International recruitment frameworks

On this page we look at the purpose and benefits of using international recruitment frameworks.

31 October 2023

Frameworks are designed to act as a support network to NHS providers to ensure that contracts entered into are compliant to Public Contract Regulations 2015 and are protected by robust terms, high-quality services and support value for money. The approved frameworks are free to access for NHS providers giving an enhanced level of governance and assurance to support ethical recruitment requirements and the successful placement of healthcare professionals.

NHS and social care organisations are encouraged to contract with organisations on frameworks, such as Health Trust Europe or Workforce Alliance. Inclusion on an approved framework bolsters recruitment activity, offers protection with ethical sourcing, and provides reassurance that agencies on frameworks adhere to best practices.

Usually, framework agreements are procured for a term between two and four years and can offer direct award or further competition options for providers to contract one or more suppliers for a period of up to four years. While approved frameworks will not routinely add in new suppliers following conclusion of the tender process, there may be sub-contracting opportunities available subject to the specific terms outlined by the framework providers. New tender opportunities will be publicly advertised tendered through the Find a Tender service, or you can access full details for all approved frameworks.

All NHS providers are strongly recommended to engage with an approved framework to call-off any requirements for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals.

The framework agreement uses the NHS Standard Form Terms and Conditions, so you know terms will be fair to both the supplier and your trust. Since suppliers have been tested by the NHS Workforce Alliance, you can be assured that the appointed suppliers have the capability to provide the services you need.

Each framework agreement will have its own unique terms, specification, commercial structure and added value benefits, so please engage with the relevant parties to ensure that you get the support you need to support your project and successful outcomes.

We recommend that you look at the Health Trust Europe and NHS Workforce Alliance websites to learn more.

To be successfully accepted onto a framework, organisations must be on the Ethical Recruiters List

Additionally, if you would like information on frameworks for domestic recruitment please visit the NHS England website.