Reference checks

How is the reference check process different during the recruitment campaign and outside of the campaign (i.e. ad-hoc advertising)?

During the campaign, it is recognised that there is an increased burden placed on the nominated referees and therefore under the Recruitment and Selection of Junior Medical Officer to the NSW Health Service policy directive, a generic referee report may be used as an alternative to requesting separate individual referee reports for each position an applicant has applied for. This removes the need for a nominated referee to complete more than one referee check per applicant.

In addition, the referee reports collected by the following specialty colleges for recruiting into their training programs have been approved as complying with the NSW Health policy, and may be used towards a JMO’s job application as well:

  • Anatomical Pathology
  • Cardiology (NSW/ACT)
  • Gastroenterology (NSW/ACT)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Rheumatology (ACT/NSW)

These College/Statewide Centralised Panels referee reports will need to be verified (if not already verified as per policy) and a copy uploaded onto the eRecruit system against the applicant’s profile.

Please note if a Convenor has conducted a manual reference check outside of the eRecruit system, it is advised that this reference check report is uploaded as soon as possible onto the system to avoid others duplicating the process for the same applicant.

On the JMO eRecruit system, reference checks need to be uploaded in order for the applicant to be recommended. Please also be aware that once advertising closes for individual positions, referee details cannot be edited. Warnings have been placed within the system to advise the applicants of this.

An applicant has requested a copy of their reference reports, could the reports be provided to them?

The Recruitment and Selection of Junior Medical Officers to the NSW Health Service  policy directive requires that the selection panel’s feedback must “Take account of relevant information used to make a decision about the applicant, from all stages of the selection process, for example, written application, interview performance, any assessments, referee feedback etc.” As such, copies of references are generally not provided to applicants but rather a feedback that is based on the consolidated outcome of all of those information would be given instead.

National Police Checks (NPCs)

What is considered a “break in service” for the purpose of re-checking NPCs for Medical Officers?

The relevance of breaks in service (or continuity of service) is usually considered in terms of entitlement to long service leave for government sector employees where the employee has left one employer and commenced with a new employer within a two month period or where the employee has ceased to be employed by an employer on the grounds of retrenchment or reduction of work but has been re-employed by the same employer within a 12 month period. These entitlements are prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014 (the ‘Regulation’).

As the definitions and terms around continuity of service are specifically for the purpose of determining long service leave entitlements, they are not relevant to decisions about NPCs.

NPCs are a risk management strategy used in recruitment to identify if a person has relevant criminal records, which need to be risk assessed before an offer of appointment.

NSW Health does not require existing workers to have a new NPC when changing roles as the risks have already been mitigated, in part, by the NSW Health Code of Conduct, which requires employees to notify NSW Health of serious criminal charges or convictions. During a ‘break’ from NSW Health that goes to a severing of the employment relationship, the person is no longer covered by the Code of Conduct in terms of notifying NSW Health of criminal charges or convictions, and therefore, to mitigate those risks before a decision is made to appoint the person in a new role, a new NPC is required.

In summary:

  • If the medical officer is engaged within NSW Health at the time of the decision to offer them a new appointment, no further NPC is required even if they subsequently negotiate a break before commencing in their new role (subject to any aged care requirements).​
  • If a medical officer is not engaged within NSW Health at the time of the decision to offer a new appointment, they must have a new NPC, irrespective of the length of time since their last contract ended.​
  • There are no requirements for Medical Officers to have further NPCs for the purpose of rotations within NSW Health while they are still under the initial NSW Health contract (noting that a rotation may be in an external agency).

For further information please refer to the Working with Children Checks and Other Police Checks policy directive.

Overseas applicants

What is the police/criminal history clearance process for an overseas applicant?

If you have an overseas applicant (i.e.someone being recruited directly from overseas including from New Zealand), they are required to provide police clearances (with English translation) from their home country and any country in which they have been a permanent resident or citizen since turning 16 years of age.

This may include, where available, an international criminal history check from an AHPRA approved supplier obtained as part of their registration.

If they are unable to obtain a police clearance, they will be required to complete a statutory declaration stating whether they do or do not have pending, current or previous criminal charges or convictions from their home country or any country that they have been a permanent resident or citizen since turning 16 years of age. If they have any criminal records, the statutory declaration must list the offences, the dates and any court outcomes.

All overseas criminal history statutory declarations should be collected at the Local Health District level and forwarded to the Medical Board of Australia.

For further information please refer the Working with Children Checks and Other Police Checks policy directive.

Pay determinations and remunerations

If a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) has completed their fourth year of employment, could be they be paid as a Registrar under the award?

Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) could go as high as RMO4 but no higher under the Award – i.e. there is no basis under the award for them to transfer to the Registrar Year 3 classification after they have been on RMO4 for one year.

This advice also applies to positions entitled “Senior Resident Medical Officer”, which is a position title (not an award classification) applying to a subset of employees who are on the RMO classification structure under the Award.

Who can be deemed a Senior Registrar?

A Senior Registrar is defined as ‘A medical officer who has obtained fellowship of an Australian specialty college, provided also that the fellowship is in the specialty in which the medical officer is employed, and that the medical officer is occupying a position of Senior Registrar in an established position as approved by the employer (an approved position on the staffing establishment)’. If a trainee has not achieved Fellowship, they will not be eligible to be appointed to the “award classification” of Senior Registrar.

How is the rural/country location increment paid?

Where a medical officer applies for a position through general recruitment in a rural/country location, their salary is paid at the bandwidth advertised in the advertisement. If the medical officer has applied directly to the rural facility their salary is to be paid as per the Award and should not be increased by one incremental step.

However, when a medical officer, other than an intern, is on rotation to one of the facilities listed below, they may be eligible to have his/her salary increased by one incremental step when applicable.

The hospitals are: Albury Base, Armidale and New England, Bathurst Base, Bega, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo Base, Goulburn Base, Grafton Base, Griffith, Lismore Base, Manning/Taree Base, Orange Base, Port Macquarie Base, Shoalhaven Memorial, Tamworth Rural Referral, Tweed Heads District and Wagga Wagga Base.

For further information please refer to Section 6 of the Medical Officers Employment Arrangements policy directive.

Unsuccessful applicants

When should advice of unsuccessful applications be sent?

Please ensure that advice of unsuccessful applications are not sent to applicants prior to the interviews being conducted or offers being made to successful applicants. Additionally, advice notifying applicants that they have been unsuccessful must be conducted electronically via the eRecruit system.

For further information please refer to Section 2.20 of the Recruitment and Selection of Junior Medical Officers to the NSW Health Service policy directive.

If an unsuccessful applicant requests feedback on their application, please refer to Section 2.21 for the process.​​

Page Updated: Monday 1 July 2019