How to Have Outstanding & Safe Recruitment in Social Care

Jun 22, 2017

Our HR Helpline receives regular calls from Registered Managers who after their CQC inspection have been advised their standards for recruiting staff requires improvement. To comply with Regulation 18 your recruitment process has to show that you have considered the needs of the people who use your services and have, as a result, recruited people with the right combination of skills and experience.

Our experience tells us that that the best way to do this includes:

• Evidence that the competency, qualification(s), values and experience necessary for the job have been assessed. As an absolute minimum you should have a job description and a method for assessing each element of the person specification, typically through an application form, interview and a relevant test.
• Do you need to recruit a worker of a specific gender, racial, ethnic group, religion or belief to deliver a personalised service? We frequently advise Registered Managers on the requirements set out in the Equalities Act 2010 to apply a Genuine Occupational Requirement.
•Think of meaningful ways to involve service users and carers in your recruitment process. Skills for Care have produced excellent guidance which can be accessed by clicking here.
• Undertake an interview with the applicant. Notes of the questions asked and answers given should be recorded and held on file. Note down what was actually said and remember an applicant can ask to see your interview notes.
• A full employment history since leaving education with a written explanation of any gaps. This is strictly enforced by CQC and Registered Managers are advised to check this is in place before an applicant starts work as it can be a challenge to obtain the information from workers retrospectively.
• Reference checks should cover the applicants’ previous two jobs or over five years whichever is the greater if they have not worked in social care. All references, with particular reference to care, must be fully checked and authenticated. It can be notoriously difficult to obtain all the information required by CQC. We can provide full guidance on the questions to ask and the correct authentication procedures to satisfy CQC requirements.
• Sight of original and retention of a copy of all qualification certificates that are a requirement of the job.
• The applicants’ physical and mental fitness for the role. This can be completed by asking applicants to complete a pre-employment medical form.
• Proof of identity including a recent photograph.
• Disclosure and Barring Service check at the appropriate level for the work. Registered Managers must see the original certificate and retain prescribed information for CQC Inspectors.
• Evidence that the worker has the right to work in the UK in accordance with the Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 . The Act specifies specific checks employers must make and documentation to retain to avoid a fine of up to £20K per illegal worker.
Records of all the above must be retained at the registered premises for CQC Inspectors. As an employer you have to manage this record keeping requirement in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act. Visit for further details.
Pivotal HR are a founder member of the NSA for Social Care and specialise in supporting social care employers with all aspects of their recruitment, employment and training. If you have any questions about recruitment or any other employment issues call us on 020 7274 2277 or e-mail
This article is for information only and does not constitute professional or legal advice.

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