Practice Aptitude Tests is not associated with NGDP. We provide preparation services for NGDP psychometric tests. Our tests are not designed to be identical to any style, employer or industry. Visit https://www.local.gov.uk/national-graduate-development-programme/faqs to find out more.
The National Graduate Development Programme is the leadership trainee programme run by the Local Government Association (LGA). It is the only graduate programme that is specifically catered to helping those who want to work for the local government, assisting councils across the country hire and train talented graduates.
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If you pass the online testing, you will be invited to take a video interview. This a remote form of interviewing where you record your answers to preset questions instead of answering them live in-person.
Your answers are then scored against the key competencies listed, again assessing how well you fit the behavioural profile.
The LGA recommends researching the sector in detail as you will be asked about why you want to work for the local government and the public sector. Some possible questions are:
- Identify a key issue local communities are facing. How would you work to tackle this?
- Describe a time you effectively implemented change.
- Why are you committed to working with the local community?
- Describe a time you worked in a team on a project. What were the strengths and challenges you faced?
Virtual assessment centre
Finally, successful candidates will attend a virtual assessment centre, where you will take part in tasks specifically designed for the NGDP. This gives you an opportunity to meet with other candidates and current staff so you can socialise and get a better understanding of the job and whether it’s the right next step for you.
There are three exercises:
Typically this takes the form of a presentation. You will be given materials on an issue or case study to present to a hypothetical leadership team and then field a panel of questions afterwards.
This to test your public speaking and organisation skills, showing how well you work under pressure and your attention to detail when creating your presentation.
This will be a meeting or ‘boardroom’ exercise, where you have to work through a meeting with a group of fellow candidates. During this you will have to discuss the agenda, debating the issues and coming to an agreed upon decision before the ‘meeting’ is over.
Again, you are marked against the competencies, so make sure that you have these in the forefront of your mind as you go through the exercise. For example, balancing how you show your leadership and teamwork skills during group debates can be difficult, but remember that the goal here is collaboration, not competition.
The written analysis is an essay/report exercise. You will be given a lot of information about a particular issue and then you will have to plan and write a short piece on what you have learnt. NGDP gives these exercises to further assess your written communication skills, attention to detail, and critical thinking.
Previous candidates have reported the most difficult aspects were prioritising important information under the time pressure, and remembering to think holistically about the issue at hand. This means considering the social, financial, and political context of something, not just focussing on one in particular.
During the assessment centre day you will have the opportunity to talk with different representatives from the councils offering placements. Although they prefer to place people locally, you can request interviews with any councils that you like and these will be arranged by the NGDP.
The interviews will be competency-based and therefore similar to the types of questions asked during the video interview. Questions such as why you requested a certain council, your understanding of current issues, and how you demonstrate key competencies are most likely to come up.
To prepare for these interviews, researching the councils you are meeting with, your areas of interest, and writing down relevant examples to share will help you immensely. Have a look at our interview tips to make sure that you are fully prepared and make the best impression you can.
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