What Are NHS Pre-employment Checks?
The National Health Service is a big employer in the UK. People that work within the NHS are often involved in caring for vulnerable adults and children. For this reason, NHS workers are subject to rigorous pre-employment checks to make sure that they are safe to work in a position of responsibility. This usually includes carrying out a DBS check.
If you are considering applying for a job with the NHS, this article will help you to understand the pre-employment checks that you will have to undergo before starting work.
Right to Work Check
The first thing that the NHS will check is whether you are allowed to work in the UK and are eligible to remain in the country.
The main thing you’ll need to provide is a valid form of identification. In other words, you’ll need to show one of the following government-issued documents:
- Valid UK passport
- Valid foreign passport that is free from immigration controls
- An EEA or Swiss passport or national identity card
- Home Office-issued residence permit or immigration status document
- UK Border Agency-issued biometric immigration card or document
- UK birth certificate or certificate of adoption
- British naturalisation certificate
- Home Office signed letter permitting an indefinite stay
DBS Criminal Background Check
One of the most important steps in the NHS pre-employment screening is a criminal record check.
The level of DBS check required will depend on the type of role being applied for. A basic DBS check may suffice for somebody that is not working in direct, unsupervised contact with vulnerable people – IT staff for instance. For roles that involve close, regular contact with vulnerable groups, a standard or enhanced DBS check will be requested. If the role is classified as a regulated activity by the DBS, which includes doctors and nurses, then an enhanced DBS check with barred list will be needed.
A basic DBS check searches your record for unspent convictions only.
A standard DBS check searches your criminal record for spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions, warnings, and reprimands.
An enhanced DBS check searches for the same things as a standard check, but also highlights any police notes present on your file. An additional barred list check will search through the DBS’s lists of persons barred from working with vulnerable adults or children.
Professional Registration Check
Many NHS jobs require professional registration, including doctors and nurses. During the screening process, the NHS will check with the relevant governing body or agency to make sure you are registered and/or licensed to practice.
CV Check And References
As is the case with most employers, you will need to provide a full record of your employment history and you will be asked to explain any gaps. The NHS will also ask for references from any previous employers going back at least three years.
Occupational Health Check-up
It’s not surprising that an employer working in the health sector will ask for a pre-employment health assessment. The NHS will carry out a full occupational health check, in accordance with the guidance set out in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. This guidance states that people cannot be summarily disqualified from employment because of a learning or physical disability.
Get a DBS Check Online
If you want to check your criminal record ahead of applying for a job with the NHS, you can request a basic DBS check yourself online (standard and enhanced DBS checks need to be carried out on your behalf by an employer or registered organisation).
To apply for your Basic DBS Check you can fill out our 5 minute application form and receive results within 24 hours here.