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the 6 critical background checks you need when recruiting health care professionals

on Mon, 27/04/2020 – 10:57
screening background checks

As the demand for healthcare professionals grows due to covid-19, the need to source qualified and authentic candidates becomes both more important and more difficult. That does not mean, though, that anyone can take unnecessary risks to fill openings without observing CQC and health and social care compliance.

Whether you’re recruiting for permanent staff, staff on fixed-term contracts, temporary staff, volunteers, students, trainees, contractors or highly mobile staff, you are required to cover the following checks for each individual:


Checking a potential employee’s identity is the most fundamental of all the background screening requirements.

It should be the first check performed, as any other checks will be invalid if the person’s identity cannot be proven. To complete an identity check, you will need to see, review, and validate original identity documents. For further information on what types of documents can be used, read the latest home office guidelines.

Covid-19 update: The government has temporarily relaxed rules when validating ID documents.

right to work

The right to work (RTW) check requires an acceptable document showing permission to work in the UK. This check should be conducted prior to employment starting. If an employee’s RTW is time-limited, a follow up check before it expires is required. To find out how our RTW app can save you time, click here.

If the correct checks are not carried out and illegal workers have been employed, your business will be subject to a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. The home office reported that between January 2018 and March 2018, a staggering £6.8 million was issued in fines and penalties for illegal workers.

For that purpose, having a thorough process in place to ensure that RTW checks are carried out is vital. Carrying out RTW checks, in line with home office guidance, provides a statutory excuse to protect employers if an individual is accidentally employed illegally.

Covid-19 update: Read the latest on temporary changes to the way you can check documents.


Checking prospective employees are recognised by the appropriate regulatory body and that they have the right qualifications to do the job is essential to protect the public.

An investigation from the BBC reported that thousands of people in the UK are applying for jobs with fake degrees that they’ve bought rather than earned.

Employers must check the registration of health professionals with the relevant regulatory body. They must have the consent of the prospective employee and their registration number in order to make the check. Currently there are eight regulatory bodies and around 1.1 million registered health professionals.

employment history and references

Employment history checks are used to ensure that the candidate has the relevant experience and/or work history to qualify for the role.

Around 9% of job applicants falsely claimed they had a college degree, listed false employers, or identified jobs that didn’t exist.

It’s important that you obtain the candidate’s permission before you request references. Always be aware of the credibility of the referee and email address, and look out for gaps in the prospective employee’s employment history and dates.


This check was previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau). However, they’re now carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Disclosure Scotland (DS). There are three levels:

basic: provides information on unspent convictions only, and does not require a specific role to be provided

standard: checks spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings

enhanced: as well as the standard check, additional information held by local police that is reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for is provided. For enhanced checks it is also possible to check barred lists. This will check whether someone appears on the ‘barring lists’ for roles working with children and vulnerable adults.

Covid 19 update: The government has temporarily relaxed rules on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks.

occupational health

An Occupational Health (OH) check is a number of health screenings undertaken by an appropriate or appointed OH Screening nurse to assess whether candidates are capable and fit for a particular role with or without reasonable adjustments.

At giant we have been providing screening solutions to recruitment agencies for almost 30 years and we are passionate about your candidates’ journey. We can provide you with our leading background checking service with rapid service deployment (under 24 hours) and a complete pay as you go service.

But don’t take our word for it! Read our latest case study to find out how we have provided Keystream with a 57% cost deduction and a super fast onboarding at a time they needed it most.