Criminal records checks will be able to be used again and again, making it easier for agency nurses to work in different organisations.
The government has ruled that from next year people will not be forced to get a CRB check each time they apply for a new position, slashing the amount of bureaucracy involved and saving time and money.
Under the new regulations, applicants will get a certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Then when they apply for new jobs or voluntary posts, they will be able to find out online straight away if their check is still in date.
This means people who work with a number of different organisations and companies will be able to use the same check without having to pay for new ones. The move is also expected to make taking on new staff a quicker and smoother process for employers in both the public and private sectors.
And it will become easier for employees to move around and work in different roles within the NHS without compromising the need to make proper checks on the criminal records of staff.
As well as agency nurses and medical volunteers, the new service will help junior and locum doctors who frequently change hospitals. In the past all these people would have had to apply for a new check each time they moved or registered with a new agency.