1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

New job paperwork. Is this normal???

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by boubou, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. boubou

    boubou New commenter

    Hello all!
    I am fuming and very concerned at the same time.
    I was offered a new job in a new school. Job offer made and accepted. Starting date will be as soon as the paperwork is done.
    One thing is the health questionnaire: log on the occupational health website with the details they sent, and fill in about 15 pages with very detailed questions about heart health, lungs health, are you a smoker? Have you ever had to see a physio? How many off sick days have you had in the last 2 years? Are you under any hospital or specialist investigation...?
    They also asked to be allowed to get a copy of my medical record from my GP!!!

    And, I am a European citizen but moved permanently in the UK in 2003, and been teaching since 2004. I was asked for a DBS from my country. Last time I was asked that was in 2004! They asked for it to be certified and translated. I told them they can do it themselves: last time I used a certified translator, it cost me £50!!!

    Are they allowed to do this???

    Why so many changes?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes and Yes

    It's been part of safeguarding checks for quite a few years now that criminal records checks for anyone who has worked outside the UK should be carried out. It's logical if you think about it. A DBS certificate records convictions (serious offences anyway) going back indefinitely, so why would you not seek to get the same information for an applicant who has worked outside the UK?

    Job appointments in teaching are usually subject to satisfactory health and it's normal to get Occupational Health to do the health screening.
    wanet likes this.
  3. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Regarding the criminal record check - I agree they should be asking for one, but try getting anything like a DBS from the UK if you don't live there any more! They could well be asking for something that is impossible to obtain.

    There are ways to get clearance (there is an international organisation but it isn't a full clearance). It can be convoluted if you no longer live in the country and back in 2002/3 not all teachers had a certificate (the CRB was still being introduced and there were a lot of us working on just a basic List 99 check as we were in the backlog).

    I had been in a position for 7 years when they updated their policies asked for certificates backdated to 10 years before employment commenced and it was a nightmare trying to explain that there wasn't such a thing in 1999 and the UK wouldn't provide a clearance as I no longer lived there and I left the UK before CRB was fully implemented.
  4. Tinycat1234

    Tinycat1234 Established commenter

    Absolutely!! It doesn’t take long to fill out. I’m not quite sure why you’re so outraged??
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I'm an American, in the UK or Ireland since 1999. I provided evidence on my DBS since I was 18 with my Irish paperwork submitted, etc. Normal.

    Health questionnaire. Yep.

    Sorting out overseas, non-UK qualifications and security clearance at my own cost and inconvenience? Yep.

    If Ofsted or the ISI, in my case, inspect your school and the paperwork isn't clear, your school will be in huge trouble. I was able within an hour to get a copy of my Irish clearance - the DBS service had a copy but the ISI asked for it in paper form.

    It's normal and it's the law.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    It can seem very personal but a health questionnaire is standard. Logically, they need to know many of these things for YOUR health and safety to work! Unless you have a sensitive health issue that you think might affect your chances of employment in which case it might be understandably frustrating I would just grin and bear it!
  7. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    If you had a DBS-equivalent from your home country in 2004, do you still have a copy? Or could the school you got that for vouch for having seen it? You presumably don't need anything more recent if you've been here since.

    I did one medical form that wanted to know about every hospital admission I'd ever had, and the dates of my pre-school booster jabs.
  8. boubou

    boubou New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies.
    What I am extremely surprised about is the fact that I was only asked for one in 2004 when I applied to do my training here. I hadn't worked in France as I came here after doing my Degree and did my teaching training in the UK.
    Since then, I have worked in many schools, and was never asked for it. Of course, I understand completely, and have no issue whatsoever to give any document at all.
    What has really taken me by surprise is the fact that they asked for it, I applied for it, sent it to the school (the French DBS is basically one heading, the stamp of the minister, and one line across the page to show that there is nothing to show), and that now I am asked to pay £50 for translation...
    Why was this not specified then when had the interview, when they send me the original list of documents to provide?

    Once again, I want to make it very clear: I totally understand the need for record checks and so on. I have no issue with providing one. But this is the first time in all these years I am asked for it. And paying for a certified translation of a blank page, that's kind of pushing it...
  9. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    I haven’t changed schools for years and am shocked by the detail they require. It used to be one question: How would you describe your health? No way would I allow any school access to my health records - why would you?
  10. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    They can ask.

    But you can say no. https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2313.aspx?CategoryID=68

    The NHS have enough to do without wasting time and money doing this for a school
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    AIUI the school wasn't asking for access and wouldn't get to see them themselves, it was asking for permission for Occupational Health to see the medical records as part of OH's health screening. The school just gets told OH's overall assessment of whether there are any relevant health issues that the school needs to be aware of.

    The legal obligations on schools towards employees' health and welfare are far greater then they were many years ago so I'm not surprised they ask more information. But even 20 years ago "How would you describe your health?" would have been a wholly inadequate question if that's all they asked!

    Yes, it takes up the receptionist's time but GPs do charge to cover the full cost so the school pays the NHS for OH to have a copy of the medical records.


    Requests for hard copies of information
    If an applicant wishes to obtain a copy of the record, they may be charged a fee. There is no limit on this charge, but it should not result in a profit for the record holder. This fee is over and above the £10 for the initial access.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017

Share This Page