All external staffing providers (including contractors and agencies) that have a National Agency Framework Agreement with the Crown Commercial Services’ (CCS) are required to provide assurances that they have robust recruitment processes in place as part of the CCS’s auditing and monitoring of those organisations.
While we would strongly recommend that employers use agencies and external staffing providers on a framework agreement (because of the added quality assurances this can provide), the employing organisation has overarching responsibility for auditing and monitoring all providers they chose to use, to ensure that they operate to the same level of standards in relation to undertaking employment checks as outlined by the NHS Employment Check Standards.
Where an agreement has been put in place to require the agency or third party provider to undertake employment checks, the employing organisation should seek written assurances that the worker supplied has the correct level of clearances commensurate with the roles they will be required to undertake. This should be done by obtaining a copy of the temporary worker placement checklist.
We would therefore recommend that any contract agreement should also include statements which outline:
- that as the employing organisation [the NHS organisation] retains the right to audit their screening processes at any time to verify that the correct level of checks have been undertaken in line with requirements outlined by the NHS Employment Check Standards.
- that they must inform the employing organisation if the contracted member of staff is no longer registered or employed by them, or is undergoing disciplinary procedures, or is charged or arrested of a criminal offence.
- that failure to comply with any stipulated requirements may result in:
- any payment for their services being suspended until appropriate assurances have been provided to evidence that staff have been adequately screened
- them being held liable for any financial penalties imposed as a result of discovering that staff have not been adequately screened.