FAQs: Health visitor employment - from training to practice


28 / 5 / 2012 1.56pm

Our briefing, Health visitor employment: from training to practice – a guide for employers, outlines a model for employing health visitors at point of entry to training. These frequently asked questions provide further detail on the briefing. If you have a question you would like to ask that is not answered here, please email recruitmentandretention@nhsemployers.org

Who is this guide for?

The guide is designed to support employers of health visitors and associated colleagues that support them, such as primary care trust commissioning leads, education commissioners and workforce planners.

It will particularly useful for those organisations that have large trajectories and/or are finding recruitment to health visiting programmes challenging.

Why should I use this approach?

The number of students required to be trained and working in the service will increase significantly for the September 2012 and 2013/14 intakes. Organisations that have a large trajectory will find the model particularly useful.

Using the model will provide a commitment of employment to students and may raise the confidence of undecided potential applicants to move into the profession. Students are more likely to remain in employment with your organisation, reducing the need for an additional lengthy and expensive recruitment process.

Making your current health visiting staff aware of the approach and involving them in the recruitment process can improve morale and increase levels of engagement in the implementation plan.

We currently work with other employers in our locality, how does this scheme affect this?

We acknowledge that working collaboratively with other employers locally is already in operation in some areas. The guide for employers positively supports this approach where it assists in developing the health visiting service.

Individuals can be employed by the service provider and seconded to another organisation for training purposes, then return to work for the original sponsoring employer when they qualify.

Organisations working collaboratively, should where possible work together in the planning stages and throughout the recruitment process to ensure that students meet the requirements of both organisations.

I would like to interview students again once they have qualified, can I?

One of the intended purposes of this model is to provide a commitment of employment to students and provide increased confidence to undecided applicants to move into the profession. If you were to interview students for positions again once they qualify, it undermines that commitment.

Employers will be able to have confidence in the competencies, skills and qualities of the applicants, and therefore not require a further interview if:

  • The employer has carried out a robust recruitment process, in partnership with their education provider that has been based on the person specification; and
  • The student successfully passes the course and has registered on the relevant part of the NMC register.

In order to ensure that this model meets the requirements of your recruitment policy, human resources departments should work in partnership with line managers to discuss implementation of the model.

What other tools and guidance are available to help support me in this process?

There are a number of upcoming resources that will be useful to employers implementing this model:

  • We have published a shared learning example that demonstrates how one organisation has been using this model to support their delivery of the health visitor implementation plan.
  • A recruitment toolkit that contains information on creating successful adverts, effective job descriptions and person specifications, providing the right information for applicants and sharing of SHA recruitment marketing materials.


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