The application process
What is the application process like?
Our process is different – no CVs, cover letter or awkward assessment centres required.
It has been designed for you to get a glimpse into the world of a technology company – allowing you to understand what kind of situations you may be faced with as a digital consultant. We’ll get to know you better in the process and gauge whether your strengths, interests and motivations will be a good fit for the academy.
Check out our video to learn more:
- It starts with a short application form on our website where you’ll be asked to fill in a few basic details (name, surname, email address, phone number).
- First you will arrive on the portal homepage for the strengths assessment. You should go through each panel in turn and think about the scenarios you are presented with before answering the questions. It will take around 60 to 90 minutes to complete.
- If your strengths are a match, then we will ask you some questions to determine your coding potential.
- If your coding potential strength is a match, a QA career adviser will be in touch to schedule a telephone discussion. This is your chance to ask questions about the programme.
- Last up is a video interview – where you’ll get a chance to ‘meet’ a member of our team and talk about what motivates you face-to-face. They will talk to you about your strengths portal experience and discuss how you are likely to handle certain situations in the academy.
What is the strengths assessment?
The strengths assessment goes through scenarios that a digital consultant might face to give you insight into what the job is like. You’ll be asked questions about the scenario and how you would feel or respond to that situation to see if it’s something you would enjoy. The assessment looks at what motivates you, what you are passionate about and how you handle certain situations. Answer as honestly as you can because there aren’t any wrong answers - we simply want to get to know you.
The assessment will take around 60 to 90 minutes to complete and you should try to do it all in one go. You’ll then be emailed a feedback report – which is yours to keep and refer back to. The feedback report is a personal profile all about you! It lists your key strengths and identifies areas for development – giving you tips on how to improve in future.
What is the coding potential assessment?
This step is an exercise that identifies your coding potential which shows us your technical aptitude for the role. As with the strengths assessment, try to complete this all in one sitting. Once it’s completed you’ll receive an email with the outcome and next steps.
Do I need to provide references prior to joining the academy?
When onboarding, you will be sent a number of documents. One of these forms (the personal details form) will ask for 5 years' reference history.
We have to provide 5 years unbroken reference history for security clearance so it is very important that you provide these details at this stage. If your employment or academic references do not cover 5 years we can accept Job Seeker’s Allowance letters. If you have any gaps longer than 3 months that you cannot cover with references or job seekers allowance, we will request a personal reference. A personal reference must be someone that has known you for 10 years and is not related to you.
All references must have a professional email address as we cannot accept any from generic accounts such as Yahoo or Hotmail accounts.
Can I choose which technology route I go down?
Your technology route will be dependent on what customer opportunities we currently have. This is so we can get you real-world work experience as quick as possible. We encourage you to keep up-skilling your technology expertise and will support you throughout your career with us.
Where will the training be?
All our training is currently delivered virtually.
What are the working hours during training?
Your usual hours will be 9am – 5.30pm weekdays with an hour lunch break. On Mondays we have a late start of 10am and Fridays we finish at 4.30pm so you can start your weekend early.
Can I have days off during training?
We suggest that you do not take any time off during training. We have to cover a lot of content during the short period of time that you are with us and if you take a number of days off it is unlikely you will be able to catch up on the work you have missed.
We do, however, appreciate that unforeseen events do arise so we do allow you to take up to three days of authorised absence.
What technical equipment do I need during training?
- Windows 10
- 8 GB Ram
- Ryzen 5 Processor (or equivalent)
- 1366x768 resolution
- A minimum internet download speed of 25 Mbps
- A microphone (either inbuilt or as part of a headset)
If your current machine doesn’t meet the above specifications we can look to send you a laptop which meets these criteria. However, this laptop would need to be returned once the training has been completed.
Is the training paid?
The training period is unpaid but we do provide financial support. This can be in the form of a monthly bursary or accommodation.
What support do I receive during training?
You'll have support throughout your training from our subject matter experts. Once you have secured a role with our end customers, you will have a dedicated Technical Manager to support your journey through customer site.
How many assessments/exams will I have while training?
The number of assessments and exams during training is entirely dependent on your training pathway. Within the Academy, most of the modules have some form of assessment at the end of the training – whether it’s individual or group-based - to evaluate your knowledge and understanding. The majority of these assessments are in-house assessments, but there are some modules that have official accreditations that you are required to obtain.
What do those assessments consist/measure progress of?
The assessments will encapsulate the majority of the content covered within that training module. For example, the assessment for a Databases module will discuss some form of domain or requirement set that is to be completed with all knowledge gained in the Databases module. The primary measure of your understanding will be an assessment of your solutions fit for purpose, against the specified requirements and the quality of your submission.
What certifications will I get?
Certifications are entirely dependent on the training pathway. For example, if you are going through a testing pathway, you will typically be trained in the ISTQB Foundations of Testing, with a view to sit the exam and earn the official certification. It is important to note that some training pathways may not have a relevant certification to earn; this could be down to the level of certification or the technology not offering official accreditation.
When will I know my end customer?
Typically, you will be made aware of customer that you have been aligned with towards the end of training. This is because the specialisation training that you will go through will allow for a better understanding of your capabilities and suitability towards a specific role or technology. You may be considered for a number of opportunities with a variety of customers.
Can I choose my end customer?
No, we match your skills to our customer's needs so you can get onsite experience as quick as possible.
How is a customer chosen for me?
Customers are chosen based on your technical abilities and training alongside your soft skills. Your specialisation will be the largest factor for your customer – for example, if a customer needs 8 Java Enterprise Edition-based developers and you have specialised in Java EE, you may be suited technically for the role. Contrary to this, if a customer needed 8 DevOps engineers and you completed your training in Java EE, this customer wouldn’t be suitable for you.
How do I get a position with the end customer?
When aligned with a customer, you will typically go through an interview process with them. This can differ from customer to customer – some examples being face-to-face interviews, technical tests or assessment days. Due to the varied nature of these customer interviews, you will be put through interview preparation to understand and further improve their interview techniques by our trainers; both from a technical and soft-skill viewpoint. From this, we determine the strengths that you can play to and the weaknesses that we can collaboratively work with you to improve.
What locations could I work in?
All our roles require you to move to the end customer so we ask you to be 100% happy to live anywhere in the UK.
What happens if I want to leave within my first 2 years?
This role is a full-time permanent opportunity, however as we cover all of your training costs we ask you to commit to us for a minimum of 2 years. If you leave within this period we would ask you to repay some of the training costs.
What does my progression look like?
Progression within QA is self-determined. While we encourage and support you with requirements such as additional training, we work to monitor progression through the Skills for the Information Age [SFIA] Framework. This means it’s your responsibility that ultimately determines your progression within QA and your personal path towards self-actualisation.