Welcome to Mencap!

So you want to work for Mencap? Welcome to the application form and recruitment process guide.

Mencap is the voice of learning disability. Everything we do is about valuing and supporting people with a learning disability and their families and carers.

We work in partnership with people with a learning disability and all our services support people to live life as they choose. Our work includes:

  • Providing high-quality, flexible services that allow people to live as independently as possible in a place they choose.
  • Providing advice through our helplines and websites.
  • Campaigning for the changes that people with a learning disability want.

We are an individual membership organisation, with a local network of more than 500 affiliated groups. Our work is shaped by what our members tell us about their needs and wishes.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops. There are many different types and most develop before a baby is born, during birth or because of a serious illness in early childhood. A learning disability is lifelong and usually has a significant impact on a person’s life. Learning disability is not mental illness or dyslexia.

People with a learning disability find it harder than others to learn, understand and communicate. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) need full-time help with every aspect of their lives – including eating, drinking, washing, dressing and toileting.

There are 1.5 million peoplewith a learning disability in the UK. Like all of us, they are individuals who want different things in life and need different levels of support.

Our vision, mission and values.

What Mencap wants (our vision)

Our vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included. We want everyone to have the opportunity to achieve the things they want out of life.

How Mencap will achieve this (our mission)

We will:

  • Listen to people with a learning disability.
  • Fight for the changes that people with a learning disability and their families and supporters want and need.
  • Support all people living with a learning disability in all parts of their lives.
  • Give excellent information and advice.
  • Work with people and groups that want the same things that we do.

Mencap believes in (our values)

  • Being people centred.
  • Empowering, including and respecting all people.
  • Challenging wrong ways of thinking about learning disability.
  • Transforming lives.
  • Being brave and developing new ideas.

Diversity and equal opportunities at Mencap

At Mencap we believe that everyone should have equal chances in life, no matter what their ability, ethnicity, beliefs, circumstances or life experiences may be. We want to make sure that our services and support are available to everyone, and that they are used by people from different communities. We value difference and want to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, to increase the range of skills and talents within Mencap. This makes us stronger as an organisation.

Mencap wants to support and work with people with a learning disability, their families and carers from different backgrounds.

These include:

  • Disabled people and non-disabled people.
  • People from black and Asian communities and white people.
  • Men and women.
  • Older people and younger people.
  • People of different religions or beliefs
  • People of different sexual orientations.
  • People who have, or are thinking about, changing their sex.
  • People who are single or in committed relationships.

We really want people with a learning disability to be involved in running Mencap.

Mencap is here to make life better for people with a learning disability (as well as their families and supporters). We believe we must work with people with a learning disability to do this. We especially want people with a learning disability to work for us as staff and volunteers, and be members of Mencap.

You can expect some things from Mencap.

  • You can expect not to be abused or bullied.
  • You can expect to be treated with respect – it should not matter how you look, whether you are a man or woman, what race you are, how old you are, your sexual orientation, if you are disabled or not, what you believe, who your friends and family are or anything else that makes you different.
  • If you have a complaint, you can expect that we will deal with it quickly. We will not tell anyone who does not need to know.

Mencap expects some things from you.

  • You should not be rude to, bully or treat anyone at Mencap badly. This includes staff, people who use Mencap services, Mencap members and volunteers.
  • You should treat everyone with respect – it should not matter what they look like, whether they are a man or woman, what race they are, how old they are, their sexual orientation, if you are disabled or not, what you believe, who your friends and family are or anything else that makes them different.
  • You should tell a manager in Mencap if you think something is happening that is unfair.

The importance of commitment and reliability

Mencap workplaces are exciting and challenging places to work.

Reliability and good timekeeping from our employees is essential to the delivery of our quality services. People who use our services have a right to expect a consistent level of service provision, delivered by people they are familiar with. It is not hard to imagine how unpleasant it can be for an individual to be supported by someone they have never met before. Yet this is the reality when staff are absent from work and managers have to bring in temporary staff to provide cover.

As someone applying for employment in Mencap, please make sure you consider the following:

  • You are available to work flexibly on a shift pattern (if required) including weekends and Bank Holidays. Make sure you have discussed with the recruiting manager exactly what the requirements of the service you will be working in are;
  • You fully understand what annual leave you are entitled to and that this fits with any personal commitments you have;
  • You have discussed any specific needs for flexible working with the recruiting manager and that the extent of the flexibility we can offer has been fully explained to you;
  • It is essential that you do not start your employment with Mencap knowing that you cannot give the commitment required for the job. Please be open with the recruiting manager.

In return, you can expect from Mencap:

  • Recognition for you reliability and commitment.
  • Support to assist you in those instances where emergency leave is required such as child care emergencies.

Our commitment to disabled people at work

If we offer you a job at Mencap, you should note that at this stage, we will ask you if you have any health condition or disability that might affect your work and which might require special adjustments to your work or at your place or work. We are committed to employing disabled people, so if you are the right person for us and you have a health condition or disability, we will make adjustments, where reasonable, to enable you to do your job.

Guidance notes on the application and the recruitment process

Applying for a post

The information you provide in your application form is what we will use to decide whether to shortlist you for the selection process. This helps us to review each candidate in the same consistent and fair way. Filling out the form accurately, honestly and in full is therefore very important.

Please do not send in CVs or testimonials as these will not be taken into consideration.

Completing the application form

Enclosed with this pack is a job description, which lists the main duties and accountabilities for the post for which you are applying, and person specification, which details the experience, skills and knowledge required. You should look at these carefully before completing the application form.

We will be looking at how you show that you meet the requirements listed in the person specification. It will help if you give specific examples of how you meet each requirement, for example, if one of the requirements is to demonstrate initiative give examples from paid or voluntary work or from your home life of how you have used your initiative to get things done.

Ensure that the information you provide is well organised and relevant.

If you have any questions about completing the form you can contact Recruitment Administration on 029 20747588

Equal opportunities monitoring

As a disability charity Mencap is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all in employment. To ensure that we can review our recruitment practices, please complete the equal opportunities monitoring sheet attached to the application form.

The sheet will be detached from the application on receipt and will not be seen by those responsible for short listing and interviewing applicants. The information will be used for statistical purposes only.

If you require an application pack with bigger type face, or have any other suggestions as to how we may assist you in your application, please contact Recruitment Administration on 029 20747588.

Applicants with disabilities.

We are particularly keen in Mencap to promote the employment of people with a disability. Mencap will select for interview all applicants with a disability who meet the essential criteria for the job.

In order to ensure fair treatment of applicants with a disability we will give you the opportunity to tell us about your disability at various stages of the selection process. This is in order that we can make reasonable adjustments to the selection process.

All information provided will be treated confidentially.

If you are an applicant with a disability and would like the opportunity to discuss the selection process please contact Recruitment Administration on 029 20747588.

Completing the sections of the application form

Personal details

Please ensure that you provide full contact details.


Please advise us of how you heard about the vacancy. If you saw this advertised in a newspaper or on a website, please specify which one.


Mencap asks for the names of two referees, which must include your previous employer(s). If you have not had two employers, you may provide a second reference from a teacher, university or college tutor if you have been in full-time education. If you have not been in full-time education and do not have two previous employers, you can provide personal references from people who have known you for five years. However, we do not accept references from family members.

Employment history

We require details of your present and previous employment, including any voluntary work. You should clearly state your reason for leaving each job.

You must account for any breaks in employment by stating a reason such as “children”, “vacation” or “unemployed”. If you have not yet been in paid employment, please give details of any work experience, holiday work or voluntary work you have undertaken.

Education, professional membership and training

We are interested in any form of education you have received in school, college and university and in any training you have undertaken. You should include details of any technical, professional or other relevant qualifications. We may ask to see evidence of your qualifications.

We are also interested in any membership you have of professional bodies.

Please also list any relevant training, learning, voluntary work or other responsibilities you have had.

What can you bring to the post?

This section is your opportunity to really sell yourself by identifying how you meet the essential requirements for the post! Use examples from previous employment, other work or education to show how you meet the requirements. Here’s an example of how you can do this effectively:

Essential requirement: Ability to communicate well-both verbally and in writing.

Example: In my current post I have to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, including managers, service users and family members. I know my managers are very busy so I ensure that I am clear, concise and to the point when I communicate with them. The people I support currently have a range of ways that they communicate effectively and it is my role to find our the best way to communicate with them so we can both understand each other. It is important to be clear and open with family members and to not use overly technical language when discussing their family member’s support plan, for example.

Eligibility to work in the UK

You should advise us here as to whether there are any current or future restrictions on your right to work in the UK.

All new employees (including temporary staff, relief staff and those on fixed-term contracts) need to satisfy Mencap that they are entitled to live and work in the UK. In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, Mencap is legally required to make certain checks on all new employees, before they start work.

Welsh speaking Applicants

You only need to complete this section if you are applying for a post in Mencap Cymru (Wales).


We are particularly keen in Mencap to promote the employment of people with a disability. Mencap will select for interview all applicants with a disability who meet the essential requirements for the job. Use this section to let us know if you have a disability.

Other information

Please respond to all of the questions in this section which help us to ascertain whether there are any restrictions on your potential employment.

Data Protection Statement and Declaration

Please make sure that you read the data protection statement carefully and sign the declaration.

Make sure that we receive your completed application by the closing date. Late applications will not be considered.

Returning your application

Please ensure that you have completed all sections clearly and in full and you have signed the declaration. If you need to use additional paper maker sure you attach this to the application securely. Send all documents to the person and address listed in the covering letter by the closing date as stated. Any applications received after this date will not be considered.


We will review all applications after the closing date to see which applicants best match the requirements of the job. Those who do meet the requirements will usually be selected for interview or other selection activity. Applicants will be assessed on the information provided in the application form.

As a charity, we are unable to contact all applicants who submit an application for a post. Therefore, if you have not heard from us by the time we expect the interviews to take place, as stated in the covering letter; you should assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Criminal records information

Posts in Mencap which provide direct support to people with a learning disability will be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau (Disclosure) check. You will be advised if this is the case and whether the Disclosure will be Standard or Enhanced in the application pack covering letter. Disclosure will be sought from the Criminal Records Bureau before the appointment is confirmed.

Further information on Disclosure is available from for posts in England and Wales and for posts in Northern Ireland.

If you are shortlisted for interview, you will be required to disclose any criminal record(s) you have. Please note that Mencap welcomes applications from applicants with a variety of backgrounds. Criminal records will be reviewed and taken into account for recruitment purposes where the conviction is considered relevant. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position with Mencap.

Finally, we wish you success in your application. If, however, you are not invited for interview on this occasion, please apply for future posts which interest you.