What we’re looking for

There is no such thing as a typical NAO school leaver trainee. Successful candidates come from a diverse range of backgrounds and may have studied any A level subjects (or equivalent). You don’t need to have studied maths or a finance-related A level to succeed on the scheme. We do however have some minimum criteria you will need to meet .

  • 300 UCAS points or more (either achieved or expect to achieve following your exams) from your top three A level grades (or equivalent). General Studies does not count. If you have 280 UCAS points (either achieved or expect to achieve following your exams) from your top three A level grades (or equivalent) you may be eligible to apply based on the context of your educational and personal circumstances – please email HRServiceDesk@nao.gsi.gov.uk for further details.  Please note from 2017 onwards the UCAS Tariff points is changing, you will require a minimum of 120 UCAS points or equivalent from your top three A level grades (or equivalent).
  • 5 GCSEs at grade A* to C including Maths and English.
  • You must be a UK, Commonwealth, EEA or Swiss national to comply with Civil Service nationality rules and must hold a valid work permit. We are not able to sponsor work visas.

In addition to your academic qualifications we look at your competence in eight key areas. By competence we mean the skills and behaviours that you will need to demonstrate to be a successful School Leaver Trainee at the NAO.

The competencies are assessed throughout the application process and candidates should familiarise themselves with them. Candidates may also want to think about how their own experiences may demonstrate the desired behaviours. Examples may be from academic work, hobbies, employment or extracurricular activities in the last two to three years.

The competencies, and a short description of each, are listed below. Click on the headings to read the full description.