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Update on temporary pre-employment check guidance

An update on the temporary pre-employment check guidance issued at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

14 March 2022

To help employers plan their recruitment, NHS Employers has issued an update on the temporary pre-employment check guidance published at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Right to work checks 

The Home Office has extended remote right to work check guidance until 30 September 2022 (inclusive). Employers can continue to check the right to work of candidates by following the process laid out on the gov.uk website.

After this date, employers will be able to use a certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) service provider to check an applicant's right to work in the UK. The Home Office is developing a list of certified providers employers will be able to engage to do this. 

Identity checks

Employers can continue to check the identity of candidates remotely, through the process as detailed on the temporary pre-employment check guidance page.

This adjustment will be made permanent and included in a soon-to-be updated identity check standard

Criminal record checks

The DBS guidance on checking identity remotely remains in place.

The fast-track DBS check, which allowed employers to conduct a free check against relevant barred lists for eligible roles, will end soon. Employers should start to revert to normal procedures for obtaining criminal record checks for applicants. 

Employers will receive advance notice of the end date of the fast-track scheme.

Employment history and reference checks

Employers should continue to obtain references that cover the previous three years of an applicants employment history. If they are unable to do this, they should obtain a reference from the candidate's current or most recent employer.

Temporary registers

The NMC confirmed they will no longer accept new people onto their emergency register as the emergency legislation that allowed their creation expires in March 2022.

What are the temporary pre-employment check guidelines?

At the start of the pandemic NHS Employers worked with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Home Office, the Disclosure and Barring Service, and other national and regulatory bodies to develop temporary pre-employment check guidelines that supported employers to facilitate pre-employment check requirements where COVID-19 barriers existed.