Answering the Key Registration Questions for Locum Doctors
If you're new to locuming, registering and getting compliant with a hospital bank or locum agency can seem like a daunting prospect. Even for the more experienced locum doctors, going through the registration process each time you apply for work can still be frustrating.
To help make this easier for you, here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about the registration process for locum doctors.
What is compliance and why does it even need to happen?
When you’re working as a locum doctor 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.
If you’re working with an agency, they'll help you get compliant when you register, and they'll be responsible for certifying that those checks have been done.
What's included in the registration process?
There are a lot of things involved in the registration and compliance processes.
NHS Employers, the body responsible for setting standards in this area, outlines six checks which all staff must pass before they're allowed to work in a healthcare setting.
👉 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've secured a job?
Unfortunately, hospitals won’t review your application for a job until they know that you’ve completed the registration process, which included getting compliant. Find out more about the timeline of finding locum work here, including when is the best time for submitting all your forms.
In some cases, like when hospitals are short-staffed or desperate to fill a locum shift, your agency can sometimes submit you with a CV and references, with the rest to follow later. However, you’ll still have to start the registration process first and complete it before you begin working.
We understand this isn't ideal. That’s why we only include pre-vetted and highly-rated agencies here at Messly, and get them to mention real roles up-front. This gives you full confidence that you’re working with a great agency who will have relevant opportunities for you, all before you even start the compliance process.
Why can’t I just do it once?
Each agency is individually responsible for getting you registered and compliant. Even though it would save a lot of time and admin, there's currently no system for sharing that information between agencies (or between hospitals and agencies), which we appreciate is frustrating.
To make it quicker, easier, and more convenient for you to secure locum work, we’ve created a way to save you time registering with locum agencies.
Our new service, Messly Docs, takes all the hassle out of the registration process for you. You’ll receive guidance on what registration documents you need to provide, store them all in one place, and share them seamlessly with your locum agencies in just one click. Doctors who used Messly Docs registered 70% faster with locum agencies.
If you’re already a Messly user, you can access this now by clicking the Docs tab in your app and browser. If you've not used our locum service before, check out this link to learn more about how we can help you find the locum work you’re looking for.
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 registered. You can check it out here: Messly's Locum Doctor 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.
This article is part of a wider series, supporting doctors like yourself with a comprehensive set of guides and articles to ensure you have the best possible experience working as a locum doctor. These cover everything from working with locum agencies, help finding work, managing your finances, and tips for making the most of your time. Click here to visit our Locum Doctor Hub to explore the full list of resources.
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