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Recruitment Process Guidance for Hiring Managers

Hiring Manager Recruitment Process Guidance

This section provides you with links to documents and process which will outline  the key steps in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) recruitment and selection process. It should be used by all staff who are responsible and involved in the recruitment and selection of staff across NHSGGC. You will get access to important process guidance, tips and tools to ensure that recruitment activity is undertaken as effectively as possible.

Step 1 Identifying and Creating a Vacancy

It is important that we ensure we maximise our opportunity to attract and recruit the very best candidates available in the market place

Your vacancy will be advertised on receipt of the following:

  • Approved NHSGGC Vacancy Request Form
  • Job Description (.DOC or .DOCX format)
  • Person Specification (not required for Medical Posts)
  • Pre-Employment Occupational Health Assessment Form
  • The Recruitment Advert (including closing date and any specified instructions e.g. date of interviews )  
  • Any other documents to be included in the Candidate Information Pack 

Submit your documentation to

For Medical Posts, documentation should be returned to 

On receipt of your vacancy request one of our Recruitment Team will contact you to start the process

A fully completed and approved Vacancy Request form

Prior to submitting your Vacancy Request Form to the Recruitment Service, the Hiring Manager must obtain approval to Recruit.  This will normally be agreed via their Line Manager/Head of Service/Director/Chief of Medicine.

Local Vacancy Approval Arrangements

Local Vacancy Approval/Authorisations processes/arrangements may exist in different services e.g. General Manager, Head of Service/Sector/Directorate Directors/Chief Officers/Chiefs of Medicine may wish to approve the post first – find out what is in place for your service/department otherwise this could delay getting the recruitment process started.

Template Job Description and Person Specification

The Job Description is important as it describes the objective and purpose of the job in a clear manner but also outlines the key tasks and duties of the post. It provides detail to the job applicant so they know what the job involves and what they would be doing and where the job sits in the organisational structure of the department or service.

The Person Specification (not required for medical posts) details what knowledge and skills, personal qualities and additional requirements that are required to do the job and to what standard. When compiling the job specification the hiring manager should specify which aspects of the criteria are essential or desirable. This will help at the shortlisting and interview stage of the recruitment process as it will be one of the tools that is used to support which candidates are selected.

The Hiring Manager must ensure that the Job Description is in the correct format, is up to date and reflective of the needs of the service/department, that the criteria for selection are objective, measurable, job related, clearly defined and justifiable . Person Specifications must be drawn up using the template and guidance provided.

A Pre-Employment Occupational Health Assessment Form is issued to the preferred candidate with their conditional offer of employment.  

The Occupational Health Team will make a determination of the employee’s fitness for the role or identify any reasonable adjustments required to support the employee in the role.

Click the links below for more information on the following

Step 2 Advertising

Content of Advert

All adverts  should  contain  a summary  of the  role being  advertised, information  about  the minimum skills needed for the  role & grade specific entry requirements, necessary membership of professional bodies, and  some information about the  department.  If the  information  in the  advert  is  correct applicants  will  know  by  reading the advert  whether  they  have the  skills and qualifications  to apply  for the  position. Additional information is also useful such as whether the building or the equipment new, what  is the  team  structure, what  support  will they  have, educational opportunities and what support will they be required to give. 


All posts will be advertised in the on the NHS Scotland Vacancy site. Our standard advert time is 2 weeks but this can be amended for high response positions or for professional journals with monthly publications.

Step 3 Selection Process – Shortlisting and Interview

Selecting your Candidate

This is the most crucial stage of the recruitment process. As the hiring or line manager for the post your aim is to ensure that the most appropriate selection methods are used to enable the best candidate for your job to be identified. 

We need to ensure our selection processes encourage diversity and comply with best practice and appropriate NHSGGC policies and employment legislation.

Recruitment process key tips 

Shortlisting your applications

Once the closing date has arrived candidate applications will be made available to the hiring manager. We use a SharePoint link to enable hiring managers access candidate applications.  Recruitment Services will send you an email link to access Sharepoint

Medical & Dental posts:  the shortlisting information will be forwarded via email to the interview panel members. When shortlisting it is essential that prospective candidates meet the minimum entry requirements and hold the appropriate specialist registration for the post.

For all posts candidates must be shortlisted against the essential and desirable criteria outline in the Job Description/Person Specification/ for the post.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde participates in 2 schemes aimed at supporting the employment and career development of disabled people :

  • Disability Confident scheme
  • NHS Scotland‘s Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) scheme.

What is Disability Confident?

Disability Confident is a government scheme that promotes the benefits to businesses of recruiting and retaining people with disabilities. The scheme offers advice and support to employers, enabling them to actively seek, hire and retain disabled people. Organisations’ complete a Disability Confident self-assessment, agree to undertake all of the core actions to be a Disability employer, and offer at least one activity to attract and retain disabled staff.

In February 2017, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) became accredited as a Disability Confident Employer under the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Disability Confident Scheme.

The Disability Confident accreditation means that, as an employer, the Board is proactive in ways to recruit disabled people, and also have mechanisms in place ensuring that people with disabilities and long term health conditions feel supported, engaged and able to fulfill their potential in the workplace.

What is the NHS Scotland Job Interview Guarantee Scheme?

NHS Scotland operates a Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) scheme, which means that if a candidate declares a disability , and meet the minimum/essential  criteria outlined within the Person Specification for the post then they  will be guaranteed an interview. 

It is the hiring manager’s responsibility to ensure that those involved in the shortlisting and interviewing process are aware of their responsibilities and have the appropriate level of competence to participate in recruitment and selection activity.

The results of the shortlist should then be submitted to the Recruitment service. A clear rationale should be provided as to why applications have and have not been shortlisted. You will be provided with template documents to record that information.

Shortlisting should take place within 5 working days from receiving access to the applications received for the post.

Shortlisting must be done objectively, assessing all applicants consistently against the criteria specified in the Person Specification for the post.

Interviewing your candidates  

Evidence shows that effective recruitment decisions are more likely when a range of selection methods are used in addition to interview questions. Evidence about a persons suitability for a post can also be gathered by including for example presentations,  ability testing , work based scenarios etc.  Guidance on what you can include in the selection process can be obtained by contacting the Recruitment Service.

The Recruitment Service will be responsible for sending out invitation to interview to shortlisted candidates.

It is good practice to give candidates invited to for interview at least 10 calendar days prior to the interview date.

An Interview Panel should normally consist of a minimum 2 people.  Some posts may also include external panellists who provide an expert opinion on a particular job function or aspect of a role. Often external panel members may be drawn from other NHS Scotland health boards or universities.  Typically for specialists or senior posts there maybe 4 to 5 panel members 

The hiring manager must ensure that members of the interview panel are competent in recruitment and selection and the panel members are aware of their responsibilities in regards the Equality  Act (2010). 

The interview panel should meet at least 30 minutes before the first interview to agree format for the day, who will meet and greet candidates, allocation of questions and sequence of tabling questions to the candidates. It is good practice for the members of the interview panel to agree in advance a range of questions used to ascertain if the individual has the knowledge, skills and competencies outlined within the Job Description/Person Specification. It is important that the interview process is structured to ensure that all the necessary information is obtained during the interview.

Using Structured Interviews to Test for Caring Behaviours in the Recruitment Process

A key theme of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Quality Strategy is that Person Centred Care is delivered with compassion , dignity and respect.  Much work has been taken forward to encourage and promote Caring Behaviours among our staff . In addition to ensuring candidates meet the essential requirements of the post in regards Clinical /Technical competencies , qualifications, training , experience ,and skills you should also ensure that candidates demonstrate evidence of applying the most widely recognised Caring Behaviours expected in our workplace whether in a clinical or non clinical role . Follow this link  to access Interview Guidance which will guide you in using Structured Interviews to test for caring behaviours as part of your candidate interviews. Caring Behaviour Structure Interview Guidance

Key tips interview format

Prior to the interview 

  • Make sure the panel is introduced to the candidate
  • Let the candidate know what the format is and that notes will be taken
  • Use open questions –how, who, what and remember to probe if the answers are not providing the evidence you need
  • Remember to cover any gaps in employment history
  • Ensure all candidates are asked the same core questions
  • Let the candidate know at the end of the interview what will happen next and when they are likely to know the outcome
  • Remember to keep notes           
  • When choosing your interview venue to give consideration to accessibility of the location

At the interview event the hiring manager or a nominated member of the interview panel is responsible for checking documentation to provide the candidate’s identity.  This ensures the right candidate is being interviewed against the application which was submitted for the post. Professional Registrations and Qualification Certificates should also be verified at the interview.

All interviewers must keep adequate notes to ensure that a fair comparison can be made between candidates and reasons provided to justify a decision. The hiring manager must ensure that there is a clear and fair way of selecting the successful candidate for the post which is based on objective criteria directly related to the post being recruited to. There must be a written note of the reasons for selecting the appointed candidate and reason for not selecting the other candidates. These notes must be recorded on the template documents provided by the Recruitment service.  NHSGGC will retain this recruitment documentation for 12 months after the appointment is made. Notes taken should avoid inappropriate references to the candidate’s appearance, sex, age, disability, religion or race, etc.

UK Immigration rules

Offering posts to Non-UK European Economic Area citizens

All our vacancies are open to all candidates who meet the relevant criteria and we will not shortlist or make decisions about candidates’ suitability based on their nationality. However, we are obliged to carry out checks and assure ourselves that candidates appointed are legally entitled to work in the UK before we can confirm an offer of employment.

If you wish to offer a post to candidate who is a Non-UK European Economic Area citizen you will need to ensure that the appointment meets the requirements of the UK Immigration rules. The UK ‘s  points-based immigration system governs the way Non-UK European Economic Area individuals can work, train or study in the UK .

Where you have several appointable candidates, UK Immigration rules are very clear in stating that settled workers i.e. those candidates who are UK / European Economic Area citizens must be prioritised for appointment ahead of non UK/ European Economic Area migrants even if the non- UK /European Economic Area migrant is more skilled or experienced. This is referred to as the Resident Labour Market Test.

There are some exceptions to this rule as some occupations are recognised by the UK Immigration rules as Shortage Occupations. If an occupation is on the shortage occupation list, it means that there are not enough suitably qualified and skilled workers from the resident labour market to fill the available vacancies. This means we can therefore legally offer a post to a non-EEA candidate without having to prove that we cannot fill that vacancy from the resident labour market i.e. UK European Economic Area citizens  in the first instance.

The Home Office who are responsible for managing Immigration in the UK will only issue a work visa if we can prove it has not been possible to recruit from the UK /European Economic Area in the first instance. Visa’s to work, train or study in the UK are issued under the UK‘s Points Based Immigration system. Most non Non-UK European Economic Area candidates who are offered posts with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are recruited via the UK‘s Points Based Immigration system under the Tier 2 sponsorship route and the Tier 5  . These rules do not apply to Non-UK European Economic Area candidates or staff where they have been already granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (a visa with no end date) or for other reasons do not have restrictions on their stay in the UK.

What is a resident worker? 

A resident worker is a person who is a UK / European Economic Area (EEA) national or someone who has settled status in the UK within the meaning of the Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Citizens of member countries of the EEA and are entitled to free movement and employment rights as EEA nationals:

UK, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

This also includes Nationals from Switzerland and their family members also have the same free movement and employment rights as EEA nationals.

Turkish nationals (already residing in the UK): If someone is a Turkish national, they may benefit from the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey. The agreement provides Turkish nationals, who are already working legally in the UK, with certain rights when they need to extend their stay.

Please contact a member of the Recruitment Service team if you wish further guidance on appointing candidates who are required to acquire the right to live, work or study in the UK.

For further information, visit the UK Visas and Immigration website at

Step 4 Conditional Offers of Appointment

Following the interviews the interview panel will need to agree a suitable candidate to offer the post to.

Selecting the Preferred Candidate

The interview panel should select the preferred candidate based on the Information received during the selection process based solely on the candidate’s suitability for the post when compared with the Job Description/Person Specification.

Interview Panel Members are required to score the candidates across each of the assessment categories covered at the interview using the Interview  templates provided by the Recruitment service and include any other assessment activity incorporated into the selection process.

Each interview panel member must record their scores and interview notes for each candidate on the Candidate Assessment template form provided for each candidate interviewed.  The decision should then be recorded on the Interview Summary and Preferred Candidate Identification template form which will be completed by the Hiring manager /Panel Chair and returned to the Recruitment service.

Key point: The interview panel should agree a minimum acceptable score for appointment.  Aim to employ the “best” and not settle for “best on the day”.

If more than 1 candidate achieves the same score the panel should:-

  • review the questions to confirm if they have been fully answered
  • consider whether all the areas on the person specification have been covered
  • review if all essential and desirable criteria have been considered
  • take into account any other relevant skill sets or qualities outlined in the person specification/job description

If necessary the panel should recall the candidates for a second interview or an assessment exercise e.g. scenario or skills test to identify the appointable candidate.

Reserve Candidates

Where more than one candidate meets the selection criteria, the interview  panel may decide to list the second/third choice candidates (providing they have met the minimum appointable threshold) as reserve candidates.

If the first choice candidate declines the offer of employment, the second candidate may be offered the position and so on.

Reserves can be held for no more than 6 months and if there is the requirement to fill the same post during that period then consideration can be given to the reserve candidate (s) without having to repeat the recruitment process.

No candidates suitable for appointment:-

If none of the candidates interviewed meet the acceptable level to be appointed there is no obligation to select a preferred candidate and the post may require to be re-advertised.  Prior to submitting for re-advertisement the Hiring Manager should discuss with the selection panel to determine if the person specification, job description and advert meet the requirements.

The Recruitment Service will carry out the pre employment checks. All NHS GGC offers of employment are made on a conditional basis subject to pre employment screening checks.

Once the selection decision is complete then a designated panel member normally the hiring manager will telephone the candidates to advise them of the outcome. This should normally, if possible, take place at the earliest opportunity after the interview but no later than 48 hours. Candidates should be offered feedback on their performance.

When verbally making a conditional offer for the post, the hiring manager will outline the main aspects of the offer which will include pay scale, working hours, shift pattern and  location etc . The hiring manager must ensure that the Preferred Candidate (successful applicant) is made fully aware of the conditions of the offer, .i.e. it is subject to satisfactory completion of NHSGGC pre employment checks.

An offer of employment at this stage is classed as a Conditional Offer of Employment. It is important that the information confirmed to the candidate is correct and in line with the terms of conditions and NHS GGC policies. Starting salary under Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions (for Medical and Dental posts and some Senior Manager/Director/Executive posts separate pay grades/scales will apply)

Candidates should be advised not to submit their notice until all pre employment checks have been confirmed 

If queries arise which require the hiring manager to seek clarification or guidance then they should contact the Recruitment service or their nominated Human Resources representative.

Once all the candidates have been contacted then the hiring manager should contact their nominated contact point in the Recruitment team to confirm the successful candidate and details of the offer made etc. The Recruitment team will then commence the pre employment checks and will send out all the relevant recruitment documentation to the successful candidate to get the offer process started as quickly as possible.

An Unconditional Offer of Employment will only be issued once all the appropriate Pre Employment checks have been verified by the Recruitment service and signed off by the hiring or line manager for the post.

Pre employment checks include:

  • Verification of identity
  • Confirmation of Right to Work in the UK 
  • Satisfactory References
  • Satisfactory Disclosure Scotland check – PVG Scheme Membership / Police Act Disclosure
  • Certificate of good standing for those applying from oversees (required where a candidate has worked outwith the UK for 12 months within the last 5 years)
  • Professional Registration and Qualification check
  • Employment History
  • Occupational Health clearance
  • Fitness to Practice
  • Verification of Driving Licence (only where applicable)

These checks are either required by law or are NHS GGC/NHSScotland policy.   

Starting a member of staff prior to the checks being approved could potentially put the safety of our patients and staff at risk and will not be permitted in any circumstance.

For further guidance on pre employment checks please refer to a member of  the Recruitment service.

Withdrawing an Offer

If, after careful consideration, it is decided to withdraw the conditional offer of employment the grounds/reasons for withdrawal must be made very clear to the candidate e.g. due to unsatisfactory references or other pre employment checks.  The Hiring Manager must ensure this decision is made in consultation with their own Line Manager, an HR representative and Recruitment Service.  The offer must be withdrawn and confirmed in writing by the  Recruitment Service.  

Please note that we recommend that you discuss at interview your expectation of references with candidates to ensure that you have outlined what you consider a satisfactory and unsatisfactory reference to be. 

Unconditional (Final) Offer, Contract & Induction

Once all pre employment checks have been satisfactorily completed regardless of the tenure of the post a final offer of employment known as an Unconditional Offer will be made.

The hiring manager is responsible for completing the proforma template for the appointed candidate in order to issue final offer letter and the successful candidate’s Contract of Employment. The Hiring Manager will be contacted to confirm acceptance and will agree a start date, after which the Recruitment Service will issue the candidate with a Unconditional Offer letter and Contract of Employment.

Statutory and mandatory training (LearnPro) 

We are encouraging new employees to complete core statutory and mandatory training prior to commencement. You have a vital role in supporting compliance by completing this LearnPro Account Creation Form at the same time as you submit the proforma template issued by recruitment, which triggers the offer letter. 

Step 5 Finalising the Offer of Employment and starting your new staff member

Once satisfactory pre-employment checks are received, the Recruitment Service will confirm and verify these with the hiring/line manager for the post and will then arrange for an Unconditional Offer of Employment to be issued to the successful candidate.

The hiring manager is responsible for completing the proforma template form which they will receive from the Recruitment Service for the appointed candidate. It is important to complete and send the form back to your nominated recruitment team member quickly in order for the Recruitment service to  issue final offer letter and the successful candidate’s Contract of Employment. 

A NHSGGC Contract of Employment will also be issued at this stage so it is important that the Recruitment Service have all the relevant and accurate information from the hiring /line manager. This will include important information such as where your new member of staff needs to report to on their first day and at what time, along with details of the documents they will need to bring so that they can be set up on the NHSGGC payroll.

The hiring manager/line manager will be responsible for facilitating an appropriate induction programme for their new member of staff especially if this requires booking them onto any mandatory training events, etc .

The hiring/line manager for the new member of staff is responsible for arranging a number of administrative elements of starting a new member of staff including :

  • IT access to appropriate system and training
  • Ordering any equipment (such as mobile phone, blackberry or laptop) and ensuring  necessary office equipment (including PC and landline) is available
  • Ordering equipment/materials identified by Occupational Health as necessary for the appointee
  • Uniform if applicable
  • ID Badges/Security fobs

Don’t forget to arrange a welcome meeting and keep in touch with your new member of staff prior to their start date

The hiring/line manager will need to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made to induct their new member of staff  within NHSGGC. Remember to include introduction meetings with key contacts in your service.

On starting you will need to ensure that a NHSGGC Staff Engagement Form is completed for your new member of staff and then sent onto NHSGGC Payroll Service team. 

Statutory and mandatory training (LearnPro) 

In addition to completing the the proforma template issued by recruitment, which triggers the offer letter, the Hiring Manager must also complete this LearnPro Account Creation Form.  This will enable candidates to access and complete core statutory and mandatory training prior to commencement. 

NHS Staff Engagement Form and Payroll procedures

For posts (except medical and dental) the Recruitment service will send out a NHS GGC Staff Engagement form to the successful candidate, along with their Unconditional offer of Employment.  They will be advised to take that when they start their new job and give it to their new Line Manager on their first working day.  Their Line Manager is responsible for completing the appropriate sections of the form and then forwarding it to NHSGGC Payroll service. It is important to make sure it is forwarded to NHSGGC Payroll service in time to meet the payroll service deadline for that month to ensure your new member of staff is paid on time and at the correct grade etc.

For Medical & Dental staff, new appointees will attend in person the recruitment office to have an engagement form completed.

Existing NHSGGC Employees

An important point to note is where an existing NHSGGC Employee is changing post within the Board then it is the responsibility of their existing line manager to complete a Notification of Change form and submit to NHSGGC Payroll service. Existing NHSGGC starting a new job should also receive induction, and where appropriate mandatory training as outlined above.

For Medical & Dental posts, a Notification of Change Form will be completed by Recruitment Services.

Employee Record File (Personnel File)

You will receive from the Recruitment service an Employee record file for your new member of staff , which will include:

All the pre-employment documentation which has been received for the candidate 

A copy of the job pack that was issued for the post . A copy of the Contract of Employment for your new member of staff .

The Employee record File should be kept securely by the new member of staff‘s Line Manager.  All the employee’s employment history should be retained securely in their Employee Record File.

If at some stage in the future your new member of staff  moves to another job within NHSGGC  then their Employee record  File should be forwarded to their new line manager.

Induction and Training

You must ensure your new member of staff completes the NHSGGC On Line Induction.  You can access the Induction portal by clicking this link The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Induction Portal or via the Learning and Education pages on HR Connect.

The NHSGGC Induction Portal has been designed to:

  • support line managers/ team leaders induct their new  members of staff to their new workplace.
  • bring together all relevant resources including forms, policies and guidance  to help your member of staff understand NHSGGC as an organisation 

Managers should use the portal to help plan the induction process.

It is important that the induction is completed as early as possible and should be no later than 3 months of your new member of staff joining your service /department. This is because as well as being critical to ensure your new member of staff is supported when they start their new job the induction is part of the Organisational Performance Review and performance is reported on a monthly to our Directors 

In addition, it is very important that during the induction process, accurate information is kept and held securely in Employee Record files. You should also complete the online induction form (refer to step 5 in the induction portal guidance) when induction has been completed. This enables the Learning and Education service to update the employee record and report results to Directors.

Manager Support

As an additional support to the resources outlined within the Induction Portal, a tutor led course is offered to managers and supervisors who are responsible for leading induction locally and supporting new colleagues, particularly those colleagues in a HCSW role. Details are noted here Induction Training

The Recruitment Process – Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions regarding any of the following topics or need support on any aspect of the Recruitment Process please dont hesitate to contact us:

  • What documents do you need to progress my vacancy?
  • When will I receive short listing?
  • How do I manage a conflict of interest e.g.:  panel members and candidates references.
  • How do I get an update on my on preferred candidates?
  • I want to recruit additional candidate from my interview – what do I do?
  • Setting up other managers on SharePoint

Please call 0141 278 2700 and select option 1 and thereafter option 4

Step 6 Reporting instructions and line manager actions

Your new employee has been instructed to present to you as their new line manager, the following documents for checking as part of their initial induction to your department:

  • Staff Engagement Form  
  • P45 or if unable to provide a current P45 OR HMRC Starter Checklist form 
  • Proof of Address :2 Items  which are e.g. Utility Bill/Bank or Building Society Statement/document   from UK Central/Local Government /Government Agency /Local Authority giving entitlement e.g. Job Centre Plus, Inland Revenue – address should match details in Employee Record File
  • As the Hiring Manager, it is essential that your retain a copy of the contract of employment, either by downloading a copy from Jobtrain (and any other supporting documentation e.g. Identification used to confirm Right to Work in the UK) or by asking the new employee to provide a signed copy, which should be retained in their employee file.

Candidate Pre-Employment Checks

  • Candidate Pre Employment Checks – You should review the documents in the Employee File to ensure the pre employment checks were all satisfactorily completed and copies have been enclosed where appropriate.   
  • Professional Registration –where the new employee requires professional registration with a professional body e.g. General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health and Care Professions Council or the Royal Pharmaceutical Society etc  then you must once again confirm that your new employee ‘s professional registration is up to date and  there are no new conditions of practice  since the pre-employment checks were carried out. Note should be taken when it should be renewed for ongoing monitoring.
  • PVG/Disclosure Check – where PVG Membership or Disclosure Scotland Screening is required for the role you should confirm that your new employee‘s status Disclosure remains unchanged and there are no new convictions, cautions or warnings to declare since the pre employment checks were carried out and the certificate issued.

Existing member of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff

Please note that if your new employee is an existing staff member within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde you should complete a Change on e:ESS via Manager Self Service.

Recruiting with convictions


Employers will no longer receive information on some ‘spent’ convictions. A new category of conviction has been introduced –protected conviction. The NHS Scotland Application Form has been amended to accommodate the changes. There is no change in a requirement to perform a PVG or Police Disclosure Check. Hiring managers can continue to discuss conviction details for unspent convictions and spent convictions listed on Schedule A1.

The purpose of this briefing is to provide guidance to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) hiring managers on reforms to the disclosure of criminal records and how these reforms will affect the disclosure of certain categories of criminal convictions during the recruitment process.

The legislative changes have been made by Disclosure Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and NHSGGC Hiring Managers are asked to note the following changes with immediate effect:

Spent Convictions

A spent conviction is a criminal conviction that under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 can be treated as ‘spent’ – ignored or forgotten – after a certain length of time.

As most posts in the NHS were exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 prior to the legislative changes, we were legally entitled to ask applicants to disclose all convictions regardless of whether they were spent or not.  

The changes now mean NHS Boards may no longer be entitled to be made aware of any ‘spent’ conviction information, which prior to the new rules would have been provided by job applicants and on a Disclosure certificate.

Following the rehabilitation period of a conviction (outlined in appendix 3) a conviction becomes ‘spent’.  Although the conviction has become ‘spent’, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act dictates that some conviction information should remain on a Disclosure Scotland PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure due to the seriousness nature of the offence. 

These ‘serious’ offences are listed in Schedule A1 and Schedule B1:

  • Schedule A1 is a list of offences which must always be disclosed
  • Schedule B1 is a list of offences which are to be disclosed subject to rules

Rehabilitated offenders with a ‘spent’ conviction listed on Schedule B1 can apply to a Sheriff to have their spent conviction removed after a period of time:

  • 15 years, if they were 18 or over at the date of conviction
  • 7 years and 6 months, if they were under 18 at the date of conviction

Protected Convictions

A new category of conviction has now been introduced known as a ‘protected conviction’. A person’s conviction is a protected conviction if:

  • It is a spent conviction; and
  • It is not a conviction listed in Schedule A1 or B1.

As protected convictions are categorised as a ‘less serious’ conviction, these convictions are no longer required to be shown on Disclosure certificates.

NHS Scotland Application Form

Candidates will be prompted to declare their convictions following the conditional offer of employment via Jobtrain.

This means that under the new rules, the application process for a job will no longer require individuals to disclose ‘spent’ convictions.

The changes also impact on what information is released on a Disclosure certificate relating to either the PVG Scheme membership or a Police Act Disclosure.  The certificate issued by Disclosure Scotland will no longer contain all spent convictions (the certificate will not contain protected convictions).

NHS Boards are also no longer entitled to ask candidates at recruitment application stage, about ‘spent’ convictions.

Whilst these changes to the existing arrangements are now in place there is no change to our current requirement to carry out criminal record checks as part of the pre-employment checks for candidates offered a post within NHSGGC.

For posts not requiring a Disclosure Scotland PVG scheme membership – a separate Criminal Conviction Declaration Form has now been introduced and given to preferred candidates for whom a PVG membership or Police Act Disclosure is not required.  This will capture any relevant and disclosable criminal convictions in line with the new legislation that would previously have been declared on the application form.

Scottish Ministers want to strike a balance between protection of the public and vulnerable groups and the rights of individuals not to have to disclose routinely certain ‘spent’ convictions. Public protection still remains at the forefront of the system of PVG Records and Police Act Disclosures by ensuring certain very serious spent convictions and other categories of conviction deemed appropriate will always be disclosed.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I ask the applicant about their criminal history?

You can ask an applicant about their criminal history, however, legally the applicant has the right to only tell you about any unspent convictions or spent convictions which are not protected.

What if the candidate discloses information about a protected conviction?

It is encouraging that the applicant is being open and honest during the recruitment stage, however you must not make any decision based on the information they have disclosed to you.  Making decisions based on a protected conviction will be contravening the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Will NHSGGC still perform a PVG / Disclosure check?

These changes do not affect the requirement to perform a PVG / Disclosure check.  The Recruitment Service will continue to carry out this essential pre-employment check prior to any unconditional offer of employment.

Will NHSGGC be receiving less criminal history about their prospective employees?

All orgaisations in Scotland that use the PVG membership scheme or those that request Police Disclosure Act will receive relevant criminal history information, as dictated in the following Acts:

  • the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • the Police Act 1997
  • the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland ) Act 2007

The primary change that has come into effect is the removal of some ‘spent’ convictions – these convictions are now referred to as ‘protected convictions’ and will not be disclosed to an employer.

Why did the application form need to change?

To minimise the risk of an applicant disclosing spent conviction information, it was agreed by the NHS Scotland HR Directors group (with legal input from NHS Scotland’s Central Legal Office) that the national application form must be amended to accommodate the changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 

What categories of staff does this affect?

The legislative changes outlined in this document are applicable to all NHS Scotland health boards as well as all public and private sector employers in Scotland. These changes have been implemented with immediate effect and are applicable to all posts, paid and voluntary.  This includes: substantive, fixed term, temporary, bank, modern apprenticeships, honorary appointments etc.

The role does not require PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure; will NHSGGC still obtain criminal history information?

As part of their pre-employment checks, preferred candidates that do not require PVG scheme membership or a Police Act Disclosure will be asked to complete a Criminal Conviction Declaration Form. This will capture any relevant and disclosable criminal convictions in line with the new legislation that would previously have been declared on the application form.

Where can I obtain further information or clarification about these changes?

In the first instance, please contact the Recruitment Service on 0141 278 2700 or email

Examples of conviction scenarios

Scenario 1

A person is convicted of fraud and receives a conditional discharge.  The offence occurred 3 months ago.

The rehabilitation period for a conditional discharge is 1 year.  Therefore this conviction is unspent and will appear on a PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure.

Scenario 2

A person was convicted of rape and received a 4 year prison sentence.  The offence occurred 12 years ago.

The rehabilitation period for a sentence of imprisonment (over 6 months) is 10 years.  Therefore this conviction is spent.  However, as the offence is listed in Schedule B1, it will appear as a spent conviction on a PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure.

Scenario 3

A person was convicted of torture and received a 5 year prison sentence.  The offence occurred 33 years ago.

The rehabilitation period for a sentence of imprisonment (over 6 months) is 10 years.  Therefore this conviction is spent.  However, as the offence is listed in Schedule A1, it will appear as a spent conviction on a PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure.

Scenario 4

A person was convicted of affray and received a fine.  The offence occurred 18 years ago.

The rehabilitation period for a fine is 5 years.  Therefore this conviction is spent.  The applicant has applied to a Sherriff to have their spent conviction removed (as the conviction is listed in Schedule B1) and it was agreed that the conviction is now protected.  Therefore the conviction will not appear on a PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure.

Scenario 5

A minor was convicted of theft and received a fine.  The offence occurred 4 years ago when the minor was 14 years old.

The rehabilitation period for a fine (for a minor) is 2½ years.  Therefore this conviction is spent.  The applicant has applied to a Sherriff to have their spent conviction removed (as the conviction is listed in Schedule B1).  The Sherriff has denied the request, as a spent conviction (listed on Schedule B1) can and only become protected after 7½ years from when the minor was convicted.  Therefore the conviction will appear on a PVG scheme membership or Police Act Disclosure.