Answering the Key Compliance Questions for Locum Doctors
Compliance can seem like a daunting prospect if you’re new to locuming. Even for the more experienced locum doctors, getting compliant each time you apply for work can still be a frustrating process.
To help make this easier for you, here are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about compliance:
What is compliance and why does it even need to happen?
When you’re working as a locum in any healthcare setting, whether directly with the hospital bank or through a locum agency, there are rules in place to ensure you’re eligible and safe to work in each role you apply for. These rules exist to protect patients and colleagues.
In the case that you’re working with an agency, they will help you get compliant when you register and they will be responsible for certifying that those checks have been done.
What is included in compliance?
There’s a lot involved with compliance!
NHS Employers, the body responsible for setting standards in this area, outlines six checks which all staff who want to work in a healthcare setting have to pass. These are:
👉 Your identity (passport and proof of address)
👉 Right to work (nationality and visa)
👉 Employment history (CV and references)
👉 Professional registration (GMC status and other certificates)
👉 Occupational health (vaccinations and blood tests)
👉 Criminal record (DBS checks, formerly called CRB)
For more information about these, you can read further information on the NHS Employers website here.
Can I wait and do it once I have secured a job?
Unfortunately, hospitals won’t review your application for a job until they know that you’ve passed through compliance.
The agency can usually submit you with a CV and references with the remainder to follow, but you’ll have to start the compliance process first before you have certainty about the job you’ll be working.
We know this is frustrating! That’s why we only include pre-vetted and highly-rated agencies here on Messly, and get them to mention real roles up-front. This means you can be confident that you’re working with a great agency who will have relevant roles for you before you even start the compliance process.
Why can’t I just do it once?
Good question! Each agency is individually responsible for compliance, and there’s unfortunately no system for sharing that information between agencies (or between hospitals and agencies).
However, we’ve found that once you’ve done it once it becomes much easier thereafter. Around 90% of the requirements are the same, and if you have your documents saved in one place you can share that folder with subsequent agencies, which will save you a lot of time.
Where can I learn more about what’s required?
Here at Messly, we’ve interviewed doctors of all grades, as well the compliance managers at the leading agencies, to collect an extensive set of information and resources.
From that, we’ve built a complete guide for doctors looking to get compliant quickly and without hassle. You can check it out here: Messly's Locum Compliance Toolkit
If you have any other questions that weren’t answered in this article, or need guidance with any aspect of your medical career, please don’t hesitate to contact us here and a member of our team will be delighted to help you.
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