Code of Practice for International Recruitment - agency application form

The UK, through the Department of Health and Social Care, is committed to ensuring ethical recruitment practices operate within the  health and social care sectors through adherence to the recently updated UK Code of Practice (CoP) for the for international recruitment of health and social care personnel .

NHS Employers' role is to promote  the Code of Practice and manage a list of agencies who are committed to ethical international recruitment. We triage applications and successful agencies are then added to our agency list. Agency frameworks often require applicants to have signed up to the code, otherwise they will not be able to join. Employers should only contract with agencies who are on the list.

We have outlined some of the key principles of the code, however agencies must ensure they are fully compliant with the code and its best practice benchmarks. The full code is available on the Department of Health and Social Care website.

There are five guiding principles that underpin the Code of Practice:
  1. International migration of health and social care personnel can make a contribution to the development and strengthening of health and social care systems to both countries of origin and destination countries if recruitment is managed properly.
  2. Opportunities exist for individuals, organisations and health and care systems to train and educate and enhance their clinical practice.
  3. There must be no active international recruitment from countries on the list, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement with the UK to support managed recruitment activities that are undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement.
  4. Recruitment of international health and social care personnel is closely monitored and reported on to the Cross Whitehall International Recruitment Steering Group.
  5. International health and social care personnel will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as domestically trained staff in all terms of employment and conditions of work. They will also have the same access to further education and training and continuous professional development.
NHS Employers conducts regular checks on agencies (biennial and spot checks) to ensure they are complying with the code, and reserves the right to remove agencies from the list who are found to be breaching the principles or best practice benchmarks of the code. Where agencies are removed, frameworks and employers will also be notified.

Please familiarise yourselves with the UK Code of Practice and the World Health Organisation code before making an application. We estimate that this application will take approximately 5-10 minutes. You will need to have details on the countries you recruit from/intend to recruit from, links to your social media accounts, information on the professions you will recruit to and a digital signature from your chief executive or director. 

Please also be aware that if your agency application is deemed successful, you will be asked to submit biannual inflow data, including the numbers of overseas candidates successfully recruited and the countries these candidates migrate to the UK from.
Data protection

All information provided through this survey will be held by the NHS Confederation. Any personal data provided will be processed for purposes of evaluation. The information collected will be processed via SurveyMonkey, on behalf of the NHS Confederation and will be shared with Department of Health and Social Care for the purposes of evaluation but will not be shared with any other third parties. Please see our privacy policy for further information on how we will handle your data and you may opt out from communications from us at any time.