Sova recruitment process: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Information relating to our Graduate Recruitment Programme, and specifically how the Sova recruitment process works, how this informs the grading and how it is utilised to process applicants to the Graduate Development Programme.


All candidates who have completed an online application for the graduate programme receive a link to register for the initial online assessment.

The assessment is provided by Sova, who are a third-party supplier appointed by the Scottish Government to provide assessment services for the programme recruitment.

The initial online assessment is composed of two parts:

  • the first part of the assessment assesses personality and behavioural preferences
  • the second part of the assessment assesses on numerical and verbal reasoning

When a candidate has completed both parts of the assessment, their responses are automatically assessed and combined, resulting in a total score for the assessment. Candidates who score the required pass mark or above are invited to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Candidates who have not achieved the required pass mark will be informed that their application is not being progressed.

The final stage of the recruitment process is a virtual assessment centre which is supported by the Sova platform. The assessment centre includes a virtual competency-based interview with presentation and an online analysis exercise aimed at assessing candidates ability to comprehend and process information.

Both elements of the virtual assessment centre are scored and places on the programme will be offered to the highest scoring candidates in merit order.

Information has previously been published on the application process in our candidate guide, available online at: Graduate Development Programme: candidate guide 2023 - (

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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