NHS Blood and Transplant People First

Pre-appointment checks Old

Once you’ve selected the candidate(s) you want to appoint you will need to contact them to offer them the post and check that they are still interested.  Details of what you need to consider are set out in After the interview / selection day.

Any offer of employment is subject to satisfactory pre-appointment checks.  All checks carried out are in accordance with NHS Employment Check Standards which apply to all new and existing employees in the NHS.  These are explained in more detail below.

Additional checks may be required for those working with an Irradiator, your recruitment contact will advise on this.

Identity and Right to Work

The purpose of undertaking identity checks is to minimise the risk of employing or engaging a person in any activity within the NHS who is an illegal worker, or a person that is impersonating another.  Verifying someone’s identity is the most fundamental of all employment checks, as any other checks will be invalid if the person’s identity cannot be proven.

External candidate’s will be asked to bring certain documents to interview which you will need to copy and return to your recruitment contact.  The candidate interview checklist and outcome form outlines what copies you need to take.  We are not able to appoint candidates until we have the evidence we need so please read this carefully along with the guidance on checking documents for authenticity.  Your recruitment contact will confirm with any successful internal candidate what documents they need to provide for you to copy.

Occupational Health

All NHS staff must have a work health assessment (sometimes referred to as a preplacement health assessment), that adheres to equal opportunities legislation and good occupational health practice.

The purpose of this is to assess whether new employees:

  • have a health condition or disability that requires adjustments in the workplace to enable them to undertake the post offered; or
  • have a health condition or disability that requires restrictions to their role (e.g. Exposure Prone Procedures (EPP) workers with a blood-borne virus).

The conditional offer letter that we email to successful candidates includes the link to the on-line preplacement health assessment.  The majority of candidates need only complete this on-line questionnaire though some candidates or roles will need a telephone or face to face assessment.


The main purpose of a reference check is to confirm a candidate’s employment history and to obtain information about this and/or their training history in order to ascertain whether or not they are suitable for a particular position. Employers have a duty of care to patients and staff to ensure that all reasonable checks are undertaken to identify any reason that, if known, would result in an individual not being employed or appointed to undertake any activity on its behalf.

On receipt of the references you need to :-

  • Check all information contained is consistent with the candidates application form.  If any discrepancy is found this will need to be pursued sensitively with the candidate.
  • Relate the sickness declared by the referee to NHSBT’s Attendance Policy and if the amount taken in the previous 12 months would have triggered the policy, you will need to seek guidance from your recruitment contact.
  • Ensure that all reasonable efforts have been made to check that the referees are genuine
  • Ensure that when dealing with references confidentiality is maintained at all times.  Do not divulge any information contained in the reference or comments made by the referee to the candidate without first discussing this with your recruitment contact.

Criminal Records and Barring

Criminal record and barring checks are designed to help prevent unsuitable people from entering the NHS workforce and gaining access to vulnerable groups.

Some roles are classed as being an 'eligible position' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended).  Further details are provided in the Employment of Ex-Offenders Policy.   For these roles the successful candidate(s) will be required to apply for a standard or enhanced disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS check - previously known as CRB).   Details of these posts can be found in the List of Posts Requiring Disclosure and Barring Service Checks.

The conditional offer letter includes the link to the on-line Disclosure and Barring Service Check application.   Once the candidate has completed this application your recruitment contact will need to add in details from the identity documents you have copied before the criminal records check request can be submitted.

All successful candidates will also be sent a Self Declaration form to complete.  There are 2 different declarations, the Pre-employment declaration (DBS not required) which asks candidates to disclose details of unspent convictions and the Pre-employment declaration (DBS required) which asks candidates to disclose details of un-spent convictions and spent convictions which are not protected (i.e. filtered).  Details of which convictions would be protected can be found on the following websites:

Whilst important, criminal record and/or barring checks are only one aspect of the pre-appointment checks.  A criminal record does not automatically bar candidates from working within NHSBT.  Any criminal convictions must be considered on an individual basis taking into account all other information collated through the pre-appointment check, further information on how this should be done can be found in Unsatisfactory Checks.

Professional Registration

The purpose of registration and qualification checks is to ensure that a prospective employee is recognised by the appropriate regulatory body and that they have the right qualifications to do the job.  Professional Registration regulation is intended to protect the public, making sure that those who practise a health profession are doing so safely.

If the role requires a statutory registration your recruitment contact will check that your candidate’s have the relevant registration before they are invited to interview.  The registration will be checked again for the successful candidate as part of the pre-appointment checks.

External candidate’s will be asked to bring proof of any qualifications that are listed as essential on the Recruitment Profile / person Specification which you will need to copy and return to your recruitment contact.  Successful internal candidates will be asked to provide this evidence following their interview.

Unsatisfactory Checks

When the pre-appointment checks highlight something of concern, or any discrepancies, it is important that you initially discuss this with your contact who will advise you on the next steps.

Before a decision can be made regarding progressing the appointment, it is important that we check the accuracy of the information of concern; that we assess whether this is relevant to the role and whether this appointment would be a risk to the organisation.

For you to fully and fairly assess the relevance of the information obtained you must involve the candidate (often referred to as an Assessment of Relevance Meeting).  If withdrawing the offer of employment is a possible outcome this should be done face to face with a member of HR to support you.

Whether you discuss the issues with the candidate over the phone or meet them in person, at the end of the meeting you will be asked to make a recommendation to your contact as to whether the appointment should be progressed by completing and returning an Assessment of Relevance form.  Only when your contact has confirmed the outcome should you contact the applicant to explain your decision – recruitment will advise on how to handle this conversation.  Following this the recruitment team will confirm the outcome in writing.

Employment of ex-offenders


Guidance on Assessment of Relevance

Interview Assessment of relevance Form

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