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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
They also specify that documentation should confirm:
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.
Proof of Address
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.
If you are an NHS Trust who needs support securing international doctors, we would be happy to help. Email us at [email protected]
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].