How-to, Locum Passport, Locuming

Follow these two steps and you will be all set for a great Locum career

Two steps to a great Locum Career

If you're reading this blog, chances are that you're at least a little bit interested in working as a locum. Perhaps it's the flexibility, the pay or the lifestyle as a whole that has lured you into reading this post. Carry on reading to find out our two step process for Locum Success.

This guide will give you the best possible chance at getting off to a great start as a locum. It's best to have the steps in mind and be actively working on them before you start locuming - as, like any great plan it takes some time to come to fruition! If you're already locuming following the steps will streamline your current processes and make the rewards that extra bit sweeter.
STEP 1. Preparing for locum life.
You're interested in locuming, that's great - it's time to put the foundations in place. There are two parts to this step:
  • Getting your Documents ready.
  • Joining Agencies.
As any locum will tell you the biggest single frustration to starting off in the field is being declared 'fit to work' by your chosen agency/agencies. This declaration is only granted to you when you have a completed compliance pack. The compliance pack is a set of documents and proofs that the agency is required to collect from you in order to assure the NHS and the public that you are fit to carry out your role as a healthcare professional.
The documents that are required by your agency are governed by national frameworks, so by and large, the required documents by different agencies are all very similar. Such documents include:
You can find out more about locum documentation by reading our post on this very issue here.
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Having your compliance documents ready and sorted into folders will save you so much time and headache moving forward. If you would like a great explainer of how to keep your documents organized properly and the benefits of keeping physical copies vs virtual copies check out our blog here.
Before we move on to the next compliance step right now is a good time to start thinking about the right agencies to join. In almost all cases its free to join agencies so the only downside to joining as many suitable agencies as you can is the time it will take. A few things to consider a when choosing an agency are:
For a full rundown on what it the right agency will look like for you, read our handy post on this exact topic.
As well as providing some information about you, your agency will also require a DBS check. This DBS check is performed by the Disclosure and Barring service that shows your criminal record to agencies.  There are different types of DBS checks available and the check you require depending on what your profession is. If you need help understanding what DBS check you need, our handy post is ready to guide you in getting the right one. 
Mandatory training is the final hurdle and it has been saved until last. Mandatory training encompasses all of the basic training you require to carry out your role safely and effectively. Agencies are required to prove that you are capable of undertaking your role to a standard level. Mandatory training consists of training such as:
  • Basic Life Support.
  • Fire Safety
  • Manual handling
and a few others depending on your profession. We have a handy guide on what mandatory training is here.
Both mandatory training and DBS checks are required by agencies but the downside is that most agencies don't share this information with other agencies. This means that completing your DBS and mandatory training will have to be completed separately for every agency you join. That's why it's important to have a list of preferential agencies you want to join to save you a lot of time and in some cases, hefty fees.
You've completed your planning and your documents ready and waiting, its time to join some agencies, get your fit to work approval and begin booking in shifts. Your agencies will now begin to contact you with some roles that may be of interest to you. You should direct your agency to put you forward for the role and fingers crossed it's yours.
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STEP 2. Housekeeping
You're all set and by now, well into the swing of things as a locum. You'll soon find that the biggest barrier to unearthing new roles, is your compliance data expiring. Remember,  every piece of information must be updated regularly not just when it expires. It could be an out of date utility bill that hinders your chances of getting your next preferred shift.
It's so important therefore, to keep on top of your compliance data and to be proactive in its maintenance. Keeping track of key expiry dates means that you can have a new utility bill scanned and ready to send to all of your agencies. Key compliance data that should never be allowed to expire include:
  • Your professional registration.
  • Indemnity insurance.
  • Mandatory training.
while other documents should be updated at least once yearly.
Your agency should remind you of when your data is about to expire, but working without the correct registration or indemnity will harm your ability to work as a professional as well as harm the agency that you're working for.
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With all the information that you collate you'll find yourself with a hefty folder full of all your documents. While having a physical copy of your documents is a great way to maintain them, there's a growing trend of using online storage to manage your documents.
There are benefits to both systems but managing your documents online has these added advantages:
  • Easily categorized and indexed
  • Easy to dates of production and modification
  • Available anywhere you need them.
To find out more about the pro's and con's of the storage methods check out this great post on paper vs cloud storage.
So there you have it, our two-step approach to setting up as a locum. Getting off to the right start can dramatically change your views of the current locum field and gives you back some much needed time away from the world of healthcare.

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Our Newsletter is full of fresh content that is useful and informative. Join the club and you will also receive great discounts and updates on how we are working to make locuming easier for you.