Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact for more information?

The Sandwich Student Placement Coordinators can be contacted for more information:


Telephone:  0207 219 2875


Can I send my Curriculum Vitae instead of an Application Form?

In order to be considered for a placement at the House of Commons you must fill in the appropriate application form. If you are applying for more than one of the placements you will need to fill in an application form for each placement. We do NOT accept a Curriculum Vitae as form of an application.


Can I apply if I am a foreign student?

Anyone who is studying at a University in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, who is on a 4 year undergraduate sandwich course can apply for the placements, provided they meet the necessary requirements (as outlined in the Placement Information booklet and individual Job Descriptions). Any appointment will be subject to our pre-employment enquiries.


Where should I send my Application Form?

Completed Application Forms should be sent to: Recruitment Team, Human Resources and Change, 3rd Floor, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.


What is the Closing Date for Application Forms?

The closing date for applications for the 2014-2015 Sandwich Student Placement Scheme is the 31st January 2014.


What is the Recruitment Process?

After the closing date, the application forms are assessed to see how your skills, qualifications and experience relate to the vacancy. Those who best match the criteria will be selected for interview. The interview panel is normally made up of three, occasionally four people, who each ask the candidate questions. The questions are intended to expand on your application and to demonstrate to the panel how far you meet the essential requirements of the post. Short-listed candidates may be asked to complete a task or a test either at or before the interview as part of the selection process. Further information will be provided to short-listed candidates. Confirmation of your application will be subject to the satisfactory outcome of the normal pre-employment checks such as Security clearance to Counter Terrorist Check Level, Health Clearance, References, Proof of Educational and Professional Qualifications.


When will I be invited to interview?

All candidates selected for interview will be notified by the Recruitment Team, in writing. If you have not heard from the Sandwich Placement Coordinators by March 2013 you should assume that you have not been selected for interview. Short listed candidates will be interviewed in Westminster in March/April 2014. The interview process may include a tour of the Palace of Westminster and of the Department.


Can I have additional study leave?

You will normally be allowed to take 12 paid study leave days (pro rata) in addition to your annual leave entitlement. This will be dependent on the department and your length of service over the year.


Is this a paid Placement?

Yes, you would be paid monthly in arrears. Your salary will be paid into your bank account on the last working day of each month (for salary information please check the Placement Information Booklet).  


Can I change my working hours?

The hours of attendance for these placements are normally 34 per week. This includes daily meal breaks of one hour. Exact hours of attendance each day are to be agreed with line management. When the House of Commons is in Recess somewhat shorter hours may be worked depending upon the needs of the section.


Do I have to work bank holidays or the weekends?

You will not be required to work on bank holidays or at weekends. Contract hours will be from Monday to Friday.


What training opportunities are there?

Each placement provides 'on the job' training in each of the sections that the student will spend time in. The student will also attend one induction course at the beginning of the placement. The student will also get the opportunity to agree a Personal Development Plan and a Forward Job plan which will set personal objectives and list any training requirements at the beginning of the placement.


Are there any refreshment facilities on the Parliamentary Estate?

There are a wide range of restaurants, cafeterias and bars across the Estate.


What other facilities are there on the Parliamentary Estate?

The main facilities on the Parliamentary Estate are as follows:

  • Westminster Gymnasium
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Church facilities
  • Access to the Line of Route tour (when open)
  • Tickets for the Public Gallery
  • Pavement Tickets for the State Opening of Parliament
  • Cash Dispensers
  • Post Office
  • Passport Photo booths
  • Souvenir shops
  • Welfare Service
  • Practice Nurse

More information can be obtained from the Staff Handbook and Intranet website once you are working on the Parliamentary estate.


Do you have any information on accommodation in London?

The House of Commons is unable to provide information on accommodation. However, websites such as Gumtree and Loot provide free listings of a wide range of accommodation in the London area.