Pre-employment checks

When you become successful at interview and are offered a job, your employer will be required to carry out a series of employment checks. The checks that they carry out will be dependent on the type of job you are going to do.

The types of checks that are carried out are:

Identification documents

You will be asked to provide proof that you have the right to work in the UK. This will mean that you will need to produce either a document or a combination of documents to confirm you are eligible. For example, a passport, a visa or immigration documents if you are a non national. Your employer will advise you which documents you need to show them.

Employment history and references

It is important that you have stipulated your full employment history within your application form and highlighted any employment gaps. References will be sought covering a minimum period of 3 years from your current employer and previous employer/s.

Professional registration and/or qualifications

If your role requires a particular professional registration the employer will carry out a check with the appropriate regulatory body and secure confirmation of the appropriate registration. Where a check has been made employers will not be required to verify your professional qualifications separately.

Where a licence is a requirement confirmation will be sought from the relevant regulatory body as well.

All qualifications that are not associated in any way with a regulatory body will be sought separately.

Criminal record and barring checks

Depending on the role, employers may be required to check whether you have a criminal record. Your offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau).

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 helps rehabilitated ex-offenders back into work by allowing them not to declare criminal convictions to employers after the rehabilitation period, has elapsed and the convictions become "spent" (old). During the rehabilitation period, convictions are referred to as "unspent" (current) convictions and must be declared to employers within the application form.

In order to protect the vulnerable, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (Exceptions) Order 1975 exempts some professions within the health and care sectors from this approach. The rules on what can be considered when recruiting an applicant have been revised under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 (S.I. 2013/1198) to provide that certain "spent" convictions and cautions will become protected when specific conditions are met. Protected convictions and cautions will not be disclosed in a DBS check, and employers cannot ask for information about protected convictions or cautions, or take these into account when assessing an individual’s suitability for a post.

Before completing the criminal conviction question(s) please ensure that you read the guidance and criteria for the filtering of these convictions and cautions which can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website at:

The definitions for the following are:

  • Cautions – a minor offence has been committed and the police have issued a caution.
  • Convictions – an individual who was found guilty and charged.
  • Reprimands – an individual has been reprimanded by the police for a minor offence.
  • Warnings – a minor offence has been committed and the police delivered a warning.

If you are applying for a post which involves having access to patients in receipt of health services, your offer of employment will be subject to a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau). Failure to reveal information relating to convictions that you are required to identify could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. Where the position falls under regulated activity and meets the criteria for an enhanced criminal record check, the disclosure will include information held against the barred lists for working with children and/or working with adults and any restrictions to that barring.

Please note this particular information within the application form will only be viewed by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. Any information disclosed will be treated strictly confidential.

Background checks

Where a position is security related, an employer may wish to carry out background checks regarding your credit history.

Occupational Health checks

All NHS staff must receive a pre-appointment health check, which adheres to equal opportunities legislation and good occupational health practice.

All checks take into account the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and reasonable adjustments must be made to ensure that employees can work in their work place regardless of any physical impairment or learning disabilities.