If you have any queries which are not covered here, please email ngdp.support@local.gov.uk or send us a tweet: @ngdp_LGA.


I graduated quite a few years ago, can I still apply?
Yes, the ngdp has no limit between when you may have graduated and when you submit your application.

What provisions are made for candidates with disabilities?
The ngdp is seeking to recruit trainees who can represent the diverse communities that councils serve and so we encourage applications from candidates with disabilities. If you have any special needs or are having difficulty applying because of a disability, we will take your details and pass them onto one of the members of the graduate recruitment team. Please contact ngdp.support@local.gov.uk for assistance. They will be able to discuss your needs in more detail to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made in the recruitment and assessment process. This will in no way negatively affect your application. In fact, candidates who declare a disability and receive appropriate assistance tend to match or out-perform candidates without disabilities. Information about your disability is confidentially held and will not be passed to any partnering local authorities without your permission.


What is the recruitment/application process for the ngdp?
The ngdp recruitment process is fully outlined on our applications page

Do you make adjustments to the selection process based on individual requests?

If you have a disability, please let us know so that we can ensure that the selection process is fair and equal for you. We are able to make the following accommodations, but these are tailored to individual situations. We will need to see evidence of your disability to ensure we are making the right accommodations:

  • Verbal and numerical reasoning tests: Where appropriate we are able to provide extra time so that you won't be disadvantaged. If you have a visual impairment, we can replace the online numerical reasoning test with an in-person version compatible with screen reading software. The verbal reasoning test is already compatible with this software.
  • Situational Judgement test: This is untimed so no adjustments need to be made.
  • Video interview: If you have a visual impairment or any other disability which may make a video interview an inappropriate method of assessment, we can conduct a telephone interview instead using the same questions.
  • Assessment centre: Our assessment centre venues are all accessible. For those who require it, we can offer extra time on components of the day when needed as reasonable adjustments.
  • Interviews: If you have any disability which requires adjustment to the interview process, we will discuss this with you. Information about your disability will not be passed on to councils without your permission.

If you do not have a disability then we are unable to make individual accommodations on the basis of personal preference: to do so would compromise the fair, equal and transparent nature of the selection process.

Is there a particular type of person who is recruited onto the ngdp?
The ngdp wants to recruit graduates from all different backgrounds, universities and degree disciplines: our aim is to reflect the diverse communities that we serve. We are looking for people who are motivated to work in local government and who have the right attitudes and values and are prepared to work nationwide. Our key skills and behaviours are used to assess candidates' fit with the ngdp during the assessment process and provide a picture of the type of people we are looking to recruit.

Why do you use online testing?
Our selection process has been designed to measure candidates against the ngdp's key skills and behaviours. The ngdp uses online tests to help evaluate a large number of candidates fairly and equally at the start of our assessment process. The verbal reasoning test and numerical reasoning test measure your communication, analysis and problem solving skills. We strongly encourage candidates to practice these tests in advance of applying to the ngdp. You can do so using a wide range of sites, but we recommend that of our current testing provider to give you the most accurate representation of what the tests will be like. Our situational judgement test reflects daily working life as an ngdp management trainee, measuring all of our key skills and behaviours. You can prepare for this test by reviewing our key skills and behaviours.

Can I defer if I am offered a job at the end of the assessment process?
No, unfortunately we do not offer deferrals as council participation changes each year. Our selection process is also updated annually and so candidates must go through each stage to be fairly and equally assessed against other candidates.

Life on the ngdp

Where will I be based?
There are over 350 authorities in England and Wales and every one is eligible to apply to be part of the ngdp. Not all local authorities participate each year: we usually work with about 50 different local authorities. For a list of the authorities who took part last year and those signed up for the coming year, please see our participating authorities page. Candidates who are successful in selection process will be provided with a full list of participating authorities for their cohort in early April. We give you the opportunity to express your location preferences by council and by region, but we will also expect you to be flexible about where you will work depending on the supply of and demand for specific placements. We will try and take into account any special circumstances, wherever possible.

Will I be able to choose the authority I work for?
We will take your preferences into consideration by council and by region when arranging interviews with participating authorities but we cannot guarantee interviews with or job offers from specific authorities due to the competitive nature of the programme. This is a national programme and candidates are asked to be flexible within the options available. If you are successful at one or more councils in the interview stage, you will decide which offer to accept.

What learning and development is offered on the programme?
National Management Trainees (NMTs) undergo a national programme of learning and development to complement their council placements and local training and development. We are currently redeveloping the learning and development programme to best complement council placements but expect it will continue to blend online, regional and national training spread over two years of the programme. More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

What types of placements are on offer at councils?
There are a range of types of councils who partner with the ngdp each year: district/borough councils; county councils; unitary councils; metropolitan borough/city councils. The LGA Councillors' Guide sets out how local government works and what services it provides. The guide also provides a great insight into the role of councillors. During their two year contract with a local authority, trainees can expect to rotate between at least three placements within their authority, gaining experience in the following functions: corporate; front-line; support services. For more information about placements, please see our ngdp stories for up to date examples of the projects completed by our trainees.

Other queries

Q: I understand this is a two–year development programme, what happens after the end of the two years?

A: According to our most recent survey of trainees, a large percentage find work in their (or another) local authority by or before the end of the programme. This is of course subject to suitable vacancies being available at that time and also your competencies having been demonstrated to the council during the programme. A percentage of trainees move to other employers within the public sector as the ngdp strongly equips them to do so. A smaller percentage of trainees will move into either the private sector or return to further education. We would expect you to begin to formulate your career aspirations during the second year of the programme, making use of the national network provided by the scheme.

Do you pay relocation expenses?
It will depend on the benefits package offered by individual authorities – some do and some do not.

How can I find out about other graduate career opportunities?
You can apply or reapply for the ngdp during any intake of the programme, providing you meet the entry requirements. Follow us on twitter @ngdp_LGA or apply at www.ngdp.org.uk. You can view council vacancies on each council's website and on the LG Jobs website. Other public sector graduate schemes are available in the public sector, which you can research.