Declaring a disability, or asking for reasonable adjustments, can feel daunting and uncertain when you are applying for a graduate job. What actually happens behind the scenes? How are requests managed, and what outcomes can you expect? Join a recruitment expert from local government's fast track graduate programme, the NGDP, and recent graduates who have been through the NGDP assessment process as they discuss reasonable adjustments and performing your best in a graduate assessment process.
Moderator: And then we'll start. Great, so thank you so much for joining us for our webinar on reasonable adjustments and graduate scheme assessments. My name is Anna Buttenshaw and I'm really delighted to be joined this morning by three recent graduates who have experience of the graduate assessment process. Louis, Keziah and Will and Louis, Keziah and Will will be sharing a little bit of their own journey as we get into the webinar and they'll be contributing to the discussion as we go on stage by stage. So, a special welcome to Louis, Keziah and Will. Just a little note for the-, on the administrative side. If you have a question at any stage, please make use of the chat box, if you're able to and we will either take some of those as we go along or leave some time for them at the end. If you're struggling with the chat box or that's not an effective mode of communication for you, then please make use of the hands up feature and we will get you to come off mute and ask your question at the end of today's webinar. Otherwise, we would ask you just to keep your microphone on mute. Thanks very much. So, where are we going here today? We're gonna do some quick introductions of our participants this morning then we're going to have a bit of an overview about reasonable adjustments. We're then going to go into stages of the assessment process and talk about possible adjustments and I recognise this is where some of your questions might come to the fore. I will be using our own graduate schemes assessment process and so examples will be specific to that. But, if you've got general questions about assessment processes, I'm also happy to do my best at answering those at the end of the webinar. So, at the end, we'll just give a quick summary and take your questions. So, what I'm gonna do next is just turn to each of our participants, get them to tell you a little bit about themself, where they're currently working and what motivated them, really, to volunteer to help with today's webinar. So, Keziah, you're up first, if that's okay?
F: That's fine. Hi everybody, it's really nice to see so many people here. I, despite what the slide said, was with the West Midlands Combined Authority during my time on NGDP. This was a bit unusual because as far as I'm aware, it's still currently the only combined authority on the scheme. Most others are local authorities so that was really exciting for me. I've since graduated from the scheme and I am now a policy officer at the Midlands Engine which covers an even bigger geography than the combined authority did. So, I'm currently writing policy for about eleven million people. I decided I wanted to help on this webinar because I was only recently diagnosed with a learning disability when I was applying for the scheme and actually, I found it quite difficult sometimes to, kind of, tick that box and go, 'Actually yes, I do have a learning disability and actually, some adjustments would really help me here,' and I wanted to basically explain that a little bit to you and actually encourage you that if this is something that is gonna help that you can and should tick that box.
Moderator: Thanks so much, Keziah and apologies, that's completely my error on the first slide. Louis, could you go next? Tell us a little bit about where you're working and what motivated you to volunteer for this morning's workshop?
M: Yeah, absolutely. So, hi everyone, I'm Louis. I work at Surrey County Council. So, that is, like Keziah said, so, it's a local authority but it's one of their county authorities. We are in a two-year system so I work a lot with our district and boroughs which is, kind of, the second tier within Surrey. I'm currently in the leadership office as a business manager, or a graduate business manager working with our leaders, so our leaders from the political sense, our chief exec and also our executive director for children's. So, I'm working very closely with all three of them on many issues surrounding the council. It's also part of the scheme, so I'm still on the scheme, I'm on my third placement. I was previously in the climate change team and before that, I was in known as more strategic commissioning, which is strategy from a financial point of view, I think is the easiest way of explaining it in thirty-, ten seconds. So, reasonable adjustment, I-, so, personally for me, I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was around six years old. So, I was very lucky that it was caught or noticed, I guess, from a very early age and ever since then I've always, kind of, had reasonable adjustment throughout my school time, college, university and also deciding to declare that when I applied for the scheme on the NGDP. I would, yeah, I would, like Keziah, I would always encourage anyone to really put their name forward and, kind of, say that's because it's there for, to help us. It's there to make it a bit easier, a bit, you know, to accommodate what needs we, kind of, need. So, I'm sure we'll go into more details as we kind of go forward.
Moderator: Fab. Thanks so much, Louis and then Will, onto you.
M: Thank you. So, hi everyone. I'm Will. I was part of cohort 21. So, I just started at Westminster City Council in 2019. I've since graduated from the scheme as well, so now I'm a programme manager in a digital place. My day-to-day focuses on improving broadband connectivity for residents, essentially. It's largely an economic development role, but we also have a, kind of, inherent focus on digital inclusion as well, which is part of the reason why I wanted to be part of this workshop. I think inclusion-, well, equality, diversity and inclusion as a whole has been growing in prominence for quite a while now. At Westminster Council, it's a-, it's a really important part of what we do, it underpins the culture. We have our, kind of, cultural guidelines as staff which is called the Westminster Way and one of the three pillars of that is that everyone is valued and I think an important part of that is you're, you're valued kind of no matter what and you should be encouraged to bring your true self to work and make any declarations that can make your life easier. I didn't benefit from any reasonable adjustments throughout the application process per se, but when I started interviewing with councillors and things like that, I was really-, I was trying to be really honest about my kind of mental health journey with things like depression and anxiety and I found that most, well, not most, all of the people that I spoke to were really supportive of that and I think having that kind of openness and that honesty helped me develop relationships at a really early point in the process and one of the senior officers who was part of my interview panel at Westminster City Council then became my mentor on the scheme, as well.
So, and has been part of my support network ever since and also since working at Westminster, the kind of diversity of the people that I've worked with or the people that I'm now friends with and things like that has really opened my eyes to how easy it is to be oblivious of accessibility needs or reasonable adjustments and how realistically if we wanna be diverse and inclusive and if we wanna be reflective of the communities that we serve, it actually needs to be at the forefront of all of our thinking as opposed to an afterthought.
Moderator: Fab. That's fantastic and that's a perfect moment for me to say from my perspective then, I've worked on the NGDP for about seven years now and I think we've really been on a journey in learning how to make sure that the scheme is open and accessible, it's some we monitor carefully and we're always working on, it's not something that we're perfect at, there's always more to learn and so opportunities like today and hearing from trainees themselves is exactly what we need to be doing to make sure that we're always looking for ways to improve and make sure that people have a fair and equal chance. From my perspective, to get on to the scheme but also for people who then are on the scheme to really thrive in their workplaces. So, thank you so much for those introductions. So, reasonable adjustments, the basis. I thought I'd go over a couple of the sort of most common questions that we hear about reasonable adjustments and then we'll go into the stages of the NGDP assessment process which are broadly similar to many other graduate scheme assessments and we'll talk specifically about each of those assessment stages and the impact that they can have. So, first big question. When am I asked about reasonable adjustments? So, for our graduate scheme and for other graduate schemes, it should be part of your initial application and either there will be an actual box to tick or there will be a line asking you to get in touch with an email address and outline some of the reasonable adjustments and your need for them. So, it should be something that comes up at the very first stage and we would strongly encourage anyone to whom this applies, even if you're feeling uncertain about your eligibility that you would get in touch at that very first stage.
However, for our graduate scheme, we do also give people the chance to declare at further stages as well in case they didn't feel comfortable or feel it was relevant in the initial instance, they still have the chance to do that at further stages of the assessment process or as Will was saying, you know when we get right to the very end and we're talking about council based interviews which aren't technically part of our assessment process though, that sort of final stage, there's still time to come forward and for us to help make that stage of the process equally fair and equal for all of our participants. So, you should be asked about it straight off the bat, if you can't find any information about this for our scheme or a different scheme, I strongly encourage you to get in touch at the support email address that's listed for this scheme. But, equally, if you don't do it off the top, do take up the opportunity later on if that's relevant for you. How is your data stored and used? I know this is something that people often can feel quite anxious about, it is a very often personal or private piece of information. It might not be something that is visible, openly visible like, for example, a physical disability. It might be something that, like Keziah was saying, is quite recently diagnosed for you. It might even be something that you're just feeling uncertain about and you want to explore more. Your data, I can assure you is completely confidentially held and any graduate scheme or employer should treat your data in a completely confidential way. For our graduate scheme, that data is kept on our central system, it's only used in terms of determining reasonable adjustments, it forms absolutely no part of your permanent record, it is not passed onto any connected suppliers or any outside organisations. We don't even pass that data on to our partner councils without your permission.
So, it's very confidentially treated and stored and it's only accessed by human resources professionals to help you with the assessment process. And what can you ask for? Well, this is really varied and you will get some differentiation based on the graduate scheme. I know that there are some graduate schemes out there who mostly for ease will enable people to completely skip a stage of an assessment process, sort of, as a default rule if they've declared a reasonable adjustment. Four our scheme, that's not the approach we take in the first instance but what we do is have a one on one conversation rather than a setlist of if you declared adjustment, this is the solution, every situation is different and so we like to have a conversation with you about your needs, your situation. We do usually ask for a professional assessment and that is really to enable us to provide the correct adjustments for you and also, if we were ever challenged on our adjustments process then we have an evidence basis to explain why we've given certain reasonable adjustments so that it's fair and equal for everyone. You might not have the right paperwork, don't worry about it. We can, again, advise and discuss on that topic and so we come back to the first point of getting in touch early is really the best thing you can do and enables us to have the greatest amount of flexibility in making an adjustment that's right for you. So, away from the general principles, what does this look like in practice? So, on your screen, we've got these stages of the NGDP assessment process and as I've said before, these are broadly similar to stages that we see in other graduate assessments. So, the first stage is an online application form and a situational judgement test.
The second stage is the video interview, the third stage is an assessment centre and then our fourth stage, which is a slightly different part of the process, is interviewing with local authorities that you have expressed an interest in and that is about finding out where you fit in terms of your placement on the scheme and then, coming all the way through to the present time in next autumn is the start date for people who've been through this whole assessment process. So, that's the quick overview but what do these stages look like and mean on an individual basis? So, the first stage, situational judgement. I'll give a really quick overview and then I've got some questions for our panellists to share a bit of their experience. So, a situational judgement test for us is a series of sixteen scenarios that are real life examples drawn from the workplace that our trainees have expressed, each one of those situations has been written up and you'll be provided with three different options to rank from the best response to the worst response or the most likely to the least likely to use, less biased language and this test is an untimed test for us and I would say, timing is the biggest factor that tends to come up with reasonable adjustments. So, it's always worth looking at a stage before when you're initially sent the information to see what the timing is like. So, for us, this is an untimed test. You do have to complete it in one sitting, it runs on the same system as the rest of our application process and so if you're using special software, if your software is working for the initial stages of the application where you're filling in your background information, it should continue to work but please to raise any concerns before you start the assessment. There are practice questions available on our website and these are real practice questions which we've sort of taken out of rotation and so I'd strongly encourage you to have a look through those.
We've also got a couple of workshops on this situational judgement test which one, that we've run and will be uploaded onto our website once it's been captioned and transcribed and the next one is next week on the 20th of October. So, if you can join in that, it's a great way to prepare and just one thing to note on the situational judgement test to flag up that this is a test which should not contain any or very much numerical data but if that is an area of concern for you, again, please do get in touch with us in advance because we can take another look at the exact questions that you'll face and make sure that none of those would have an adverse impact for you. And so, I think this is a good pause point for me. Now, for our panellists, I'm not sure, I've given a quick overview here of what the test is like on a logistical basis but would any of you be comfortable sharing your personal experience of the situational judgement test? Any-, and particularly highlighting any adaptations that you had for this stage of the assessment or that you felt would have been helpful in retrospect? Keziah, you're at the top of my screen so I'm gonna jump on first.
F: Yeah. One of the things that you mentioned, the fact that this one doesn't contain any numerical data was really-, made me really happy. So, I have dyscalculia, which is the maths version of dyslexia, basically. So, trying to manipulate numbers, for me, is really difficult and actually makes me really anxious. I can do it up to a point. I kinda got quite far during my academic life without anybody really noticing, but I've since-, I did other assessment tests, both in applying for jobs and applying for graduate schemes where it was just a whole, basically, maths test. I tended not to do so well on those ones because even if I had extra time, actually, if I've not done maths in a while, which actually, you know, in my day to day to life, I'm not doing, you know, working out interest rates and stuff, that's really difficult. So, it was really reassuring to actually go-, I feel like I am able to be on a level playing field for everyone-, with everyone else and I'm not being disadvantaged by, you know, a rogue numerical question other than, kind of, maybe the odd statistic in a question to help, kind of, support the scenario, which is fine because I don't-, I just have to understand what it says rather than, you know, try and do additional multiplication or anything with it, so.
Moderator: Yes and I should say, it's worth noting that we used to use a verbal reasoning test and numerical reasoning test and having analysed the use of the tests over time and their impact and the number of adjustments required, we just felt that they weren't really the best assessment tool for the-, for our graduate programme and so we've removed them completely from the assessment process. So, for anyone who's got a specific concern about that, I've not just missed them out, we don't use them anymore. Louis, any thoughts on situational judgement from your perspective?
M: I think probably Will and Keziah have probably covered this. So when you're applying for your graduate or jobs out of university, you apply for a fair few is probably the understatement and obviously-, I obviously put specific to the scheme, being untimed is obviously very nice but sadly for a lot of schemes you will be applying for, that isn't the case and so obviously, having even just extra time can be really, really helpful. I would always make sure beforehand you speak to the people, in my personal opinion, even if they say they don't do it. I've had times when I've started and noticed that there wasn't any so I would start, basically phone them up and then they would be like, 'Okay, we'll reset it for you,' and so you can kind of have that extra time that you were agreed to, agreed to have because sadly things on the back end don't always work. So, don't worry if you have started and you're suddenly like, 'Oh my goodness. I can't and that's it, now I don't get that, what I was promised,' sort of thing. Like, you can-, there are ways where you can just stop and phone them up or email and that sort of thing and they can-, I've never had an issue with it and not getting results so I wouldn't worry about that. I get-, it sounds quite-, obviously, there's practice questions and part tests available, the suggestion that I've always had is that when-, you can find out most scheme-, you can see what, almost like the situational judgement test they're using as in where they purchase it from, what company they use it through. If you go to those websites, you can also find more practice type-, more practice questions. They may not be as similar but, of course, practice always kinda makes perfect in that sense. That's something I'd always recommend, as well. Yeah, I couldn't say much more than that, really.
Moderator: Now, that's fantastic. Will, any thoughts from you on how it felt to sit the situational judgement test as an untimed test? Was there anything about it that you wish you'd flagged up in advance or did you feel that actually, it was a sort of, as friendly as they get in terms of assessments?
M: Yeah, the, definitely the latter. I think. Like Lewis said, I was in the same boat, applying for lots and lots of roles. My background was in law as well, so I was applying to training contracts with some of the city firms, Magic Circle firms, things like that, and they are-, their tests are really stringent and, and terrifying. So, this was nicer. I mean, when we-, when I applied I can remember having to do the verbal reasoning and the numerical reasoning as well alongside this, so I think that's great that those have been taken away because I think the situational judgement one is the one that relies more on, kind of, your preparation for what the role might be, as opposed to how well you can pick out nuances between different words, or how well you can do mental arithmetic. Again, I would just repeat what Lewis said as well, and just, practice does make perfect with this type of thing. Even if at first, the first few, few questions you think that you're answering correctly, because some of the answers will be quite similar, you will, kind of, pick up-, as you do the practice questions you will pick up what's actually being looked for, and you can start-, you can start shaping your thinking around that. Anna, correct me if I'm wrong, but is it the situational judgement one where you give a ranking between how you would-,
Moderator: Yeah, so you're given three, I believe it's three options and you rank them from, sort of, best to worst, I think they say, 'Most likely to do,' to, 'Least likely to do,' yes, which we pushed for over a number of years, I really don't like the forced choice of just choosing one, I think the feeling like you can show your thinking process, like, that's definitely the worst one, maybe it's a little bit between these two, and that's the reason behind the ranking system.
M: Yes, definitely. And I think, as you say, that does make it easier because you can put a bit of your, like, personal preference one and show what your character and approach would be as opposed to just what you think the response should be.
Moderator: Yes, and that's a fantastic point. Someone asked me the other day when I was doing the situational judgement workshop, you know, 'You're giving us these tips on how to give the correct answer, what happens if it's not the answer in real life we would actually do?' And I said, 'Well, to be honest with you, if every single question, you disagree with what the correct answer would be then probably you'd be miserable in the job,' so the thing I really like about the situational judgement test, is it-, it aims to give candidates a realistic job portrayal. As well as assessing you to see whether you'd be the right fit for us, it's really a chance for you sitting the test, thinking, 'Do I actually want to do this job.' Because these assessment processes are really long, you're usually considering multiple options so we're trying our best to give you an idea of whether this one's worth fighting for, which hopefully you come to the conclusion that it is. Let's hop along to video interview, I've got my eye on the time. So, the video interview is where things can start to get a little bit more complicated. So, we are just in the process of choosing the supplier for our video interviews. There are a few things I have to be a little bit vague on but I know that we're aiming for. So, a video interview is a scenario where you will be given a set of questions, now, for us that's been three, where you will hear and see in a video, and you see written out as well, a question. You're then given a period of time to consider what your answer will be, and then you are given an period of time to record your answer. Now, historically we have always given candidates the chance to watch back their answer at least once and re-record it. If I'm correct, it slightly depends on the software programme that we're using, but that is our hope.
That's not an industry standard, so most organisations will just be a one-and-done, and I would strongly encourage you to look into that and to ask that question if the video interview is something that might be an issue for you. For us, telephone interviews are the main substitute if it's an issue. We do get into giving extra time here, but if there's a real problem with the software then what we'll do is give you a range of options, and the most commonly selected of those options is to, sort of, go through the same questions but over the telephone with a member of our team. So, that's just to give you a bit of an example, but we do provide a wide range of alternative options, which go from extra time, having someone sit the test with you, etc. Now, for us something that we do aim to do as well, it depends slightly on our supplier, is actually to mark audio files only. So, the video component is there if we need to check that you were alone in the room, which we do a little bit of a spot check on, but last year we were able to mark audio files only as part of a move as close as we can get towards blind recruitment, and if that is the case again this year, then we'll make sure that you're aware of that fact, as I know that can sometimes be a factor for people in using this software. So, responses are timed and even if you're uncertain of whether you need extra time here, please do flag that with our team and we can certainly look into the provision of extra time. And usually, the software that we've used will give you a sample question and some practice time before you begin the assessment proper, and I'd strongly encourage you either to do that within our software programme or, again, to use a generic programme online, there will be loads of them, just to get into the practice, it's very cringy, of giving a timed response to a question and watching yourself back, listening to yourself back, and really getting into the practice of honing that skill.
So, I'm not sure whether anyone wants to re-visit their experience of the video interview, but, Keziah, I know when we spoke about this, and this is a great example of something that I think Lewis said as well, organisations don't always get it right, I think we promised you extra time and there was a mistake in giving you that extra time, but you raised it rightly with the team and I think we were able to provide you with another chance and the additional time.
F: Yes. I did, kind of, four or five video interviews when I was applying for graduate schemes and they can be a bit cringy, so I really like that actually you're trying to reassure (inaudible 30.27) recruitment, because I, I'm always so conscious about how I look on camera, and I'm like, 'Oh, if I don't like it, what if, you know, the people that are assessing it don't like it, oh, no.' So, that's really nice, really appreciate that. But, yes, I was entitled to a bit of extra time. I also have, kind of, the dyscalculia also sometimes makes it hard for me to, kind of, structure responses and answers, so actually having that extra time to find a way of presenting my thoughts in a way that was clear and made the most sense was really helpful. It took a little bit of the, the stress and anxiety out of it, which unfortunately returned when, yeah, kind of, somebody hadn't ticked the right box on the back end and I had-, I didn't have the extra time. But, yeah, as I, kind of, said, got in touch with the scheme, and, kind of, raised this with them, they were like, 'Yep, no, that's fine,' you know, 'You're still within the window of time to, kind of, do this video interview. We'll reset it, you've got the exact same questions, off you go again, you'll have the extra time,' which was great, but was also slightly nerve-wracking because it's like, 'Well, it didn't go horribly last time, what if it goes worse this time?' Thankfully, it was fine, but I'm just, kind of, thinking of a question in the chat, yes, it is often two or three minutes unfortunately, which doesn't sound like very much but actually sometimes when you're speaking it, it feels a lot longer. So, that can be really stressful and this is why sometimes having the extra time, if you're entitled to, really helps because it just gives you that time to think through things and take a deep breath before, you know, you have to start recording your answer and go, 'Actually, no, I've got this, it's fine.'
Moderator: That's great. And, Lewis or Will, any thoughts on your experience of the video interview?
M: I'll jump in if that's alright, Lewis, just quickly because, from what Keziah just said on the timings, I think it's important to remember as well that you're not trying to-, you're not trying to change the world with your answers, it's supposed to just give the, the recruiter a taste of your aptitude, your passion and your values, and I think the passion and values is the thing that, from when I've done local recruitment and things like that since interviewing and doing the application process, it's those things that people focus on more. And I think that's, kind of, unique to this graduate programme, that it wants to give people an opportunity, it doesn't matter what experience you have, it doesn't matter what degree you have, as long as you're passionate about communities and helping people, as long as you've got the right values and you're reflecting some of the key behaviours which are on the website and things like that, then it's fine. And I think if you have a, kind of-, if you have a preferred method of structuring your thoughts and keeping yourself on track, just practice that beforehand, make some notes. Make some notes about why you want to work in local government, that's bound to come up, make some notes about what kind of things you want to work on and what you're passionate about, that's bound to come up. If you've got a couple of good examples where you've met a challenge or you've dealt with a, a particular co-worker or team member during a group project at uni, or something like that that's been difficult, just write a couple of examples down and more often than not you can change-, you can adapt them to fit. I think preparation is key because you don't, you don't-, even with added time you're still not gonna have lots of time, so prepare as much as possible but then also don't worry about changing the world, just give a taste and you'll be fine. I thought I bombed the video interview and I didn't, so I don't think you can do much worse than that.
Moderator: And that's a great point, Will, to bring everyone's attention to the key skills and behaviours on our website, and I think for every candidate, but particularly if you are looking at a reasonable adjustment, or things like anxiety are a part of your life, then understanding what you're actually being assessed on, and being able to do a measure of preparation is always very helpful for your performance, and also just for your well-being, to, sort of, take a bit of that pressure off. So, for our scheme we're very open, every stage of the assessment process measures the eight key skills and behaviours that are on our website, we're not looking for something random, there's no, sort of, hidden formula behind the scenes of secret things we're assessing, it is just those eight criteria at every single stage. And so, just like Will has said, having a look through those, thinking through examples of how they've manifested in your life in any way can be one of the most helpful first stages in any part of the assessment process, but really, particularly coming into the video interview as well. I've got an eye on the time so I'm going to jump quickly into assessment centres and talk a little bit about these. So, we are offering virtual assessment centres for the foreseeable future, which have-, we have found have worked quite well for candidates in giving them some flexibility about the timing, when to complete the aspects of the assessment centre, and not needing to travel anywhere. So, that's still our plan for the coming year. Of course, that can bring challenges with certain forms of technology that are used so, again, if there is an impact that you believe will be had on you then please get in touch with us as far in advance as possible so that we can begin the discussion of, what is the best way to make these assessments fair and equal for you.
Usually, there are two independent exercises. Historically, we've used a written exercise and a presentation, and the most common adaptations for those would be extra time, and then there is one group assignment as well, which, by the nature of it, is something that we usually treat a little bit differently. But, again, we really do take your needs and concerns on a case-by-case basis. So, support and coaching is something that we've looked to build into the preparation for assessment centres more and more over the coming years, and I'd strongly encourage you, again, to use the resources on our website, and hopefully, we did last year, and we're hoping again to offer coaching to those who are feeling most anxious about the assessment centre and/or have identified a specific concern about the assessment centre. Last year we did a mixture of group and one-on-one coaching through an external supplier, and so do keep your eyes open for that and make sure that you take up the offer if it would be a help for you. We do see a big increase in the number of requests for adjustments at the assessment centre stage, which is fantastic. All I would say is, when I see that number going up, my only concern is ever, did someone actually not ask for an adjustment that they needed at stage one or stage two. And so, again, please don't be shy in coming forwards, you can come forwards right from the beginning, but equally if you get into the process, you certainly won't be the only person who sees, you know, some of the tasks involved in the assessment centre and says, 'Actually, this is going to really impact on me.' We would strongly encourage you to come forward even if you haven't said anything to us already, it makes no difference.
And so, that is a, sort of, whistle-stop tour of assessment centre. We've got a couple of minutes left so what I might do is take a quick look in the chat for any questions for the panel. Assessment centre is quite far away but if it's something that you're watching today and you're really concerned or anxious about, or you'd like some more information on, please just drop us an email and I can get back to you or look at running another webinar. So, I'll just put up on the screen as I'm chatting some of our contact details. These slides will be made available on our website with a transcription and captions service, probably in about a week's time, so it's not a one-time chance. But, most of this information is on our website. So, I'm just going to have a quick look in the chat. Yes, so if you are someone who would benefit from reasonable adjustments, then the best website is this email address right on the bottom, 'NGDP.firstname.lastname@example.org,' that's where our application forms should direct you towards, but you can get in touch even before you've started an application if you've got concerns about the process. And, yes, so, preparation for the assessments, for the assessment centres. So, we send out some bespoke guidance on the assessment centre including information on what each of those three exercises is going to be like, the technology involved in each of those, and some hints and tips to prepare. We've not yet finalised the exercises for the assessment centre as those happen in March, and that's why I'm being really brief, I don't want to give you wrong information around what we've done in the past versus what we've done this year, just to give you a bit of an overview there. Someone has asked about the legality of asking about disability, relating to the Equality Act.
I'm afraid that question is a little bit above my head, I'm not an HR professional. If you've got a concern about it then you can drop us a line to NGDP.support. What I would say is that we're not requiring anyone to come forward with confidential information or information about a disability. We're siimply asking whether someone has a disability and would like reasonable adjustments on the basis of that disability. So, if you'd like to know more about the process that we go through and the reasons behind that, then please do get in touch with us via NGDP.support and the HR professionals who work specifically in that area will be able to give you the right answer. Someone has asked about recruitment assessments and excessive waiting lists. Yes, and this can definitely be a factor I know that we've dealt with in the past. I would say, get in touch with our team and have a bit of a chat about where your personal journey is at and what you feel are the reasonable adjustments that would be an issue for you in our assessment process, what steps you've taken and what advice you've been given. They'll have a personal conversation with you about that, I don't think that we've ever had to turn someone down because they haven't had the right piece of paper, then it's really about making sure that we're able to make the correct adjustments for you, which can be so widely varied based on the range of needs that people have. But, also making sure that we've got a basis for making those adjustments in terms of the equality of the assessment process. I've had a question for you quickly, Will, if that's okay, which was around your advice of how to prepare for the video interview. So, I think you mentioned making notes on people's interest in local government and thinking about, sort of, almost typical examples of maybe how you've worked in a group before, how you've maybe shown leadership skills, things like that.
Was there anything else that you wanted to add to that, Will, just before we finish off the webinar today?
M: I think just to-, just to caveat that by saying, I don't know what's gonna come up on the video interview, that's just general advice for-, I've done many video and other interviews throughout my life so far, and there's, kind of, lots of questions that come up frequently. So, dealing with a challenging person when you're working in a team usually shows how good you are at problem-solving and how good you can work in a team. Examples of leadership, like Anna said there, leadership is one of the key behaviours. Think of any examples that relate to those key behaviours that are on the website, they're bound to come up. And then, of course, it's always about passion for local government, so think about why you want to work in local government, why you think you'd be a good fit. And if there's anything that seems to be-, I mean, if you go on the LGA website there'll be lots of press releases about what's on the agenda at that time, look at that and talk about that and it shows that you've done your research. I think it's just about showing that you know what's going on and, and you can adapt your skills to meet that.
Moderator: Great, thanks so much, Will. And we just had a question in the chat around specific details of how the SJT is marked. I don't work on that specific piece of the project myself, so I don't want to give you wrong information. Have a look on our website, we try to be as transparent as possible around how things are marked. If it's not clear, then do just drop that question to the NGDP support team and they'll be able to give you an answer, so I will brush up on that one for next time. We've reached-, we've reached our time for the end of this webinar. Someone's just got a quick question about reasonable adjustments in the workplace, and just to take that one really quickly, Rosie, then the answer is, yes. Now, coming back to one of the first points that I made, your data is completely confidential as part of the recruitment process. If we are coming to the council interview stage, then we will usually ask you whether you would give your consent for information about your reasonable adjustments to be passed on to councils so that they can make appropriate accommodations in the interview process. There are huge benefits to doing that and-, to make sure that that final stage of the process is fair and equal too, but it is your choice completely. And equally, when you start in the workplace, then we would strongly encourage you to have that conversation with a line manager or the placement contact in your council to make sure that you are getting the correct support and adjustments on a day-to-day basis. It's definitely something that if you are looking for-, it would be a make-or-brake factor for you in terms of accepting an offer of employment or not, then we would strongly encourage you either to raise that when you get the chance to meet a council, or to ask them by email once you've had a job offer.
It's completely your right to accept or reject a job offer and so do feel comfortable in doing that. I think Will was saying earlier that actually he, you know, he found it most helpful to discuss his own challenges around anxiety and depression at the very end stages when he was, sort of, getting linked up to a council and talking about interviews and starting work, and Keziah as well, I know that's been a big factor for you in just making sure that your work is structured in a way that is fair for yourself as well. And I think we've got some examples in the chat, thanks so much, Will. I'm afraid we're gonna have to leave it there for today. If you have any outstanding questions, please do drop us an email at NGDP.support, we'd love to have a conversation on this. If you're watching the webinar back, that's still the best email address to get in touch with us. So, thank you so much to our panel for joining us here today and for everyone who's been asking questions on the chat and listening to us. Take care and I hope to see your applications soon.
F: Thank you.