Refreshed NHS Employers pre-employment check standards

Updated pre-employment check standards.

18 March 2022

We have updated each of our pre-employment check standards to make them easier to reference to and provide a clarification of requirements. A breakdown of significant changes are detailed below.

Changes to the standards

Identity check

  • We have made reference to cabinet office guidelines on checking identity. The principles of this document aligned with identity check requirements (1.2.2).
  • We have removed the section 'Using advances in technology'. Relevant information has been incorporated into the minimum requirements section (2).
  • The process to check identity remotely, as outlined in temporary pre-employment check guidance has been made a permanent change and incorporated into the standard (2.1).

Right to work check

  • In section 2.2., we have included details of changes to right to work checking process from 6 April 2022.
  • In section 2.2., we have outlined how British and Irish citizens can prove their right to work.
  • We have combined the ‘Validating documents’ and ‘Copying and storing documents’ sections into one section ‘Validating, copying, and storing documents’ (2.7)
  • We have removed the ‘Recruiting outside of the UK section’. Relevant information is contained in ‘Right to work evidence – scenarios’ (4.)

Criminal record check

  • We have amended examples of where employers may wish to ask applicants to obtain a basic DBS disclosure certificate (2.1.2)
  • We have removed the section ‘Reducing delays in processing applications.’ This information is available as an FAQ

Professional registration and qualification check

  • We have clarified the minimum requirements for a qualification check (2.1)
  • We have clarified how employers can check if an individual is subject to an active HPAN (6). 
  • We have removed the contact information about each statutory regulator. Instead we signpost to the relevant information on each regulator’s website (2.1.6)

Employment history and reference check

  • We have moved the section ‘how to seek a reference’ to earlier in the document (2.2)
  • We have made the reference templates separate, editable Word documents.

Work health assessment

  • We have made clearer the minimum requirement of complying with the equality act (2.1).
  • We have removed references to the streamlining programme. 
  • We have removed reference to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Further information about this can be found about this on our employment checks FAQ page.

Further information

The NHS Employers pre-employment check standards support employers to practically consider and implement the six pre-employment checks mandated by the Department for Health and Social Care for all appointments to the NHS.

The standards are subject to period review to ensure they reflect changes to legal and regulatory requirements. 

We work across the system with stakeholders such as the Department of Health and Social Care, Care Quality Commission, Disclosure and Barring Service, NHS Protect, the Home Office and NHS trusts to ensure consistency in understanding and approach, and share best practice.

If you have any questions regarding the updates, please email