have been for almost 10 years. It's a very physically demanding job, the hours have become more and more unsociable recently and this likely to continue to get worse in the future, opportunities to progress further than my current level are very limited because people get into the very senior or interesting specialist roles and stay there until they retire and I'm just at a point where I'm really bored of the profession and can't imagine continuing to do it for any great length of time. I have been contemplating a career change and I am considerng HR.

I have some limited experience as in my current role I am also a trade union industrial relations representative so I frequently work very closely with HR.

Some of the activities I do are:

  • advising members about organisation policy and law,
  • ensuring my department acts in compliance with the organisations policies and law challenging non-compliance,
  • advising supporting and representing members going through sickness absence management, grievance, disciplinary, capacility procedures
  • reviewing the organisations policies and procedure documents, ensuring they comply with law and national trends, redrafting documents where necessary
  • designing and implementing training to reflect changes to organisation policies and procedure
  • assisting to draft organisational change documents for consultations, reviewing these documents, representing staff by writing response documents
  • participation in policy forums and working groups
  • conduction personal development reviews
  • sitting on interview panels

I am wondering if any of this would contribute towards me securing a position in HR if I persued a qualification prior to applying. I also wonder what level it would be appropriate to apply for and whether the experience above would help me not have to start at the very bottom.

Any opinions would be gratefully received!

  • David

    | 21398 Posts

    Chartered Member

    31 Aug, 2017 09:51

    Welcome A !

    In very distant past personal experience in a heavy and heavily-unionised industry with a massive workforce, trade union reps quite often 'changed sides' and moved into HR roles. Their past experience, albeit from the other side of the negotiating table, was considered invaluable; they were intimately familiar with all the particular site operations and respected and accepted by their fellow workers.

    In similar vein, unless you prefer a future not involving the NHS, think the obvious thing to do would be to have an informal chat with someone senior and receptive and potentially supportive in their HR function. They *ought* to realise the potential great benefits of such a thing happening, although finding someone like that within a vast public sector organisation like the NHS might possibly be a bit of a problem.

    Just a thought.

    Best wishes for future, whatever.

  • Steve Bridger

    | 8087 Posts

    Community Manager

    31 Aug, 2017 10:52

    In reply to David:

    I've contacted "A" to ask whether s/he can update their profile.
  • Steven

    | 452 Posts

    Chartered Member

    31 Aug, 2017 11:47

    In reply to David:

    Completely agree with David. I have worked with several HR types who moved from the Union side to the employers side, including a HRD who was brilliant at his job. I would hope you would be successful in moving into the HR world given your experience
  • Keith

    | 10928 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    31 Aug, 2017 13:01

    My personal view is that outside the NHS yoy would find it incredibly difficult to move into HR with or without a qualification. Not to say it's impossible but simply it's a very crowded field and it's likely you would have to take quite a step back in terms and conditions and even then will he tough.

    In the NHS it maybe possible but rather depends on your actual involvement as where I have seen this work it's been more typically from full time tu officials.

    But good luck.
  • In reply to David:

    Hi David

    Thank you for your reply and your advice.

    I would happily stay within the NHS in a different role to my current one so I think I will take your advice and have a few discussions with some of my contacts in our HR department and see how they respond to the idea. On the whole "staff side" and HR have a good working relationship so I've a good few people who I could approach.

    Thanks again.

    Kind regards
  • In reply to Steven :

    Hi Steven

    Thanks for your reply and encouragement. It's good to know that some of you are familiar with Unionists who have used their experience to persue a career in HR.

    Kind regards
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith

    Thanks for your reply and your honesty.

    I am only a union representative at the moment so I do it in addition to my 'proper' job and consequently my experience is limited in comparison to a full time officier.

    By quite a step back would you mean entry level jobs?

    Kind regards
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