Wednesday 16th Jan 2013 - Kate Hodkinson
General practices, in line with all other NHS providers, have to demonstrate compliance with CQC standards. Outcome 12 states that providers should:
In addition, it refers providers to the NHS Recruitment Check Standards in the applicable publications.
NHS Employers updated the Recruitment Check Standards in September 2012 in light of changes to the CRB and Vetting and Barring schemes. Practices should aim to be compliant with the standard and to ensure that the carry out appropriate checks on all employees.
There are six standards to be checked
These are designed to:
The NHS uses the information supplied by an individual to verify these two things and ensures that they can be checked against external sources. Prospective employees need to produce valid, current and ORIGINAL documents that include:
At least one of these documents must contain the applicant’s signature. They should all be copied and retained on their personal file subject to Data Protection Rules.
If no appropriate photographic ID is available employers should ask for:
The NHs employers website contains a list of acceptable non photographic personal identification documents.
Changes to the Asylum and Immigration Act which came into force in February 2008 make it a criminal office to employ an illegal worker and the emphasis is on checking right to work status before someone commences.
The same checks should be carried out on all prospective workers with no assumptions being made on the basis of colour, race, ethnicity, national origin or length of time spent in the UK. The guidance gives two list of documents (or combinations of documents) which should be used to confirm the right to work status .
LIST A - these documents confirm an unrestricted right to work in the UK
If nothing from this list can be produced, the practice should look for documents from LIST B – this list contains documents that demonstrate limited leave to work in the UK and as such should be checked at least every 12 months. The full list can be seen on the NHS Employers website.
The practice must check the professional registration of anyone who requires one before they start work and it should be a contractual condition that any healthcare professional has registration throughout their employment.
There are 8 regulatory bodies covering health professions but practices are only likely to require confirmation from:
Other registration bodies include those that regulate Pharmacists, Dentists, Opticians, Osteopaths and Chiropractors.
If a qualification is REQUIRED as being essential for any post – the employer should request the original certificate, copy the document and check it’s validity with the awarding body.
In the case of other qualifications that the practice requests or an applicant claims, an appropriate level of checking should be carried out.
All applicants should be asked to supply their full employment history – for this reason a standard application form is often better than a CV. Any anomalies in the work history should be discussed at interview.
References should be used to verify part of the recent employment history , the NHS standard states:
Ideally references should be addressed to a central HR department rather than an individual manager and the information provided should be used to confirm a recruitment decision. Always be aware that under the Equality Act 2010, information about health, ill health or absence should only be looked at after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Criminal Record and Barring checks should be carried out once a conditional offer of employment has been made. There are two levels of CRB check:
Every practice needs to consider what level of check is appropriate for their employees and to put in place their own system for checking. For posts which are deemed to require a CRB check, the practice can use the exemption from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and ask candidates to complete a declaration – see the NHS Employers website for their model declaration forms.
There is no legal requirement to carry our retrospective or periodic criminal records checks on staff. How often a practice carries out periodic checks on existing staff remains a locally determined decision based upon the risks that are perceived.
Employers are no longer able to issue applicants with pre employment health questionnaires which would provide them with information about their health, ill health or absence before a job offer has been made. However, you can ask a prospective employee to make a declaration of YES or NO to the following statements:
Occupational health checks are made prior to employment in the NHS as a standard process. General practices may be able to opt onto this process. If that is the case, you should carry out a risk assessment of the job for any specific areas of risk and them complete the local Occupational Health documentation after a conditional job offer has been made.
An employing practice should be very careful in refusing employment on grounds of ill health or absence and all the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act and the equality Act should be fully considered.
Full details of the NHS Employment Check Standards can be found on their website.
We run a practical and interactive 'Recruiting the Right Person' Training Course that covers all of these requirements in detail as well as focussing on writing an effective personal specification and creating an interview process that ensures you recruit someone who will perform well in the job and in the team. Contact us for details of the course.