Compliance for F3 Locum Doctors
The unfortunate reality of locuming, whether you choose to go through a locum agency or Trust's internal staff bank, is that you’ll need to complete a somewhat arduous registration and compliance process before you can work.
The process of 'getting compliant' for locums is very 'chicken and egg' - you want to know there's great work available for you before you bother to go through the process... but the agency can't submit you for shifts until you're fully registered and compliant so you'll keep missing out until you get it done.
So unfortunately you have to bite the bullet at get compliant up front. Messly have created a service for locum doctors to quickly find the right agency for them. You create a profile which says exactly what kinds of work you're looking for (what specialty, where, at what rates), and then get ‘pitched’ by multiple agencies, offering you shifts matched to those needs. You can quickly find the agency that has the best work for you… so you know it's worth the hassle of getting registered with them. You can read more here.
This article covers which documents most agencies and internal banks require from you, and tips to make the registration process as quick and easy as possible. By getting the paperwork ready and prepared in advance, you'll avoid unnecessary delays and be well set to get first dibs on the best work opportunities as they come along.
📝 An up-to-date CV: This may seem obvious, but it's very important to get it right, especially if you are applying for popular shifts. To help ensure your CV is sharp and eye-catching, see this article for tips on writing a CV specifically for your F3 or locum year.
👴 References: Usually two or three references are ideal, to cover your most recent post and the last three years of employment. You should send your contacts a friendly message in advance, giving them a heads-up that they will be asked for a reference, so they’re expecting the request from your agency or bank and can respond promptly when they receive it.
💉 Immunisation records: This will need to include your hepatitis B immunisations as well as serology, among others. These can usually be accessed from your GP if you don’t have them to hand.
📄 Indemnity certificate: If you log-in to your online account for MPS or MDU, you'll be able to download your yearly certificate to inform the agency or bank of what you're covered for.
📄 Certificates: You'll need to provide your original DBS certificate, your ALS/BLS certificates, your GMC certificate and GMC Annual Retention Fee Letter (by logging into your GMC account), and your MBBS certificate. If the shifts require you to have any additional exams (like MRCP) then you will need copies of those too.
🔎 Proof of subscription to the DBS update service: If you haven’t already, you’ll need to sign up to this update service, which has a yearly fee of £13 and can be accessed by all employers, so you don’t have to pay for a new DBS each time you work in a new trust.
✅ Annual appraisal information: As an F2, you can download a copy of your F2 ARCP outcome form and FPCC when you receive them. For locum doctors, you should send a copy of your most recent appraisal. You’ll also need to check the GMC online for your next re-validation date as this is usually required for the registration documents.
🏫 Mandatory Training certificates: You’ll need certificates from any training days you’ve attended during your F2 or previous locum years. This can reduce the amount of mandatory online training courses you’ll have to complete for your first year as a locum (see below).
🛂 Passport: Plus any visas, if applicable.
🏠 Proof of Address: You'll need proof of address, usually two sources. Think bank statements, utility bills, council tax bills, electoral register, or anything of that nature.
👩 Photo: A normal headshot photo for your ID badge. A mobile phone picture is fine - it doesn't have to be a proper passport photo.
👮 Police Check: If you've lived in a foreign country for more than six months cumulatively in the last five years, you will need a police certificate from that country.
When registering with a locum agency or internal bank, they’ll also ask you to complete the following documentation:
✒️ Registration form: This will ask you for basic information like address and bank details, plus National Insurance. Most agencies will ask you to fill this out online.
🏥 Occupational health form: This will ask you for various pieces of medical information to ensure you are fit to work. This is also usually online or through a portal - you will be given login details when you start the process.
Each locum agency will have a different list of training they require to be completed, and they’ll send you a link to access their e-learning and tests for each module. This may include courses that you’ve already completed in previous years, so you can supply these certificates to reduce your workload (see above).
Some examples of mandatory training include modules like Infection Control, Conflicts, Safe-Guarding, Fire Safety, Information Governance, and Equality and Diversity. Once you’ve completed the mandatory training, ask them to send you your certificate so you can then pass this on to any other agencies you register with. It can be tempting to put it off, but we advise you to complete the mandatory training as soon as possible.
Agencies can be very helpful if you have any issues. They can usually arrange for you to have blood tests if you need to, so it’s better to approach them as soon as possible if you identify a problem.
Our Tips for Extra Convenience
We’d suggest downloading a scanning app on your phone to make it quicker and easier to scan your documents to PDF form. Adobe Scan or Genius Scan are examples, but there are many out there to choose from.
It’s wise to prepare and complete all your documents well in advance of approaching agencies so you can move quickly through the registration process without unnecessary delay.
Be sure to save your documents in a safe place, or email them to yourself, and keep them well organised. This is important to enable you to send them out to multiple agencies or banks, and you can also access them quickly for future reference if needed.
Now to Get Started
If you follow the above advice, it should make the process of registering with locum agencies and internal banks far more convenient for you. This means you’ll have more time and will be readily available to be put forward for jobs sooner. The more widely registered you are with various locum organisations, the more access to work you’ll have.
This article is part of a wider series, supporting doctors like yourself with a comprehensive set of guides to ensure your F3 year is a success. These guides cover everything from initial planning, options for moving abroad, help with finding work, and tips for making the most of the experience. Click here to visit our F3 Resource Hub to explore the full list of guides and articles.
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