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Recruitment FAQs

From our approach to diversity and inclusion, to how we support flexible working, find answers to common questions about our recruitment process. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like working for a charity like NPC, head over to our ‘What we offer’ page.

What does the application process involve?

We request applicants to apply for a role by sending a copy of their CV and cover letter to our recruitment team via email to We have a two-stage interview process which will incorporate competency based questions and exercises relevant to the role (i.e., presentation, written exercise, case study).

Cover letter guidance

When applying for a role at NPC, we ask applicants to include a detailed cover letter, outlining how their skills and experience meet the requirements of the job description. Reviewing cover letters is a key part of our screening process, so we have created this guide which aims to give you some further advice on what NPC looks for in a cover letter.

Before writing your cover letter:

1) Carefully read the job description—think about whether the job you are applying for matches your skills, experience and salary expectations. If you have any queries about the role before applying, you can contact us by emailing or calling us on 0207 620 4850

2) Do your research—take a look at the NPC website:  to find out more about NPC, the work that we do and who we work with to deliver social impact. This is useful for demonstrating your knowledge of NPC and your motivations for working for us within your cover letter.

3) Find out more about the team—you may be curious about who you’ll be working with at NPC. You can visit our Meet the team page on our website, which gives information on all teams and staff, including details about their background, the projects they’ve worked on and what their role at NPC entails.

Writing your cover letter:

1) Outline how you are suitable for the role—look again at the job description and particularly, the criteria for the role. We’re looking for applicants who can demonstrate how they meet these criteria, through talking about their previous experience and giving specific examples about where and how they’ve developed their skills and the scenarios where they have used them. Some job adverts may ask you to outline a specific number of points on how your skills and experience meet the job description.

2) Tell us about yourself—let us know a bit more about your background and what you have been working on up until this point. We’re interested in different perspectives, experiences and what makes people want to apply for roles at NPC.

3)  Make it relevant to NPC—we’re looking for candidates who understand and are passionate about NPC’s mission, so consider talking about this and let us know why you want to work with us.

Quick tips:

  • Keep your cover letter clear and concise—we ask for a maximum of two A4 pages
  • Make sure your examples are relevant—keep revisiting the job description to make sure that your examples are relevant to the criteria
  • NPC—we’re looking for candidates who understand and are passionate about NPC’s mission, so remember to mention this and let us know why you want to work with us.

How do you support disabled applicants?

NPC values creating a inclusive workplace that brings out the best in all employees regardless of their specialist personal characteristics. We encourage applications from disabled candidates.

We are a Disability Confident employer. If you require any reasonable adjustments within any one of the recruitment stages, please feel confident to contact our recruitment team who will be more than happy to ensure that the required level of support is in place for you.

What is NPC’s approach to diversity and inclusion?

At NPC, we want to attract the best talent with a diverse range of skills, experience and backgrounds. We recognise the importance of staff diversity in the widest sense and believe that it will help us achieve our aims. We care about recruiting people who think in different ways and come from diverse backgrounds. We’re committed to a process of continual improvement, with diversity, equity and inclusion part of everything we do. Here’s a summary of some of our recent initiatives from a recruitment perspective.

Employer brand:  We have refreshed these Work at NPC pages on our website, seeking to present our total offer in a warm, engaging, accessible way and highlight the 4 factors that internal & external data tells us are the most attractive to potential candidates – our purpose, working environment, commitment to development and benefits. Also, we have renewed our accreditation as a London Living Wage Employer, become a DWP accredited Disability Confident employer and signed up to Show the Salary. At trustee level, diversity, equity & inclusion is now a standing agenda item for all board meetings with trustee recruitment decisions made based on a skills & knowledge matrix which the board reviews at least annually.

Recruitment channels: We explored alternative recruitment channels to reach the widest possible pool of talent in a time & cost-effective way, but the findings were inconclusive. So, we instead have engaged with talent programmes that aim to improve diversity, equity & inclusion including Change 100, a paid work experience scheme for undergraduates and graduates with a disability, and 2027, a 12-month talent programme to bring frontline workers from working class communities into grant-making. Also, we’ve signed up for the Kickstart scheme which seeks new job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Application & selection: We have removed a 2:1 degree as an essential requirement and made all roles available on full time, part time, job share or secondment basis. We assessed the cost-benefits of an applicant tracking system to reduce unconscious bias but decided not to proceed for now. Instead, to mitigate the risk of unconscious bias,

  • all applications are scored independently by two people using objective scoring criteria;
  • we guarantee and interview for all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum criteria;
  • at least two people sit on the interview panel for all roles; and
  • we use pre-agreed interview questions.

We have updated that way that we coordinate interviews with briefings, checklists and debrief meetings for all involved. And we have refreshed the written exercises and case study materials used in interviews.

Onboarding & induction: We updated our onboarding literature & induction process to ensure that our material is warm, engaging accessible to give everyone the best possible experience in their first 6 weeks with NPC. We have received very positive feedback. To ensure this is maintained we have added 3-month and 6-month check-ins for all new starters. Also, we have introduced a mini-induction process for staff returning to work after a break, for example maternity leave or furlough.

Do you accept speculative CVs?

We do accept speculative CV’s for our roles within the Research and Consultancy team, which includes the following roles: researcher, consultant, senior consultant and senior consultant M&E. Please email a copy of your CV to along with your covering letter stating the role that you would like to be considered for, why you want to work here and what you would bring to NPC.

Do you offer volunteer placement, internship or work experience opportunities?

We do not generally offer formal placement or work experience opportunities, though we are interested in hearing from enthusiastic people who have the right skills and experience to contribute to our work. Please send your CV to, together with a covering letter outlining why you’re interested in doing a placement or work experience with us and what you would bring to NPC.

Do you sponsor candidates to come and work in the UK?

Unfortunately we cannot sponsor applicants to come and work in the UK. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK before they apply for a vacancy with us and be able to provide evidence of this.

What is NPC’s approach to flexible working?

We support flexible working arrangements, whether that’s hybrid working or part-time employment. We treat each request for flexible working on a case by case basis and try to balance your preferred way of working with our client commitments and business needs. Our office space offers meeting rooms, break out areas and quiet zones. We also hot desk which increases engagement across teams and the exchange of ideas. We can provide for reasonable adjustments within the workplace.

What is NPC’s approach to pay?

As the leading think tank and consultancy for the charity sector, we aim to attract staff from the not-for-profit sector, as well as the public and private sectors, and to pay our people accordingly. NPC’s remuneration process is as follows:

  • The board is responsible for setting the chief executive salary.
  • The chief executive sets the salaries of the senior management team.
  • The senior management team, in conjunction with NPC’s HR consultant, sets all other salaries.
  • Pay is reviewed regularly and at least annually.

In setting salaries, the board, chief executive, and management team take into account the following principles:

  • Recruitment and retention: for NPC to achieve its mission and financial sustainability, we require high-calibre staff with a range of skills and disciplines. Remuneration packages take into account the market rates for comparable jobs in relevant markets.
  • Affordability: the impact on NPC’s financial health and overall business plan is always taken into account.
  • Performance: performance targets and objectives are assessed through the annual appraisal process and taken into account in remuneration where it is relevant.
  • Proportionality: the ratio of lowest to highest salary is monitored. As far as it makes business sense, we strive for parity across the organisation, so that employees at comparable levels in different teams receive similar pay.
  • Transparency: NPC follows SORP guidelines and lists in the annual report the number of staff earning £60,000 and above (in bands of £10,000).  See our most recent annual report for more details.
  • Living Wage: NPC is an accredited Living Wage employer and does not hire unpaid interns.
  • Staff at all levels have access to the same benefits, including pensions.

How does NPC comply with privacy and data protection rules?

We process all personal data with a high level of confidentiality that is in accordance to the GDPR rules that have been administered. We process personal data relating to those who apply for job vacancies with us or who send speculative job applications to us. We do this for employment purposes, to assist us in the selection of candidates for employment, and to assist in the running of the business. The personal data may include identifiers such as name, date of birth, personal characteristics such as gender, qualifications and previous employment history. We will not share any identifiable information about applicants with third parties without their consent unless the law allows or requires us to do so. The personal data provided during an application process will be retained for a period of at least six months or, if required by law, for as long as is required.