Senior Service Delivery Manager, Melanie Crawford, gives an insight into the service enhancements that are coming to NHS Jobs in August.

On 8 August 2019, NHS Jobs will be introducing changes to all NHS Jobs application forms.

These changes are being implemented following a combination of feedback and work undertaken by the NHS Jobs team with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Employers regarding fitness to practise and safeguarding questions, to ensure that job seekers clearly understand what information is required and if it is applicable to them.

The key changes to all NHS Jobs application forms are:

  1. Changes to the additional application form questions relating to fitness to practise
  2. Changes to the safeguarding questions
  3. Changes to the reference section
  4. Additional application form question relating to the inter authority transfer

 


Fitness to Practise questions

The Fitness to Practise application form additional questions have been changed as follows:

Step one

Current question/guidance

Are you currently subject to a fitness to practise investigation and/or proceedings by a regulatory or licensing body in the United Kingdom, or in any other country?

New question/guidance

Are you currently subject to a fitness to practise investigation and/or proceedings of any nature by a regulatory or licensing body which may have a bearing on your suitability for the position you are applying for?

This may include any fitness to practise investigation and/or proceedings of any nature that are being undertaken by a regulatory or licensing body in any other country.

Step two

Current question/guidance

If you have answered YES above, you must answer this question:

Please include the reasons given for the investigation and, where applicable, the details of any proceedings, limitations or restrictions that currently apply to your professional registration, and the name and address of the licensing or regulatory body concerned.

Please include any additional information, or other supplementary comments that you believe to be relevant.

New question/guidance

If you have answered YES above, please provide the reasons given for the investigation and (where applicable) the details of any warnings, conditions or sanctions (including limitations, suspension or any other restrictions) that apply to your professional registration and, the name and address of the regulatory or licensing body concerned.

Step three

Current question/guidance

Have you ever been removed from the register or have conditions or undertakings been made on your registration by a fitness to practise committee, regulatory or licensing body in the United Kingdom, or in any other country?

New question/guidance

Have you ever been removed from the register, or have conditions or sanctions been placed on your registration, or have you been issued with a warning by a regulatory or licensing body in the UK or in any other country?

You are not required to disclose any information in relation to the above where any right to appeal has been upheld and where that appeal has resulted in your case being fully exonerated.  In these circumstances you should select NO to this question.

Step four

Current question/guidance

If you have answered YES above, you must answer this question:

Please provide details of any conditions or undertakings which have been applied to your professional registration and the name and address of the regulatory or licensing body concerned.

You are not required to provide details where any right to appeal has been upheld AND where that appeal has resulted in your case being fully exonerated. Please include any additional information, or other supplementary comments that you believe to be relevant.

New question/guidance

If you have answered YES above, please provide details of any conditions or sanctions (including limitations, suspension or any other restrictions) that apply to your registration and/or any warnings issued, where relevant, and the name and address of the regulatory or licensing body concerned.

Safeguarding questions

The guidance and questions around the Rehabilitation of Offenders Acts has been changed as follows:

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Step one

Current question/guidance

Are you currently bound over or do you have any current UNSPENT convictions that have been issued by a Court or Court-Martial in the United Kingdom or in any other country? You should select NO if any convictions are protected (or filtered out); and/or have become SPENT as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) 2013.

Please refer to further information about protected and spent convictions and cautions in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section. (https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/help/appformhelp_4.html)

New question/guidance

Do you have any UNSPENT convictions as outlined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974?

This includes any unspent convictions that may have been issued in any other country, where it would be an equivalent offence in England and Wales. It also includes all unspent convictions or Summary Hearings that have been issued under military law while serving in the Armed Forces in the UK or any other country, where it would be an equivalent offence in England and Wales.

You are not required to disclose any information in relation to convictions that have become SPENT. In these circumstances you should select NO to this question.
Please refer to further information in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section before completing this question.

Step two

Current question/guidance

If YES, please provide details of the order binding you over and/or the nature of the offence, penalty, sentence or order of the Court, the date and place of the Court hearing.

You are not required to tell us about parking offences. Please include any additional information or evidence that you believe to be relevant.

New question/guidance

If you have answered YES, you now have two options on how to disclose this information.

  • I want to disclose the information now
  • I want to disclose the information separately

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information now’ please provide details of the conviction or Summary Hearing including the date and sentence administered in the space below.

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information separately’ you can disclose your record separately together with any statement detailing your unspent conviction or Summary Hearing.

A member of the recruitment team will contact you and advise what steps you need to take to submit your details separately.

Step three

Current question/guidance

Do you have any current UNSPENT police cautions, reprimands or final warnings in the United Kingdom or in any other country?

You should tick NO if any cautions, reprimands or final warnings are protected (or filtered out); and/or have become SPENT as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) 2013.

Please refer to further information about protected and spent convictions and cautions in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section. (https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/help/appformhelp_4.html)

New question/guidance

Do you have any UNSPENT cautions, reprimands or final warnings as outlined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974?

This includes any unspent cautions, reprimands or final warnings that may have been issued in any other country, where it would be an equivalent offence in England and Wales. It also includes all unspent cautions that have been issued under military law while serving in the Armed Forces in the UK or any other country, where it would be an equivalent offence in England and Wales.

You are not required to disclose any information in relation to cautions, reprimands or final warnings that have become SPENT. In these circumstances you should select NO to this question.

Please refer to further information in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section before completing this question.

Step four

Current question/guidance

If YES, please provide details of the caution, reprimand or final warning, including the date and reason administered. You are not required to tell us about parking offences. Please include any additional information or evidence that you believe to be relevant.

New question/guidance

If you have answered YES, you now have two options on how to disclose this information.

  • I want to disclose the information now
  • I want to disclose the information separately

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information now’ please provide details of the cautions, reprimands or final warnings including the date and sentence administered in the space below.

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information separately’ you can disclose your record separately together with any statement detailing your unspent conviction or Summary Hearing. A member of the recruitment team will contact you and advise what steps you need to take to submit your details separately.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended)

Step one

Current question/guidance

Are you currently bound over, or have you ever been convicted of any offence by a Court or Court-Martial in the United Kingdom or in any other country?

You should tick NO if any convictions are protected (or filtered out) by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) 2013.

Please refer to further information about protected and spent convictions and cautions in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section. (https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/help/appformhelp_4.html)

New question/guidance

Do you have any convictions that are not protected (i.e. eligible for filtering) as outlined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended) (the Exceptions Order)?

It also includes all convictions or Summary Hearings that have been issued under military law while serving in the Armed Forces, either in the UK or any other country, where the equivalent offence in England and Wales is not protected.

You are not required to disclose any information in relation to the above if ALL convictions are protected (i.e. eligible for filtering) as outlined in the Exceptions Order. In these circumstances you should select NO to this question.

This requirement is regardless as to whether any conviction is spent or remains unspent. Please refer to further information in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section before completing this question.

Step two

Current question/guidance

If YES, please provide details of the order binding you over and/or the nature of the offence, penalty, sentence or order of the Court, the date and place of the Court hearing.

You are not required to tell us about parking offences.

Please include any additional information or evidence that you believe to be relevant.

New question/guidance

If you have answered YES, you now have two options on how to disclose this information.*

  • I want to disclose the information now
  • I want to disclose the information separately

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information now’ please provide details of the conviction or Summary Hearing including the date and sentence administered in the space below.

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information separately’ you can disclose your record separately together with any statement detailing your unspent conviction or Summary Hearing. A member of the recruitment team will contact you and advise what steps you need to take to submit your details separately.

 

Do you have any cautions, reprimands or final warnings that are not protected (i.e. eligible for filtering) as outlined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended) (the Exceptions Order)?

It also includes all cautions, reprimands or final warnings that have been issued under military law while serving in the Armed Forces, either in the UK or any other country, where the equivalent offence in England and Wales is not protected.

You are not required to disclose any information in relation to the above if ALL convictions are protected (i.e. eligible for filtering) as outlined in the Exceptions Order. In these circumstances you should select NO to this question.

This requirement is regardless as to whether any caution, reprimand or final warning is spent or remains unspent.

Please refer to further information in the ‘Application form Help – criminal background’ section before completing this question.

 

If you have answered YES, you now have two options on how to disclose this information.

  • I want to disclose the information now
  • I want to disclose the information separately

 

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information now’ please provide details of the caution, reprimand or final warning, including the date and reason administered in the space below

If you have selected ‘I want to disclose the information separately’ you can disclose your record separately together with any statement detailing your unspent conviction or Summary Hearing.

A member of the recruitment team will contact you and advise what steps you need to take to submit your details separately.

Step three

Current question/guidance

Are you currently bound by any barring decision made by the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) from working with children?

New question/guidance

This question has been removed.  An enhanced certificate will also include a check of one or both of the DBS barred lists.

Step four

Current question/guidance

Are you currently bound by any barring decision made by the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) from working with adults?

New question/guidance

This question has been removed.  An enhanced certificate will also include a check of one or both of the DBS barred lists.

 


Improvements within the reference section

  1. Reference types

‘Professional’ and ‘Educational/Academic’ values have been removed and ‘School/College/University/Higher Education’ has been added. The order of values changed too:

  • Current employer
  • Previous employer
  • School/College/University/Higher Education
  • Personal/Character

 

  1. Referee contact details

The ‘Email’ field has been renamed to ‘Email address of referee’ and is now a mandatory field.

A help icon next to ‘Email address of referee’ is available to explain to candidates why this is a mandatory field. The help icon provides the following message:

‘Employers contact referees via email address as this speeds up the recruitment process.

Email address for employers must be a valid work email address and not the referee’s personal email address unless:

  • the email address being provided is covering a gap in work history
  • the employer no longer exists
  • the referee being used is a personal/character referee

You must provide an email address for each referee and we may require you to contact your referee to confirm this prior to submitting your application, as this is a mandatory field.’

A help icon next to ‘Can the referee be approached prior to interview?’ is also available to explain why this field is mandatory:

‘Referees are not usually contacted before interview but in certain circumstances it may be necessary to do so. For example, if you are applying for a senior role such as a medical consultant or board member.’

 

  1. Referee time periods

An extra field for reference period has been added From (MM/YYYY) To (MM/YYYY) including a calendar picker.

A help icon next to ‘Period this reference covers’ explains the reasoning as to why we have included this extra field:

‘You need to give referee details so that the employing organisation can confirm your last 3 consecutive years of employment, training or education history.

Please ensure the ‘From’ date is before the ‘To’ date otherwise an error message will be displayed.’

 

  1. Referee relevancy

The application form has been amended whereby only the most recent referee is a mandatory field. If an applicant adds more than one referee to cover their last three years of employment, all existing mandatory fields remain mandatory.

To help applicants understand what is required in terms of references and the period we have updated the information at the beginning to say:

 ‘Referee Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

Please provide the names and full contact details of your referees. References must cover a 3 year period of continuous employment, training or education. Your referees will need to confirm this. They may need to comment on your skills, personal qualities and suitability for the post.

  • Your referee could be an HR department, line manager or someone in a position of responsibility.
  • You must provide an email address for each referee. This may require you to contact your referee to confirm this prior to submitting your application, as this is a mandatory field. 
  • If you are a student or trainee this should include a teacher/tutor at your school/college or university. If you have not been in employment or education for the last 3 years, you may need to supply a character reference or a personal statement. A character reference must not be from a relative or someone who has a financial arrangement with you.  
  • Emails for employers must be a valid work email address and not the referees personal email address unless the email being provided is covering a gap in work history or the employer no longer exists and the referee being used is a personal/character referee.
  • All reference requests will be verified by the recruiting employer. 
  • Referees may be approached before interview, unless you state otherwise below.’

 

  1. Employment history

For those organisations wishing to gain an applicant’s consent to transfer their employment history held within ESR to a new employer, an additional application question has been added to the list under ‘General’:

‘If your application is successful and you worked for an NHS organisation that used Electronic Staff Record (ESR), you can give consent to your employment history being transferred to your new employer. Please select one of the values below to confirm your consent to the transfer of your data.’

The following values have been added for the applicant to select:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not applicable

 

We apologise for the delay in releasing the above ‘reference’ features, which you read about in the June Newsletter. You can find more details on these service enhancements on the NHS Jobs website in the ‘Latest News’ Section

 


FAQs

Q1. When will this take place?

A1. This will be implemented on 8 August 2019.

Q2. As an organisation, do we need to do anything in response to these changes?

A2. No these changes will take effect automatically on new vacancies created from the 8 August onwards.

Q3. What happens to vacancies that are already published when this change is made?

A3. To ensure a consistent experience for applicants there will be no change to pre-existing vacancies.

Q4. What happens if I copy an application that was made before the change?

A4. If you copy an application that was made before the change, then the applicant will be asked to answer the new questions before the copy can be completed. Similarly, if an application made to a new vacancy is copied to a vacancy created prior to the change then the applicant will be asked to complete the old questions.

Q5.  What should I do if I have one or more vacancies that have a closing date of several weeks?

A5. In order to remain compliant it is important that you close these vacancies and republish them if necessary.  You may need to contact applicants who have already applied to explain what action you have taken and why and what action is required from them, if any.

Q6. My organisation uses a third-party system to process applications – what do I need to do?

A6. Third party provider organisations have been notified of the changes either directly or via their organisation’s system administrators.  The new file formats for upload and download are available through the Users’ Toolkit page.


Visit the latest news section of the NHS Jobs website for information about new releases and service updates.

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