Q&As

It's the holiday season, how can I ensure compliance with risk management requirements when using locums?

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Published on LexisPSL on 22/01/2020

The following Practice Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • It's the holiday season, how can I ensure compliance with risk management requirements when using locums?
  • Vetting
  • Supervision

It's the holiday season, how can I ensure compliance with risk management requirements when using locums?

From time-to-time (particularly during the current holiday season), large and/or busy departments need to engage locums to provide cover. Ensuring they are reliable and up to standard is clearly very important from a risk management and client care perspective.

Vetting

The first step is to consider your approach to vetting staff.

Vetting is the process of performing a background check on someone before offering employment. It involves obtaining and confirming:

  1. references

  2. employment history and qualifications—you can verify whether a locum is regulated by the SRA and holds a valid practising solicitor via the SRA’s Solicitor search and check

  3. details of any regulatory action taken against the individual (or the absence of such action)—you’ll also find this on the SRA’s Solicitor search and check

  4. details of any criminal convictions (or the absence of such convictions) through a Criminal Records Bureaux (CRB) check where appropriate

It also means ensuring staff provide adequate proof of both identity and permission to work in the UK. You may also wish to ask for the locum's training record, which will help you to assess whether the locum takes responsibility for keeping up-to-date with legal and professional

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