Recruitment, vetting, references and appraisal
New employees should have:
- a thorough induction into their area of work
- training and supervision where necessary
- preceptorship* and mentoring (especially for newly qualified staff)
- ongoing access to professional development
- clinical supervision.
*Preceptorship is a period of support for people who have joined the register, to assist in their transition from student to accountable nurse or midwife.
Vetting and barring
Since 12 October 2009, the parts of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 that bar individuals from working with children and vulnerable adults have been in effect, covering a much wider range of workplaces.
The management of the different lists of barred individuals is centralised and run by the Disclosure and Barring Service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by Disclosure Scotland in Scotland.
You must check that anyone you employ is not on the barred lists. It is a criminal offence to knowingly let a barred individual work with vulnerable groups.
- Always make sure that you receive at least two professional references from an applicant’s last place of work as a nurse or midwife.
- Be sure to follow up on references too – always contact referees yourself rather than relying on any written statements supplied to you by the job applicant.
- Don’t let a person start work until you have verified their references – if you really cannot afford to wait for references to be confirmed in writing, at least obtain verbal assurances over the phone until the paperwork comes through.
You should assure yourself that the person you are employing is who they claim to be. As part of your background checks before employment, you should ask to see proofs of identity and address:
- Proof of identity should be photographic, for example a passport, photo driving license, or EU or EEA national identity card.
- Proof of address might include a recent bank statement, utility bill or council tax bill.
You should not employ someone if you are uncertain of their identity, and you should contact us immediately if you believe someone is fraudulently using a nurse or midwife's identity or registration details.
As an employer you have a responsibility to recognise and reinforce good performance, or to take steps to identify and deal with poor performance. All employees should receive regular performance appraisals (at least annually) during which their training needs should be identified.
You are responsible for the skills and knowledge levels of your staff.
If a nurse or midwife accepts responsibility for practice which is deemed to be beyond their capability and which has resulted in errors in practice, both the employee and employer are accountable: the employee for failing to acknowledge their limitations, and the employer for failing to ensure that the employee has the appropriate skills and knowledge.
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