Working at the IS - FAQs

Some frequently asked questions about applying for jobs and working at the Improvement Service.

  • All vacancies are advertised on the Improvement Service website. They are also posted on S1jobs and MyJobScotland.  Graduate vacancies are posted on the University of Strathclyde website which feeds through to all Scottish University sites. From time to time we also post adverts in more specialist forums, depending on the nature of the role required.

  • Visit the Improvement Service website recruitment page, select the vacancy you wish to apply for and download the application pack. Complete the application in full and submit by the due date.  As the process evolves further details will be e-mailed direct to you.

  • To ensure an equitable, fair and transparent approach to recruitment, unfortunately we cannot accept late applications. Please continue to check our website for future vacancies to ensure you don’t miss opportunities.

  • Working for the IS means joining a small family of professionals.

    Our company headquarters are based in West Lothian, located conveniently for commuters between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Pay is only one of the benefits of working for the IS, our terms and conditions are progressive and flexible and employees are rewarded with a generous annual leave entitlement of forty days per year, as well as a flexible working policy (in agreement with your line manager depending on the role).

    The IS offers the opportunity to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). The Local Government Pension Scheme is one of the largest public sector pension schemes in the UK. It is a nationwide pension scheme for people working in local government or working for other types of employer participating in the Scheme. The LGPS provides salary-related, defined benefits, which are not dependent upon investment performance. As it is a statutory funded pension scheme, it is a secure pension arrangement with rules set out in legislation made under an Act of Parliament (the Superannuation Act 1972).

    The IS approach to Performance Review and Personal Development Plans (PRPDP) will provide assurances that your development needs are being met. Managing individual performance and personal development is key to the success of the IS. In particular it gives managers and employees the opportunity to communicate and review that all training, development and learning opportunities meet the individual's needs within the context of achieving the aims and objectives of both the particular team and the wider IS.

  • If you experience any issues, e-mail We will ensure any problems are resolved as quickly as possible.

  • To ensure the fair and equitable treatment of potential candidates for each individual role we do not hold CVs on file and do not accept CVs as a way of applying for job.

  • The IS requires two referees. If you have worked, at least one of your references must be your current or most recent employer.

    Referees provide extra information that let us know about your work history, your skills and experience. This information reinforces what you have written on your application form.

    The best people to be your referees are:

    • former employers, especially a mentor or boss
    • your teacher/lecturer/tutor
    • your PhD supervisor or examiner
  • Yes. You will receive an automated response confirming your application has been received when submitted via e-mail. All applicants are then contacted via e-mail once applications have been reviewed. The email will provide information that lets you know whether you have been successful in progressing to the interview stage or whether your application was unsuccessful therefore you will progress no further.

  • You should hear within 1 week of the application closing date. In most instances a provisional date for interviews is provided in the job advert.

  • No, we do not provide expenses for candidates travelling to interviews.

  • Yes, all applicants with a disability who meet the essential criteria for a post will be interviewed. The Improvement Service will make such reasonable adjustments as necessary to help applicants participate in the selection process and for successful candidates to take up employment.

  • If you are invited to the interview stage all applicants for all jobs must provide evidence of their eligibility to work in the UK, as detailed in this requirements document. You should bring such evidence along to your interview.

  • Start dates are usually 4-5 weeks after a candidate has accepted a position. This can vary depending on the role.

  • Our probationary period is 3 months.

  • We allow employees in most positions to work flexible hours in agreement with their line manager and IS corporate policy.

  • A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree is desirable however other grades will be considered. All qualifications will be considered.

  • Applicants should look on the IS website to find out more about the IS and what we do. Applicants should also prepare for a competency based interview. Prospective candidates may this Guide to Competency-based Interviews document helpful.