Fit and proper persons requirements

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We have specific role in appointing and supporting NHS Trust chairs and non-executives which includes a duty to ensure that the individuals they appoint meet the requirements of the ‘fit and proper persons’ regulations.

We must be able to provide evidence that appropriate systems and processes are in place to ensure that all new and existing chairs and non-executive directors are, and continue to be, fit for purpose and that no appointments meet any of the ‘unfitness’ criteria set out in the regulations.  

The full criteria of the requirements is available on the Care Quality Commission website

Checks undertaken by NHS Improvement

We also undertake this series of checks to ensure that candidates meet our internal criteria: 

  • CV check for gaps in history, potential issues and conflicts of interest
  • check of self-declaration form completed by the candidate, and renewed for reappointments via appraisal documentation
  • scrutiny of panel assessment documentation, where appropriate for new appointments
  • Google and news searches, including high profile roles, any regulated activity, or work with children or vulnerable adults 
  • check with relevant regulators, where individuals have a history of regulated activity
  • scrutiny of references
  • search of disqualified directors register
  • search of insolvency and bankruptcy register
  • scrutiny of appraisal documentation, where appropriate
  • check of corporate knowledge where the individual has a background in the NHS

Further documentation to be completed

All appointments are conditionally offered on satisfactory completion of:

  • Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) checks (where appropriate to the role)
  • occupational health assessment (for new appointments only)
  • random checks of educational qualifications
  • proof of identity, for example passport or driving licence (for new appointments only)
  • proof of qualifications
  • proof of right to work, where individual does not provide an EU passport as proof of identity (for new appointments only)

While we make every effort to minimise the impact these checks will have on timescales for recruitment exercises, inevitably some of checks may take more time than others. 

Advice for current chairs and non-executives

Under the regulations, NHS trusts must be able to provide evidence that appropriate systems and processes are in place to ensure that all new directors and existing directors are, and continue to be, fit for purpose and that no appointments meet any of the ‘unfitness’ criteria set out in the regulations.  

Existing NHS trust chairs and non-executive directors should alert us to any change to their circumstances that may affect their suitability for appointment. In addition, as part of the annual appraisal process, confirmation is sought that for each chair and non-executive director in post there are no pending, or other matters, that may affect their suitability for appointment.

The terms and conditions of appointment for chair and non-executive directors, including the arrangements for suspension and termination, also ensure that we are able to take appropriate action if an individual already appointed is found to be an unfit person.

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