Temporary pre-employment checks

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we recognise that employers will need to engage increased numbers of workers to support services under pressure at very short notice, and will need to do this in a way that provides a safe level of assurance about the person’s suitability for the role. 

NHS Employers has been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, and NHS England and NHS Improvement to provide guidelines which will give a proportionate and safe level of assurances, where there is an urgent need to appoint workers and volunteers to provide emergency support.

These guidelines outline temporary measures that may be adopted where it would not be reasonably possible to follow normal check requirements outlined in the NHS Employment Check Standards. It also reinforces flexibility under the pre-existing requirements, such as holding interviews via video conference.

Where individuals are already employed within the NHS (in England), employers should ensure there is a legal agreement to share substantive staff and bank workers and use digital systems, such as ESR or the digital staff passport which is being developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement) to avoid any unnecessary duplication of employment checks. See further information in our section on enabling staff movement

If you have any queries about the temporary pre-employment check requirements, please email us at: employmentchecks@nhsemployers.org. Please mark your email with ‘COVID-19’ in the subject title. 

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Use of video conferencing to conduct interviews

Advice on the use of technology to conduct interviews.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

DBS fast-track scenarios

A set of scenarios relating the COVID-19 fast-track DBS check

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Verification of original documents

Learn about temporary changes to pre-existing guidance to allow employers to accept scanned and emailed copies of original documentary evidence.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Identity checks

Up-to-date information on pre-employment identity checks.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Right to work checks

Information on seeking verification of an applicants right to work.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Criminal record checks

Advice about criminal record checks during the emergency period.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Professional registration and qualification checks

Guidance on verification of individuals against professional registers and their qualifications.

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

Work health assessments

Information on obtaining a self-declaration from individuals to confirm that they are either fit to undertake the duties of the role or, if they require a further occupational health assessment

COVID-19 indemnity and litigation

References and employment history

Guidance on acquiring employment history and reference checks.


Pre-employment checks during COVID-19 FAQs

Frequently asked questions on temporary pre-employment check arrangements during COVID-19

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