Agency Registration and 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 process before you can work. If you're new to locuming, you may benefit from reading our article 'Your Timeline For Finding Locum Work' which covers the whole process of finding locum work.
Completing your registration and compliance is a bit of a 'chicken or egg' situation for locums. An agency can't tell you what types of opportunities they'll give you until you're fully registered, but you'll naturally be hesitant to register with an agency until you're certain they can find work that's a good fit for you.
In most cases, you'll often need to just bite the bullet and complete the registration process up front. With that in mind, this article will walk you through which documents most agencies and internal banks require from you, and provide tips to make the registration process as quick and easy as possible.
By getting all your paperwork prepared in advance, you'll avoid unnecessary delays and be well set to secure the best work opportunities as soon 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're 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, covering 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'll 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 in to your GMC account), and your MBBS certificate. If the shifts require you to have any additional exams (like MRCP) then you'll 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. Remember, you'll also need to complete an appraisal in your F3 year, check out this article for more information.
🏫 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: You'll need your passport, plus any visas if applicable.
🏠 Proof of address: You'll need proof of address, usually from two sources. Think bank statements, utility bills, council tax bills, electoral register, or anything else of that nature.
👩 Photo: You'll need a normal headshot photo for your ID badge. It doesn't need to be a proper passport photo, so taking one on your smartphone is fine.
👮 Police check: If you've lived in a foreign country for more than six months cumulatively in the last five years, you'll 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: The registration process will mostly 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're fit to work. This is also usually online or through a portal, so you'll be given details to access this 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 modules include 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 suggest you complete the mandatory training as quickly 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 easier to scan your documents into PDF form. Adobe Scan or Genius Scan are examples, but there are plenty 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 facing any unnecessary delays.
Be sure to keep your documents in a safe place, or email them to yourself, and keep them well organised. This is important so you can send them out to multiple agencies or banks easily, and also to access them for future reference if needed.
Of course, we appreciate having to send out all these documents repeatedly to different agencies is frustrating. To make things far more convenient for you, 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.
Now to Get Started
If you follow the above advice, it should make the process of registering with locum agencies and internal banks quicker and easier for you. This means you’ll have more time and will be available to be put forward for jobs sooner. The more widely registered you are with various locum organisations, the more opportunities you'll have to find the ideal locum work for 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.
Find locum work on your terms
The best locum agencies together in one place, competing to find you the best locum shifts. Managed for free through your Messly account.