Client Blog

NHS Inductions

By Samantha Joubert
January 20, 2020

The induction training period after hiring an international doctor is much the same as it is if you were to hire a UK trained doctor, though perhaps it is fair to suggest that this training is even more important for your new employee than it would be in ordinary circumstances, as not only will your new colleague be settling into a new country, but into an entirely new healthcare system as well. In this article, we will be giving an overview of the induction training process, and how it can help you to get the best results from your new employee and assist them in settling in to their new environment. We should mention that the induction process may vary from hospital to hospital, so this is merely a brief overview of what you may cover during this period and what would be beneficial.   The First Day Some hospitals may have a checklist to assist with the induction process to ensure that all essential topics are covered. We will try to offer a general overview of what a hospital will need to offer a new staff member on their first day, but of course, this may vary slightly depending on the particulars of the hospital. The overall purpose of the induction period is to ensure that a new employee understands the processes of the hospital, both clinical and non-clinical, and that they settle into their new environment, both for their own wellbeing, and for the safety of patients. Once a doctor’s first day arrives, it may have been a few months since the initial interview when you first spoke with them, so it is important to be considerate of the process your new colleague has been through during the time since you last spoke to them. By their first day, it is likely that your new employee will have been in the UK for a couple of weeks at most and will have spent those first few weeks arranging accommodation and preparing to start work. It can be beneficial to be aware of this as an employer as it gives you a greater insight into the importance of the induction period for your new employee. Whilst they will, of course, be excited and enthusiastic about beginning their new role, it can be an isolating time when a doctor first arrives in the UK. Sometimes, they will arrive without their family, so they will still be acclimatising to the different culture and the new area. As such, the induction period is crucial in helping your new colleague to feel welcome, and the quality of their induction period will likely have an impact on how quickly they settle, not only into their new role, but into their new environment as a whole. As an agency, we do everything we can to help our candidates to settle into life in the UK, even once they have secured a position, we are dedicated to offering them advice and assistance, but ultimately, your hospital will be the place where they will spend the majority of their time, so anything you can do to help them feel welcome will be advantageous to both yourselves and the doctor in question. A doctor’s first day should be about providing with them with the basic knowledge of how to navigate the hospital, simple things such as where they can park their car, how to get from one area of the hospital to another and who they will be working with. Generally, prior to the doctor liaising with you on their first day, they will likely first report to the HR department to obtain their ID badge, and access pass, to fill out any outstanding information, and to receive access to the IT system that they will be using. Once these things have been completed, HR will likely contact the clinical supervisor or member of staff who will be providing induction training to the new employee. Once you have collected them from HR, the initial thing to do is to show them around the department and briefly explain how the department functions, it is recommended that you don’t go into a vast amount of detail on this first day as there is a lot for your new colleague to take in. Next, it is important to introduce them to their colleagues. If possible, brief relevant members of the department beforehand to inform them of the arrival of the new staff member, and some hospitals even nominate one member of the department as a kind of ‘buddy’ to help the new employee settle in. It is important that you and your colleagues come across as friendly and welcoming so that your new employee feels as if they can approach you and ask questions. After you have introduced them to the people they will be working with and shown them around the department, it will be helpful to provide them with the general layout of the hospital, and areas they will need to be particularly aware of. Some HR departments provide new employees with maps, but it can still be beneficial to physically show them the routes to different areas of the hospital. The first day is also the best time to brief your new colleague on uniform arrangements, as well as the duties and responsibilities involved in their role and explain which departments they will be liaising with. It will also be worth reassuring them that they will not be left to treat patients alone until you are happy for them to do so, and also, until they feel confident enough to do this.   The First Week As with any new doctor, the first few days and even the first few months, depending on the individual hospital’s contract, will be a supernumerary period in which your new employee will be under the supervision of a clinical supervisor. During the first week, you might cover how to write up hospital notes, drug charts and discharge summaries, as well as taking patient histories, conducting examinations, updating patients on their progress and writing prescriptions. The first week should be about helping the doctor to understand the NHS system and the way in which things are done. As previously mentioned, the doctor should not be left unsupervised at this point as they are only beginning to learn about the NHS system.   The First Few Months Within the first few days, they should be briefed on any health and safety information and be allocated time to complete any health and safety courses, if they have not already done so. This period is about helping the doctor to settle into their new role, whilst also ensuring the safety of patients is upheld during the training period. This means that the doctor should not be left to treat patients alone and should also not work on-call hours. Whilst the doctors we work with are all highly skilled, and we make the greatest efforts to ensure that they have the necessary skills and qualifications to thrive in a role we offer them up for, these first few months will always be a huge change for the doctor as they adapt to life in the UK, as well as life in their new workplace. This period is vital for helping a new colleague to settle into the hospital and into their new role. It is important that clinical or educational supervisors take time to work with the doctor to help them understand what their skill set is and which areas they need support in. This regular analysis will help you to identify how the doctor is settling in, and if they are less confident in certain areas, you can offer them the support they need to improve. These sessions should also be used to ensure that a doctor’s confidence in the role and their overall happiness is increasing. Your new employee should also be made aware of their e-portfolio and start using it in this time.   Example of an Inductions Checklist To give you an idea of what an induction training checklist might include, we are including this checklist from Southern Health NHS as an example. The items on a list may vary depending on each individual hospital and is not a comprehensive guide for every hospital in the UK. Introduction to the Workplace/Department Within the first two days Introduction to key people, e.g. immediate colleagues, clients etc. Provide a “buddy” or mentor within the workplace to welcome and provide help and assistance. Tour of the department/workplace/site Cover fire procedure, including exits, assembly points, location of alarms, extinguishers and evacuation procedure. Local fire arrangements must be covered in Day 1 of a new starter joining the Trust: this forms part of their local induction. Show where the refreshment and dining facilities are located. Show where the toilet and any possible cloakroom facilities are. Ascertain if any special requirements are required for the new employee to carry out their tasks, e.g. writing material to be provided in large print, hearing loop systems, etc. Work equipment discussed and shown how to be used, (training to be arranges if required). Discuss health and safety procedures, e.g. infection control , moving & handling, etc. Provide protection equipment where applicable. Discuss security of personal property and personal security, including alarm systems, door codes, etc. Explain any dress code requirements and make arrangements for providing any necessary uniform. Clarify where applicable hours of work, e.g. shift rotas, breaks, etc. Arrange orientation programme. Provide any necessary equipment, including computers, stationery, diary and explain procedure for ordering. Please identify any other relevant local induction requirements for your service/department.   Department Orientation Usually within the first week Explanation of the role and work of the department Clarify the duties and role of the new member of staff Clarify annual leave entitlement, confidentiality and data protection laws Explain sickness and absence procedure, including paper work required to be completed in the event of sickness and absence Hierarchy and structures, i.e. who are they responsible to and who they are responsible for Explain any departmental systems and processes, e.g. time record keeping, department/dictorate meetings. Clarify methods of using office equipment, e.g. photocopier, fax machine, etc.   Policies Within the first month Ensure your new member of staff has access and understands Trust policies. Passport any statutory and mandatory training completed in another Trust that has 3 months validity remaining. Familiarisation with Medicines Control, Administration and Prescribing Policy Complete Trust information Governance e-learning package Familiarisation with Patient Assessment & Monitoring Policy and procedures (Track and Trigger tool) Physical Assessment and Monitoring e-video   The wider context, e.g. structures and services Within the first two months Attend the Health Education England Wessex Specialty Induction which will provide you with specialty information, an opportunity to meet the HEW team and a knowledge and understanding of specialty processes. Have knowledge and understanding of the Trust’s Mission Statement, business objectives and values Provide organisation and management structures, including the Board, clinical directorates, and corporate departments Geography of the Trust, e.g. where services are located and what they provide, including how they may interact with you and your service. This would include Occupational Health and staff counselling Business Planning process, including the Annual Delivery Plan (ADP), Local Delivery Plan (LDP), 10-year strategy and NHS Improvement Plan, where applicable Staff consultation procedures e.g. departmental meetings, Board meetings, Public and Patient Involvement (PPI), Trade Unions, Clinical governance processes, Staff Newsletter, etc. Provide information on any external services and relationships as appropriate, e.g. other health care services, Social Services, General Practitioners, etc. This also includes external auditors, for example, NHSLA, Healthcare Commission, Health and Safety Executive (HSE).   Training and Development Requirements Usually within the first three months Ensure that you apply for and complete e-assessments/attend all statutory and mandatory training. Complete dementia awareness Tier 1 e-learning assessment Ensure that you have knowledge and an understanding of the Study Leave Policy, which can be obtained from the Postgraduate Centre Ensure that you have knowledge of how to apply for different types of study leave, e.g. internal organised courses and external organised courses. Identify and address any role specific skills required to competently undertake your job   Completing the Induction The induction period can end once you feel confident that the doctor is capable and that they are feeling assured enough to start undertaking their duties independently. There is no set time scale for this, as every individual is different, and the safety of patients and the wellbeing of the doctor are of the utmost importance. If your hospital provides a checklist of subjects that must be covered during the induction period, it is obviously important to confirm that all the items on the list have been covered before ending the induction period. It is also beneficial to have a session with the doctor to allow them to ask any questions, and to make sure that they are also happy to begin working independently, but also be assured that just because the induction period is ending, that there is still support available for them.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]   References Shb.scot.nhs.uk. (2020). [online] Available at: https://www.shb.scot.nhs.uk/board/policies/hr-InductionforNewEmployees.pdf [Accessed 17 Jan. 2020]. Staff.southernhealth.nhs.uk. (2020). [online] Available at: http://staff.southernhealth.nhs.uk/_resources/assets/inline/full/0/35852.pdf [Accessed 20 Jan. 2020].

Which interview software should an NHS hospital use?

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 16, 2020

If you have decided to pursue an international medical recruitment drive, you will need to interview the doctors over a telecommunication application such as Skype as they will not be able to attend interviews in person due to being based all over the world. Most of the doctors you interview will hold GMC Registration and if they do not, they will be eligible for it. GMC Registration with a licence to practice in the UK requires: English Language Assessment IELTS OET Structured English Language Reference Form Knowledge and Skills PLAB Acceptable postgraduate qualification Gaining sponsorship by an approved sponsor Eligible for entry onto the Specialist Register Check CV’s prior to the interviews Before the interview, it is crucial to consider the doctor’s CV in advance. This will provide you with all the information you need without needing to discover in the interview, allowing you to focus on more clinical questions. Scheduling the interviews From our experience, NHS hospitals tend to interview all international candidates for a posts or series of posts on the same day. The reason for this is that typically, there is always a Consultant on the interview panel which means they will have limited time to interview due to their large responsibilities within the NHS Trust. Therefore, when you are organising interviews, it is essential to provide a time slot to each doctor and try to stick to each time slot. Applications that can be used Skype Microsoft teams WhatsApp Viber ooVoo WeChat Connection Test 24-hours before the interviews happen, you should add all of your candidates so that they can accept the request. This will save you time during the interview process and allow each doctor’s interview to commence immediately, rather than waiting for an invitation and the doctor’s acceptance. How to use Skype Step 1: Download Skype Open a browser of your choice and navigate to the Skype homepage, click on “Get Skype” and the download will begin. Step 2: Log In Your NHS hospital should already have a Skype account and you can log in with a Skype name, email or telephone number. If your hospital does not have an account, click the “Create a new account” button. Step 3: Finding Doctors To find someone you want to talk to, select “Search Skype” box in the top left-hand corner and then search for their real name, Skype name or email address. Tip: We always advise asking the doctor to print screen their Skype username and picture ahead of time so, when it comes to adding them before the interview they have already accepted and they are online ready to go. Step 4: Message Once you have found your doctor’s profile, send them a message introducing yourself! Step 5: The Day of the Interview Ten minutes before each doctor is due to interview, make sure they are online and ready to accept the call. We understand that sometimes the schedule gets pushed back, due to the needs of the service. However, it is always best to try and stick to the original schedule to ensure you speak to each doctor. Support with International Recruitment If you are an NHS hospital who would like BDI Resourcing’s support in finding international doctors, email us at [email protected]

Which Medical Recruitment Agency should an NHS hospital choose?

By Gabrielle Richardson
January 06, 2020

Choosing a both reputable and ethical agency is essential to ensure a successful international recruitment campaign. In this blog post, we share the top six reasons on how to guarantee your NHS Trust partners with the best medical recruitment agency. NHS Procurement in Partnership Framework The most important factor to consider is whether the medical recruitment agency in question is part of the NHS Procurement in Partnership Framework. This framework gives permission to a particular number of agencies to directly supply doctors to all NHS Trusts. You can find BDI Resourcing listed on the NHS’ PiP Recruitment Agency list here. Case Studies Case studies are one of the most valuable tools when deciding which agency to go into business with. Case studies will help you establish an agency’s expertise. By reading into their data, facts and figures regarding their service to hospitals is one of the best ways to make your decision. A case study will give you a great insight into how they have solved hospital staffing problems and provided transformative solutions; it will help certain agencies stand out from others, with a clear explanation to the value that they can offer your hospital. Expertise Your requirements for a doctor can often be very specific and so, it is invaluable to have a Specialist Recruiter on hand who understands and has access to a database of doctors for each medical specialty. Sourcing, profiling and screening doctors with the right qualifications and experience can be a difficult process. The documentation required for a doctor is also a complex and lengthy process. You should therefore always ask if you will be liaising with one Specialist Recruitment Consultant throughout the process. Furthermore, the agency should also put you in contact with their Compliance and Relocation Support team so, once you have made a doctor a job offer, they can aid them with obtaining their references, CoS documents, Tier 2 visa documents and help with the relocation process itself. To summarise, it is important that the agency you work with has a strong strategy for candidate selection and campaign management to allow you to dedicate more time into your internal resources and concentrating on improving your hospital. Online Presence A highly reputable and professional agency will be in a position to access a range of quality, active and passive doctors in addition to possessing a wide network of contacts collected over their years in the business. The agency should search engine optimise their job adverts to rank highly in job searches. Doctors who are actively seeking work in the UK are more likely to register with a recruitment agency that has a high reputation through word of mouth. This can be evidenced by their reviews, including both Google and Facebook. Looking at a company’s online presence can give you an insight into their culture, values, reputation and their skills and knowledge within the industry. Website A good staffing website is a good indicator of success. Looking at a medical recruitment company’s website will help you decide on their credibility and provide you with a clear introduction into the quality of their service. If the website has easy navigation, it will help doctors navigate seamlessly through various job lists, across a variety of specialties and make the task of staffing, simpler and quicker. Second, it is essential for their website to possess keywords and have SEO rich content. For a recruitment agency to reach the top of the search engine results page, there are some SEO tactics that every staffing website must incorporate. Having these functions will increase the traffic to their website as doctors seeking UK jobs will find it easier to find the company, easier to navigate through the content and job lists and apply to jobs – increasing the pool of doctors you can choose from. Third, what content is posted on their website? Do they provide free information for all to access? Do they provide clear help and support? Can you clearly see their values? Their policies? Have they received awards? Social Media Presence A medical recruitment agency’s social media presence is their entire brand. 42% of the world’s population uses social media and so, a strong social media presence for a medical recruitment agency is essential. Looking at their social media channels will portray their personality, their culture and their professionalism. As we know, we are having to look further afield for doctors, so a good social media presence will allow an agency to be contacted with highly experience and qualified doctors fast and consistently. They can engage with their target audience and find doctors they may never have found through traditional hiring methods. On a platform like LinkedIn, you can specifically target your connections and an audience that relates to your business via paid and organic job advertisements. It is essential to make sure that the agency you work with abides by ethical recruitment and they do not target any countries in particular. Although social media is a fantastic way of advertising medical opportunities within the NHS, it is important an agency’s feed does not just consist of job adverts. When researching, look to see if they provide doctors with free information in the form of vlogs, YouTube videos, infographics… If they have strong community engagement, they are likely to be the right agency for you. Rates and Rebates When you decide to work with a medical recruitment company, always ask for the rates and rebates terms. If you work with a good, reputable agency they will provide you with good fees that will help you save money in the long-run compared to using agency locum staff to fill long-term gaps. Each medical recruitment agency will have their own rates and rebate scale, so always check this before you agree to partner with them. If you are interested in visiting our website, social media pages or using our services to support you email us at [email protected]

How do we Source our Candidates?

By Samantha Joubert
December 09, 2019

A benefit of working with BDI Resourcing is that we source doctors internationally, this gives us access to a much larger pool of candidates than if we were only working with healthcare professionals already based in the UK, though we should note that some of our doctors do have UK experience. Given the NHS’ current staffing crisis, it is imperative that we bring new doctors into the system to take on permanent roles, rather than relying on locum staff to fill in the gaps. In this article, we strive to explain how we go about finding suitable candidates.   Social Media Given that we are sourcing candidates from all over the world, social media has been an incredibly helpful tool to connect with doctors that we may not have been able to make contact with otherwise. Over the past few years, we have provided potential candidates with high quality, helpful and informative content such as blogs and vlogs to aid IMGs in the process of relocating to the UK. By helping international doctors and providing them with excellent content, we have now obtained a following of over 25,000 doctors across our social media channels. Many of the doctors we have discovered through social media are highly skilled, but the number of procedures involved in obtaining GMC Registration, getting a Tier 2 Visa and relocating to the UK can seem daunting and confusing, and without the relevant guidance, these factors can hinder a doctor in their journey to relocate. The content we make to assist doctors not only offers them beneficial information but often encourages them to reach out to us to ask for our services to help them find an NHS job. By offering useful information to IMGs, we strive to establish a relationship of trust between ourselves and international candidates in a way that allows us to get to know them and evaluate their suitability and helps us to ensure that we are offering you the best candidates possible.   Networking and Referrals Over the years, we have worked hard to build an extensive network of doctors within numerous specialties. In addition to utilising social media, we also take the time to attend a number of events over the course of the year, including the Royal College conferences. This gives us the opportunity to reach out to potential candidates in person, doctors who are attend these conferences usually do so with the purpose of seeking new employment and advice, something we can provide to them face-to-face and build a rapport with them early on. On July 20th 2019, we held our first IMGs: Training in the UK Seminar in which we partnered with Naseer Khan and Arora Medical Education to provide an event for international doctors who want to pursue medical training in the UK. During this event, doctors gave talks about their own journeys and advice about their specialties in order to offer first-hand advice and experience to other international doctors. This event was hugely successful, and after the fact, many excellent doctors reached out to us in response, seeking advice and assistance with their own relocation process. As well as attending and holding conferences and seminars, our dedicated recruitment consultants each deal with specific specialty doctors. For example, we have a recruiter who specialises in Radiology, a different recruiter will then deal with Paediatrics and so on. This system allows recruiters to build a broad network of specialist doctors in a particular area of medicine, rather than having a small number of doctors for a large range of specialties. Due to this, each of our recruiters has a database of highly trained doctors in that specialist area, and it also means that they have an excellent understanding of the necessary requirements and skills needed for a doctor to excel in that area of medicine and allows them to offer you the most suitable candidates for a role. Referrals Due to the number of doctors we have successfully placed and the IMGs that we are in contact with, our candidates often refer their friends, family and colleagues to us too. During the recruitment process, our recruiters always ask potential candidates if they are in contact with any other doctors interested in working in the NHS. This practice broadens our network and constantly puts us in communication with more doctors who can benefit from our services. We also have relationships with several Royal College and English language exam coaches who are aware of the services we provide, and regularly refer their students, who are in the process of completing the necessary qualifications needed for GMC registration, to us so that they are able to make use of the services we provide. Reputation Finally, we have worked hard to build and maintain an excellent reputation among international doctors, and we always strive to offer our candidates and clients the best and advice that we are able to. As such, many doctors hear from us through word of mouth or via positive reviews online, meaning that they regularly seek us out and reach out to us via social media or our website.   Through each of these means, we have built up a database of skilled and dedicated doctors, eager and willing to take up positions within the NHS. We are continually acquiring new candidates as well, allowing us to provide hospitals with the help they need, and to fill the gaps within the NHS.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]    

What countries do we recruit from?

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 29, 2019

The NHS is heavily supported by a skilled, international workforce, who have made a significant contribution to the care of patients. Did you know that for the first time this year, more international doctors registered with the GMC than British and EU doctors? International recruitment is essential to keep the NHS workforce supply and demand in balance; our mission at BDI Resourcing. Traditional Methods In previous years, many NHS Trusts have tried their own recruitment methods which involved flying HR Managers and lead Clinicians out to various countries across the world to interview and secure doctors. However, this is time consuming, costly and also rarely successful. Most doctors will simply not be in a position to apply for a GMC licence in the UK as they will not have passed their Royal College examinations, or will be waiting to pass an English language qualification. This traditionally would lead to potential delays of 12 -18 months for a doctor even be in a position to work in the UK, lots of conditional offer letters being sent out, blocking up positions within departments with no realistic timescale as to when they may be able to start.  We therefore believe in the power of online recruitment of doctors who want to live in the UK, regardless of what country they are from. It’s faster, more convenient and delivers doctors in a timely fashion to overstretched departments. Ethical Approach We would like to emphasise the importance of ethical recruitment. If you are recruiting outside of the EEA, you must adhere to the World Health Organisation’s Code of Practice and the NHS Employers Code of Conduct. Principles listed on the Code of Practice International recruitment is a sound and legitimate contribution to the development of the healthcare workforce Extensive opportunities exist for individuals in terms of training and education and the enhancement of clinical practice Developing countries will not be targeted for recruitment, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement with the UK to support recruitment activities International health care professionals will have a level of knowledge and proficiency comparable to that expected of an individual trained in the UK International health care professionals will demonstrate a level of English language proficiency consistent with safe and skilled communication with patients, clients, carers and colleagues International healthcare professionals legally recruited from overseas to work in the UK are protected by relevant UK employment law in the same way as other employees International healthcare professionals will have equitable support and access to further education and training and continuing professional development as all other employees Using a Recruitment Agency BDI Resourcing is part of the NHS’ Procurement in Partnership Framework. This allows us to directly supply doctors to all NHS Trusts. BDI Resourcing do not actively recruit from any country in particular. The doctors we supply to hospitals are a result of them directly contacting us via  social media in response to the promotion of our partner NHS Trusts or directly to access our free  guidance about all things in relation to relocation to the UK. You can find us listed on the NHS’ PiP Recruitment Agency list here. How BDI Resourcing secure doctors: Online Recruiting Recruiting online allows us to connect with quality doctors with the correct qualifications required to work in the UK. Social media is an essential forum for an international doctor who wants to work in the UK. They can connect with other IMGs, receive free information, feedback on hospitals and advice on personal issues. According to GlobalWedIndex, the average internet user has more than 5 social media accounts. At BDI Resourcing, we have a number of social media strategies to reach out to a global audience of healthcare talent. Each recruitment agency will develop their own social media strategy; however, below are the reasons for our success: We create and participate in the right conversations: The key is to cut through the noise and find the right doctors. Being active on social media is the best way to get our job openings in front of doctors of which they will then apply directly for, regardless of the country they are from. Informative content: Social media goes beyond advertising our NHS job opportunities. We create and share free and useful content which leads to high engagement and in turn we organically attract doctors who want our help in securing an NHS post. All our employees are active: It is imperative that all of our team are active on social media as this increases our reach and website registrations. Our Help If you are an NHS hospital who has decided that you would like our support in helping you speak with international doctors eligible to work in the UK, contact us at [email protected] for further information. References Recruiterbox.com. (2019). How to Use Social Media to Recruit and Hire | Recruiterbox. [online] Available at: https://recruiterbox.com/business-guides/recruiting-and-hiring/use-social-media-recruit-hire [Accessed 27 Nov. 2019].

Pre-Employment Identity Checks

By Samantha Joubert
November 22, 2019

When you hire a new employee, it is essential to do pre-employment checks to confirm the suitability of the candidate you are hoping to take on. This is particularly true when hiring someone from overseas as you may need to complete additional checks beyond those of a candidate already working in the NHS. One of the key benefits of working with us as an agency is that we will be able to assist with the pre-employment checking phase. There are a series of assessments that will need to be performed once you have decided to offer a job to a candidate, and in this article, we will be overviewing the procedures involved identity checks that need to be completed.   Why are Identity Checks Performed? Identity checks must be performed on any employee, whether they are a UK resident or coming to work in the UK from overseas. This is to confirm that a candidate is who they claim to be, and that they are not impersonating another individual or forging an identity. These checks can be particularly significant in the case of recruiting doctors from overseas, as you will likely not have had the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face yet. Whilst every effort is made on our part to screen candidates to ensure their validity before we ever offer them up for interview, official identity checks must, of course, be completed before an applicant can legally be employed. The NHS Employers website has an in-depth PDF outlining the process of confirming an applicant’s identity in more detail, you can download it here. Types of Identity Checks There are two elements to the identity check that must be performed. The first is to confirm a candidate’s personal identity, such as their name, age and place of birth. The second is to evidence their history in terms of their address and their current country of residence. As such, two different types of documentation must be gathered to satisfy each part of the assessment. Ordinarily, two forms of documentation to confirm their current address will be obtained, which satisfies the history portion of this check, and also one photographic form of identification to fulfill the personal identity segment. It is also acceptable to take two forms of photographic identification, and one piece of documentation verifying their address instead. Acceptable Documentation Of course, only particular forms of certification will be acceptable for this process, the following are adequate forms of photographic identification for the personal identity check: A passport A UK Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Card A full or provisional UK/EU photocard driving license (if the license was issued in the UK by the DVLA, a paper counterpart won’t be required. If a license was issued in Northern Ireland by the DVA, it must be presented with a paper counterpart). Photocard driving licenses from other nationalities (these are valid for up to 12 months from the date when the doctor first entered the UK. The person checking the document must be able to assure themselves that the license is bona fide). Identity cards carrying the PASS (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) accreditation logo (issued in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only). Organisation identity cards are not acceptable as they do not contain watermarks, holograms or other security markings. EEA/EU Government issued identity cards that comply with Council Regulation (EC) No 2252/2004, containing a biometric. The same principal applies to documentation proving a candidate’s current address and home country. The following documents are acceptable for the history and address segment of the check: A letter or utility bill from a service provider at a fixed address (this can be gas, water, electricity or landline telephone). More than one utility bill can be accepted if they have been issued by different suppliers. Any utility bills must be dated within the last three months. A council tax statement from the UK or Channel Islands. A recent bank statement within the last three months. A rental agreement dated within the last three months. A full or provisional photo-card driving license can be used if it hasn’t been presented as a form of photographic identification. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax notification dated within the last 12 months. A local UK rent card or tenancy agreement A mortgage statement from a recognised lender dated within the last 12 months and from the UK or EEA. Statements issued outside of the EEA cannot be accepted.   If, for any reason, candidates are unable to provide the relevant amount of photographic identification, there are some documents that can be accepted instead, these are: A full birth certificate issued by UK authorities overseas, such as embassies, high commissions and HM Forces. A gender recognition certificate. A police registration document. A certificate of Employment.   It is possible to obtain photographs of a candidate from the GMC, as they photograph doctors during their own identification checking process. This can be used to compare an applicant’s passport photo with their GMC photo. It should be noted though if a doctor has not yet attended their GMC identification check, the GMC obviously won’t have a photograph on file yet. If you wish to obtain a doctor’s photograph, you will need to provide the GMC with an email address or fax number for them to send the photo to. They tend to get back to a request within four days. That said, they generally only have photographs of candidates who registered with them during and after 2004: Doctors taking PLAB from 1st May 2004 EEA doctors who were granted registration from 1st May 2004 Doctors restored to the register from June 1st 2005 Newly registered doctors from 1st August 2005   What to look for on Documentation Having gathered the relevant information and paperwork, it is beneficial to know precisely what you are looking for. The NHS Employers website has some stipulations stating that the information acquired from a potential employee should: Have been issued by a trustworthy and reliable source. Be a document that is difficult to forge (any of the documents listed in the acceptable documentation section of this article will adhere to this). If the document is dated, it should be valid and current. Have required some form of identity check before being issued. They also specify that documentation should confirm: The applicant’s full name Contain a photograph of the applicant. Contain the applicant’s signature. Confirm their date and place of birth. Confirm their current address. Other biographical and social history information which may be cross-referenced.   Confirming the Authenticity of Documents It is a legal requirement to make sure that any paperwork offered as evidence is legitimate. Again, NHS employers has a full list on how to check each document, which we will summarise here. Passports Ensure that the print on passports is clear and even. Look for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, paying close attention to issue and expiry dates. Take note of excessive damage, the NHS employers website states that accidental damage is often used to conceal evidence of a passport being fraudulent. Confirm the country of origin – sometimes fake country names, or names that are no longer used for certain countries are used on fake passports. Driving Licenses Take note of any damage to the card. Photographs should always be in greyscale and should obviously match the likeness of an employee! Ensure that the name, date of birth and personal details match the details the applicant has provided. Check that the ‘valid’ date is the day before the license holder’s 70th birthday. Birth Certificates Ensure that the name and date of birth on the certificate match those provided by the candidate. Certified copies of birth certificates can be accepted, to verify that a copy is official, it should say ‘certified copy’. Confirm that the certificate format used is in the format for the year of registration. Ensure that only the candidate’s surname is in uppercase format rather than the forenames. Check for spelling mistakes. Confirm that the date of birth and registration/issue dates are provided. The date of birth should be presented as the day and month written in words and the year in numbers. Proof of Address Check the document is on headed paper. Ensure that the company logo is of a good quality. Overall, one of the most important things is to confirm is that the information a doctor has provided matches up on each document. In future blogs, we will explain how to check if a doctor is on the medical register, how to verify their English proficiency, the documentation needed to evidence their qualifications, acquiring references and completing health checks. Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected] References checks, I. (2019). Identity checks. [online] Nhsemployers.org. Available at: https://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/recruit/employment-checks/identity-checks [Accessed 22 Nov. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). Pre-employment checks. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/employers-medical-schools-and-colleges/employing-a-doctor/pre-employment-checks [Accessed 22 Nov. 2019].

Advice when interviewing international doctors

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 19, 2019

It is global knowledge that the NHS is suffering a staffing crisis and consequently, it is spending 25x as much on temporary staff than permanent staff to fill rota gaps. Our vision to aid this detrimental system is to employ more permanent international doctors over long-term agency locums to reduce NHS spend, increase staff retention and provide better continuity of care. Reports reveal than 1/30 agency locum doctors earn over £120 an hour. This amounts to paying some locum consultants £375k a year compared to a permanent consultant who would receive just £74-107k per annum. This disparity is both unjustified and damaging, so to replace a long-term temporary doctor with a permanent staff member will reduce a Trust’s staffing cost dramatically. These extra funds could go towards life changing research or equipment to better aid the work of doctors. In addition to the financial benefit is increased staff retention; providing departments with more doctors will increase confidence in their clinical decisions, they will feel better supported and it will provide them with a healthier work-life balance. In turn, it will create a better continuity of service to all patients on top of job satisfaction. Before the interview When reviewing CV’s, it is important to remember that all international doctors we provide you with will be either fully GMC Registered or eligible to register, having completed the required qualifications. This is advantageous compared to using NHS jobs as it will eliminate the doctors who have not yet evidenced their English language abilities or knowledge and skills to the GMC. The doctors we provide you with will be highly qualified, experienced (as per your specifications) and will be able to communicate safely in English, in line with the GMC’s standards. When it comes to the interview stage you can then focus on getting acquainted with the doctor as well as exploring their clinical competencies. For example, it’s common to establish their motivations for wanting to relocate to the UK, why they have applied to your Trust, their career goals and whether their personality aligns with the Trust’s values and visions. We would also advise that you question in more depth the clinical roles and job titles contained within a potential candidate’s CV. For example, some international doctors use the word “Specialist” when describing their job title – in the NHS this could mean a Specialty Doctor or a Consultant depending on where the candidate is practicing in the world. With so many job titles in different healthcare systems it’s always good to be clear about the capacity in which someone has been working. Another example might be if a doctor states they have “ICU experience” – again this job role will vary between countries i.e. sometimes this will mean the individual has anaesthetics experience and sometimes it will be closer to what you would consider an acute medicine role in the UK. To sum, it is best to check duties and responsibilities as what is written in the CV of an international doctor may not always reflect our understanding from an NHS point of view. Scheduling an interview In our experience, it is always best to try and arrange interviews for a post or number of posts on the same day. The reason for this is that NHS Trusts will typically require a senior clinician on the interview panel which may be hard to arrange on a sporadic basis – we know that frontline staff are hard to pin down at the best of times, so by consolidating interviews into prearranged “blocks” you have all candidates being considered fresh in your mind when making hiring decisions and feedback can be delivered promptly. This ensures that offers are made in good time and you have the best chance of securing your first-choice applicants. Please also remember that international doctors will often be working full-time at the point they interview with you, so if you are carrying out interviews please do stick to the specific time slots agreed. Like you, these doctors are taking time out of their working day with patients or have booked days off work in order to attend interviews, so it is not always possible for them to wait around or reschedule at short notice. Skype Test 24 hours before the interview is due to happen, we have found it is helpful for a Trust to “add” the doctor being interviewed on Skype and test their audio and visual connection is adequate for the interview to take place – this ensures everyone is ready and time is not spent during the interview slot finding the correct contact online and dealing with technical issues. We would recommend asking candidates to send a screenshot of their Skype ID and also send the doctor the Trust’s ID or account you will be calling from too. Of course, if working with an agent like BDI Resourcing then we would conduct this test on your behalf with the doctor/s.   The interview When the interview starts, the doctor you are speaking with may be very nervous – it could even be their first interview for an NHS job! On that basis, we find it’s always important to start the conversation off with a warm and welcoming atmosphere before easing into the clinical components. Sometimes the interview panel forgets that an international doctor is uprooting their whole life to move across the world and so first impressions of the UK, its people and their potential new employer are absolutely critical. As much as you want to check that the doctor will be a good fit for your team, that same person will want to be sure that you are the right fit for them and their family. From experience, doctors tend to choose the department that they feel most comfortable with at interview and who they feel will give the best support (both professionally and personally). Additional topics to cover during the interview Whilst you will likely have a list of standard questions and information to provide during any interview, we would recommend expanding on the below topics in more depth when considering an international candidate: Training opportunities Orientation/Induction periods Long-term career prospects CESR opportunities Research and audit work   Culture and Community Engagement As an agent, we can provide an insight into the key things a candidate will be looking for on a case by case basis, but generally they will want to know they won’t be thrown in at the deep end and that working for you would provide a positive step in their development as a medical professional. Providing as much information and reassurance regarding the above items can certainly help when working to secure your first-choice applicants. After the interview After the interview has finished and you have decided that you would like to offer the post to the doctor, you will need to obtain their full name and address to place on their offer letter. Don’t underestimate how competitive the international recruitment market is – if you like a candidate, ensure that an offer letter is sent as soon as possible. If you attended an interview and didn’t have any feedback within 48 hours, then you would probably start considering other options…. It’s important to bear in mind that no one will accept a job without knowing how much they will be paid. On occasion, offer letters will be sent with the full salary scale rather than an exact salary – this will replicate work as you will need to provide more detail in order to obtain commitment to a role. Some Trusts will issue something called an incremental credit form for the doctor to evidence their experience and help HR calculate the most appropriate salary for an offer letter. We would advise notifying a successful applicant of your intention to offer as soon as possible, alongside this form if you use one. Remember that offer letters are always conditional, so you can assess a doctor’s experience based on their CV and offer them an estimated salary on the condition that they can evidence clinical experience with official letters/references prior to beginning their employment with you. Candidates are more likely to sign an offer with an NHS Trust if it is evident what their salary will be from the start. Our support If you would like our support in sending you qualified and experienced international doctors to help fill your vacant posts, or just require some advice or market insight, please email us at [email protected] and we can provide you with more information.

Applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship

By Samantha Joubert
November 15, 2019

When hiring any doctor who holds a passport from outside the UK, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will need to provide that doctor with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which they will require to complete their Visa application to relocate to the UK. It’s very important to ensure that they are issued with a CoS in a timely manner and with accurate employment information in order to allow them to apply for their Tier 2 visa and in turn, take up employment with you! In this article, we will explain the process of obtaining a license to sponsor international doctors and how you can issue certificates of sponsorship.   What is a Certificate of Sponsorship? A Certificate of Sponsorship is a document issued by a Trust which is approved by the Home Office, enabling a doctor to apply for a visa – once approval is given it confirms that the Trust can employ a non-EEA candidate and sponsor a doctor’s visa whilst they work in the UK.  Whilst this document contains all information about the job itself (including pay, responsibilities, etc.), it’s the electronic reference number at the top of page one which the doctor must enter when completing the online part of their visa application. There are two types of CoS: restricted and unrestricted (which we will explain in more detail later in this article). In order to provide doctors with either of these, a hospital will need to obtain a license to issue them first. Obtaining Sponsorship License All NHS hospitals should already have this, but if not, will need to apply for a license to sponsor workers through the UK Home Office website. The application process will involve selecting the type of license you wish to apply for, the options are a Tier 2 Visa license or a Tier 5 Visa license, or you can obtain a license to issue both. Tier 2 Visas are for workers coming to work in the UK on a long-term or permanent basis and Tier 5 Visas are for those coming to work on a temporary basis of two years or less (often utilised for staff arriving via the MTI scheme). All of our candidates are looking to relocate to the UK and work on a long term or permanent basis, so they will all be applying for Tier 2 Visas, however the license to issue Tier 2 CoS is currently the same price as the license to issue CoS for both Tier 2 and Tier 5, so it may be worth applying for both. That said, if you do not intend to employ anyone for less than two years, then it is probably worth just applying for a Tier 2 license. On the application, you will be asked to estimate how many certificates the hospital will be expecting to issue over the course of a year, and you will also need to prove that the hospital needs the number of certificates being requested. We will delve into more detail regarding this later in the article. Another step in the application process is determining who will be responsible for the sponsorship procedures within the hospital. One individual may be responsible for the entirety of the process or multiple staff members can take on different roles, but you will need to specify who will be responsible for each role within your application – usually senior members of your medical staffing/HR team. If more than one person will be managing the process, you will require a more senior staff member to oversee those who will be using the sponsorship management system. The sponsorship management system (SMS) is the system you will use to request certificates of sponsorship once your license has been granted. You will also need a member of staff to act as the main point of contact between the hospital and UK and Visas Immigration (UKVI). Finally, someone must run the day to day management of the SMS. The government website outlines these roles in more detail here if you would like more information. Any staff members who will be using the SMS will be subject to checks in order to ensure they are suitable for this responsibility – ensuring that none of these staff members have unspent criminal convictions and that they are based in the UK. Again, there is more information about these checks on the government website. Applications for a license must be made through the UKVI website, though there is a portion of the application that will need to printed and sent to the UKVI with some extra documentation to support the hospital’s legitimacy, outline why you wish to apply for a license, the kind of organisation you are and the kind of workers you are hoping to hire. During the application process, the hospital will also need to pay a fee for the license, the current fee for a Tier 2 license application is £1,476. As stated earlier in this article, the price to acquire a Tier 2 and Tier 5 issuing license is also £1,476. Once you have submitted the application and paid the fee, it will take around 8 weeks for the UKVI to process it (although this can vary). Issuing Certificates of Sponsorship As mentioned already, there are two types of Tier 2 CoS (restricted and unrestricted) and in order to issue either you will be expected to pay a fee of £199 per Tier 2 certificate granted. Please note that certificates being issued to residents of Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey are free of charge. You will also be responsible for ensuring that any doctors you sponsor have the relevant qualifications to work in the role you’re hiring them for. As an agency we will have done everything possible to ensure that a candidate has these skills and qualifications before we put them forward for interview, however the UKVI will require you to have documentation supporting these facts. You will be expected to keep track of a doctor’s attendance, their documentation proving their right to work in the UK, keep their contact details up to date, and if you learn that they are breaking their Visa conditions or if they stop attending work, you will need to report this to the UKVI. Unrestricted CoS To issue an unrestricted CoS, you’ll need to make a request to the UKVI, and this will be deducted from the hospital’s yearly quota. Once it has been granted and added to your SMS, you can then assign it to the doctor you’re hiring. When the hospital has applied for an unrestricted CoS, you should receive it very quickly – certainly within 48 hours of the application being submitted. It’s possible to apply for as many of these as your hospital needs through your SMS, though you’ll need to give evidence that you require the amount you’re requesting. The government website has more information on the kind of evidence you will need to provide here. After you have assigned the CoS to the doctor and issued them with the reference number, they will have three months to apply for their Visa before the CoS expires. If the CoS expires unused, then you will be able to recover the cost. Restricted CoS In the event that you have issued all of the unrestricted CoS allocated to the hospital during a year, you can apply for a restricted CoS in order to hire an international doctor via the Tier 2 route. This application will still be made directly through the SMS, with a limited number of restricted CoS available to all employers in the UK every month. Each application will be assessed by a panel (something that won’t take place if you request an unrestricted CoS) who use a points-based system to determine whether the CoS is approved for use. As a result, this process will take longer. Currently, application meetings occur on the 11th or 12th of each month, with any valid applications required to be submitted before the 5th of every month in order to be considered. If your application/s are successful then the hospital will usually receive approval a day or two after the panel meeting to assign the CoS to your desired doctor (also valid for 3 months). Immigration Skills Charge ICS Whether you’re issuing an unrestricted or restricted CoS, the hospital will also need to pay an Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 per doctor and this will need to be paid annually for every year they are employed at that hospital. If for any reason the doctor’s visa application is withdrawn or refused or if they end up finding employment elsewhere, you will be eligible to receive a refund but you will need to inform the UKVI. Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected] References 2, T. (2019). Immigration rules and the points-based system: Tier 2. [online] Nhsemployers.org. Available at: https://www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/recruit/employer-led-recruitment/international-recruitment/immigration-rules-and-the-points-based-system/tier-2#4 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019]. GOV.UK. (2019). UK visa sponsorship for employers. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

How Qualified are the Doctors we Work With?

By Samantha Joubert
November 13, 2019

A genuine concern many have when they consider recruiting doctors from overseas is how qualified those candidates will be to fill posts within the NHS. It can be daunting trying to understand the plethora of overseas qualifications and whether or not they will adequately equip a doctor with the level of medical knowledge and understanding to work at the same level as our UK trained doctors, not to mention concerns surrounding the level of English potential candidates may possess. In this article, we strive to explain why the doctors BDI Resourcing works with are qualified and how you can be certain of their legitimacy.   Assurance of Medical Knowledge and Qualifications One of the key benefits of working with us as an agency is that we will have done all the research and preparation for you. We ensure that any candidates we put forward for interview have a high level of clinical skill and English language knowledge. We will never offer up doctors who don’t have the qualifications to be successful in the role we are putting them forward for. To legally practice medicine in the UK, all international doctors must obtain registration with the General Medical Council, the same as British doctors. As such, the first thing we will confirm before we consider working with a doctor is that they have completed the necessary qualifications to obtain GMC Registration. If they have not acquired these qualifications, we will offer them advice and assistance to help doctors work towards them but will not take them on as candidates until they have completed these qualifications. As such, we try to make sure that any doctor we put forward for a role within an NHS Trust should have the relevant level of clinical skill and understanding to thrive in the role we put them forward for, saving you time trying to discern medical qualifications and offering you peace of mind. At the most basic level, our doctors will have completed a General Medical Council approved MBBS or MBCH course, as well as an internship year with a GMC approved hospital. Any international doctors who attended medical school outside of the UK, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, and who have not completed a GMC approved postgraduate qualification will have to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board exam, known as the PLAB exam, in order for us to work with them. If a doctor has completed the PLAB exam, they should have the same level of clinical knowledge and understanding as a UK doctor starting the second year of their Foundation Programme here in the UK. As such, completing PLAB should equip them with the core medical skills to take on roles at CT1/ST1 and CT2/ST2 level, depending on their previous clinical experience. This will ensure that their basic medical training is at least at an equivalent level to that of a junior doctor who has undergone training in the UK. Each of the specialist senior doctors that we work with will have passed a Royal College approved course of postgraduate study in their relevant field of medicine, or an approved overseas equivalent qualification. The Royal College has test centres around the world where international doctors can earn these qualifications. Given that these are the exams a UK doctor would take, we would strive to locate any candidates who hold one as a priority. However, there is a list of international postgraduate qualifications which are approved by the UK Royal Colleges and GMC as being equivalent to their UK counterparts – this is varied by specialism, but does allow holders of these qualifications to register with the GMC via the approved post-graduate qualification route as the course content and clinical skills are in line with UK standards. As a result, doctors who register for a UK medical license using approved international qualifications are expected to be of at least the level of an ST3+ doctor trained in the UK. Below is a full list of the international postgraduate qualifications recognised as equivalent - this list is taken from the General Medical Council’s own website: Country Awarding Body Qualification America American Board of Paediatrics (ABP) Diplomate of the American Board of Paediatrics – General Paediatrics America American Board of Anesthesiology Certificate of the American Board of Anaesthesiology America The American Board of Radiology  The American Board of Radiology Diagnostic Radiology Examination   Australia/New Zealand Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists  Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists     Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian College of Physicians   FRACP Adult medicine or evidence of three years of basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations   OR   FRACP Pediatrics or evidence of three years basic training (PREP) + achievement of RACP written and clinical examinations Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZCP) awarded since January 2012 Australia/New Zealand The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Clinical Radiology)   Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (FRANZCR) (Radiation Oncology)   Bangladesh Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons Fellowship in Anaesthesia and Anaesthesiology awarded since July 1999 Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – diagnostic radiology examination   Europe European Academy of Anaesthesiology or European Society of Anaesthesiology       European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care     Europe European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) European Diploma of Intensive Care (EDIC) awarded since January 2015 Hong Kong   Hong Kong College of Physicians       Membership of the Hong Kong College of Physicians   Ireland College of Anaesthetists in Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty or the College of Anaesthetists [of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland1] Ireland Royal College of Physicians in Ireland MRCP Medicine (Medicine of childhood) Ireland Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland MRCS (collegiate examination) MRCSI (Intercollegiate examination) Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Fellowship of the Faculty of Radiologists in Clinical Radiology of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FFR RCSI) Malaysia Ministry of Health Master of Medicine (MMED) Malaysia with MRCP (UK) awarded since 1 July 2010 This must include four years of clinical experience (required to completed MMED) plus two years of training. Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan FCPS Paediatrics Pakistan Fellowship in Anaesthesiology awarded since 1998 Singapore National University of Singapore Master of Medicine (Paediatrics) Master of Medicine (Internal Medicine) including MRCP (UK) Singapore Joint Committee on Specialist Training Singapore Master of Medicine (MMED) Singapore, plus MRCP (UK) awarded since 1st July 2010 South Africa Colleges of Medicine of South Africa Fellowship of the College of Radiologists of SA FC Rad Diag (SA) – Diag Rad awarded after 1st October 2013 Sri Lanka University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Anaesthesiology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (Paediatrics) Doctor of Medicine or MD, (medicine) awarded after January 2017 Doctor of Medicine or MD, (surgery) awarded after July 2017 West Africa West African College of Physicians Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians (Paediatrics) West Indies University of the West Indies Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia) awarded since September 2003 (Course title has since changed to Doctor of Medicine (Anaesthesia and Intensive care)) 1Acceptable without a reference to the Irish College of Surgeons If you would like to see a full list of the UK postgraduate qualifications accepted by the GMC, you can find them here too.   Assurance of English Language Skills We understand that communication is an essential skill in a busy hospital, and that lack of communication or misunderstanding can have serious consequences. We have dedicated an entire article to this as it is such an important topic, so if you would like to know more about our candidates’ level of English, you can read more about the process they undergo to evidence their English in this article. To give a brief overview, in order to ensure that every doctor we put forward for interview has a high standard of English, they have all completed English language exams that test their written and spoken skills, as well as their ability to listen and understand. All candidates will have either passed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Occupational English Test (OET). We go into the process and level of skill and understanding involved in passing these tests in further detail in the previously mentioned article. To give you a summary though, the average person relocating to the UK must achieve a 4.0 overall in their IELTS in order to obtain a Tier 2 Visa, however for a doctor to obtain GMC Registration, and for us to be willing to present them as viable candidates they must have obtained a 7.5 overall. In addition to this, our recruiters further screen doctors via Skype to ensure first-hand experience of communicating with a candidate in English, recording and marking each facet of language capability.   Commitment to Working in the UK We pre-screen our candidates thoroughly and provide as much information about any potential position clinically as well as geographically, to try and make sure that our candidates are aware of the location and nature of the role before we present them for interview. We do this to try and safeguard against placing candidates in a hospital that they will not be well suited to. Not only do we work closely with our candidates to confirm that they intend to remain in the UK on a long-term basis, but it is also important to mention the time and cost it takes for an international doctor to obtain GMC Registration and relocate to the UK. To give you an idea, the cost for an international doctor to take IELTS, PLAB, and apply for both a Tier 2 Visa and GMC Registration is currently anywhere around or upwards of £2,284. If a doctor is relocating with their family as well, they will need to pay for visas and an Immigration Health Surcharge that will allow them to access free healthcare with the NHS, these expenses alone can cost upward of £5000. This isn’t taking into consideration other factors and costs that crop up throughout the process or other costs involved once they have arrived in the UK. As well as the price, the amount of time it takes to complete the entire process can be around three years, potentially more depending on the individual’s circumstances. As such, by the time we present a candidate to you, we have an understanding that the doctor is extremely passionate and committed to securing work in the UK and remaining here on a long-term basis.   Candidate References If you have any concerns regarding a candidate’s validity, we would always recommend checking a candidate’s references. Though these referees will usually be international doctors themselves, many have worked in the NHS at some point, and as such, possess a knowledge and understanding of what it’s like to work in NHS hospitals. This experience can help them to accurately attest to a candidate’s ability to work well within a UK hospital, as well as providing you with first-hand knowledge of the candidate’s clinical skill.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who needs support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]   References Gmc-uk.org. (2019). A guide to the PLAB test. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/plab/a-guide-to-the-plab-test [Accessed 5 Nov. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). Acceptable postgraduate qualifications. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/join-the-register/before-you-apply/acceptable-postgraduate-qualifications [Accessed 5 Nov. 2019].  

What level of English will our doctors have?

By Gabrielle Richardson
November 07, 2019

BDI Resourcing’s English language checking procedure is fully compliant with the NHS Employment Check Standards and the Government’s Code of Practice on the English Language Requirement for Public Sector Workers. The procedures mean that any doctor working within the NHS has the required level of English language competence to enable them to take on their role effectively, assure the delivery of safe care and successfully communicate with colleagues and patients. The English language assessment is always completed prior to interview stage. There are five ways for a doctor to evidence their English language skills: IELTS certificate OET certificate Structured English language reference form UK job offer Employment in an English-speaking country for over two years IELTS For the GMC to accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from a doctor, their certificate must show: They took the academic version of the test They obtained a minimum score of 7.0 in each testing area and an overall score of 7.5 Their scores were obtained in the most recent sitting of the test The original stamp and test report form number A validity of two years OET For the GMC to accept the Occupational English Test (OET), the doctor must show: They took the medicine version of the test They got a minimum of Grade B in each testing area The doctor’s candidate number Their grades were obtained in the most recent sitting A validity of two years Structured English Language Reference Form Most of our NHS doctors will hold IELTS and OET to evidence their English language skills. However, in certain circumstances possible exemption is available. Please contact us at [email protected] for further information on this. UK Job Offer If a doctor has previously been working within an NHS hospital of which they have been speaking English on a day-to-day basis, they can use a reference from their employer to evidence their language skills. Employment within an English-speaking country for over two years If a doctor has been working in: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Irish Republic, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States of America – they will be exempt from evidencing their English skills due to the native language being English. Our Internal Auditing Systems When an international doctor registers with us, we verify their English language certificates and then scan them onto our internal system with a date stamp. We then store it as an unalterable file. Our internal system will then notify us of any doctors whose English language certificates are due to expire two months prior to the expiry date. This notification will then allow us to contact the doctor in enough time to ensure the continuity of their relocation process. International Recruitment If you are an NHS hospital who would like support in securing doctors via an international recruitment campaign, email your CV to [email protected]

Why International Recruitment?

By BDI Resourcing
October 30, 2019

When you come across a company like ours, you may question why you should consider international recruitment over other options such as hiring UK trained doctors or locum staff. In this article, we aim to clarify why international recruitment is not only beneficial, but vital to providing the NHS with a solution to the continually growing number of vacancies. The NHS reported that between April 1st 2019 and June 30th 2019, there were 90, 992 advertised vacancy full-time equivalents in England across the entirety of NHS staffing groups. 83 percent of these were permanent and 17 percent were fixed term. This is considerably more than the previous year in which 31,198 vacancies were advertised. With the number of vacancies rising so dramatically from one year to the next, it is crucial to find long term solutions to this rather than relying on locum staff. “International recruitment will be significantly expanded over the next three years, and the workforce implementation plan will also set out new incentives for shortage specialties and hard-to-recruit to geographies.” – NHS Long Term Plan   Expediate Your Time to Hire There is no busier department within a busy NHS Trust than an HR team. Sifting through hundreds of applications and shortlisting suitable candidates is a hugely time-consuming process. For many NHS Trusts even after a successful round of interviews, appointable doctors may not actually join the Trust, dropping out of the process later on. This can be hugely frustrating for both HR and Clinicians involved in the recruitment process.  Many doctors apply to in excess of 100 NHS Jobs applications, so the percentage of drop-outs is very high even when an applicant has successfully interviewed. At BDI Resourcing we ensure that all of our doctors are pre-screened and given a thorough briefing on your Trust, the department that they will be working within, the local area, cost of living, schools etc. in advance of interview to ensure that they have all the information at hand to make the best decision for their career aspirations. We have built our reputation on making sure that doctors who accept a post within your Trust will honor that commitment and will not only start, but will stay! Training doctors in the UK is obviously a priority, however it is important to note that it can take seven years to train a doctor. As such, international doctors can be particularly valuable in this area. The doctors we work with have already completed their training and foundation years and not only have an excellent level of English (Clearing either the OET or IELTS exam) but possess the practical experience and qualifications to successfully fill specialty roles within the NHS (The majority of our doctors will actually hold full membership with their relevant Royal College) The GMC this year has reported that for the first time, more international doctors have joined the workforce than were trained in the UK in 2019, showing how valuable international doctors have become to solving the NHS staffing crisis. Whilst there are doctors in the UK applying for positions, another potential obstacle is the notice period of the average UK doctor, which is usually three months, meaning a long wait for the hospital in need of them. In comparison, it is often possible to place an international doctor within a hospital in less than three months, providing hospitals with a faster solution to staffing issues. Our time to hire is historically 6-12 weeks. We firmly believe that getting more doctors into the NHS system is more be beneficial than moving one UK based doctor to another NHS Trust (This will always lead to a gap appearing for Trust that the doctor has left). Retention of international Staff  International recruitment can be a long and complicated process for both NHS Trusts and the doctors who are relocating. We recognise that due to the complexity of the process you need to have a reliable partner who are true experts within the field to help, support and guide both NHS Trusts and Doctors. We have successfully relocated hundreds of doctors since our inception and always have a solution to any problem that may occur. Our dedicated relocation and support team assist HR Departments and Doctors every step of the way. This leads to less issues and stress upon commencement of employment for our doctors, leaving them free to concentrate on getting used to working within the NHS. Our on-going support for our doctors upon commencement of work in the UK leads to better staff retention rates for our international doctors. Part of our commitment to any NHS Trust is ensure that we don’t just “place” doctors, we have a dedicated team to provide pastoral care to our doctors once they actually start working in the UK (Sometimes the most stressful time on a doctors journey). We are in continual dialogue with our doctors throughout their engagement and ensure that any issues are highlighted and resolved quickly, leading to far greater staff retention rates and happier doctors! Save your Trust Money Whilst locum staff have an important role to play within the NHS, (such as filling in at the last moment to cover an important shift within a Hospital). Where locums are employed on longer term full-time contract this can be extremely expensive for NHS departments and this is where a company like ours can provide a huge benefit for overstretched departmental budgets. The NHS reported that to employ just five locum doctors cost the NHS at least £2 million per year. We as a company are committed to helping NHS Trusts to reduce locum agency spend by supporting them with their international recruitment campaigns. As is the nature of locum work, a locum can leave with as little as 1 weeks’ notice given. This can leave departments short-staffed at precisely the wrong time and can be a huge issue for continuity of care for patients. It is far better to employ international doctors as direct employees of the Trust on fixed term or permanent contracts to ensure that your departments are stable and are protected with a reasonable notice period so that contingency plans can be made if a doctor does decide to move on. Locums can provide temporary relief for a hospital but in the long term, locums don’t provide a solution to the problem. With our global reach of talent, BDI Resourcing can help NHS Trusts fill those posts that have not been successfully appointed to via traditional internal recruitment methods. We have a magnificent track record of delivering both large scale recruitment campaigns and ad-hoc placements for those historically difficult to fill vacancies. Benefits of International Doctors “The level of funded vacancies and the adverse impacts of workload and time pressures on doctors mean we also need to maximise the flow of new non-UK doctors.” – The GMC The truth is, that while the NHS can continue to hire UK trained doctors and locum staff, these two options alone simply aren’t enough to resolve the issues that many hospitals are faced with daily. As time goes on, it is becoming apparent that international doctors have become a vital part of our NHS and are helping hospitals to run more efficiently by saving money and taking pressure off existing staff members.   Hiring International Doctors If you are an NHS Trust who need support in securing international doctors, we would be happy to help, email us at [email protected] References England, N. (2019). NHS England » NHS could free up £480m by limiting use of temporary staffing agencies. [online] England.nhs.uk. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/08/nhs-could-free-480m-limiting-use-temporary-staffing-agencies/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. Gmc-uk.org. (2019). The state of medical education and practice in the UK: the workforce report. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/about/what-we-do-and-why/data-and-research/the-state-of-medical-education-and-practice-in-the-uk/workforce-report-2019 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. NHS Digital. (2019). NHS Vacancy Statistics England, February 2015 - June 2019, Provisional Experimental Statistics - NHS Digital. [online] Available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-vacancies-survey/february-2015---june-2019-provisional-experimental-statistics [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. Plan, N. (2019). Overview and summary. [online] NHS Long Term Plan. Available at: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/online-version/overview-and-summary/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2019].

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