How to become a patient advice and liaison service officer
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could get some of the skills you need for this job by doing a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Customer Service. This will be useful for dealing with complaints and mediation work.
You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could gain some of the skills and knowledge needed for this role through an intermediate customer service practitioner apprenticeship or a customer service specialist advanced apprenticeship.
You can search for NHS customer service apprenticeships on NHS Jobs.
To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You may be able to start as a patient advice and liaison service (PALS) secretary or administrator and work your way up to PALS officer.
A common entry route is through volunteering, particularly within the NHS. Some patient advice and liaison services are staffed by a mix of paid staff and volunteers. Contact the voluntary services co-ordinator or manager at your local NHS authority or trust or go directly to your local PALS service for advice.
To apply directly to become a PALS officer jobs, you'll need:
- a good general standard of education GCSEs (grades 9 to 4 or A* to C) including English and maths
- previous experience in a customer care or mediation role, including dealing with complaints
Some NHS organisations might want you to have a degree. Other employers may prefer you to have some working knowledge of the NHS. A background in a health profession such as nursing could be useful. Other relevant backgrounds are advice, advocacy and counselling.