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New Recruitment API for Doctors in Training Pre-Employment Checks

A Case Study by the Lead Employer Trust, Northeast  - hosted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


The Lead Employer Trust (LET) Northeast, hosted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has been a customer of Civica (supplier of the TRAC Recruitment Management software) since April 2020.   The system was used solely for Postgraduate Doctors and Dentists in Training (DiT) to process their pre-employment checks. 

The LET have been a long-standing user of the NHS England Education’s Trainee Information System (TIS) interface with ESR and were realising the positive benefits from using this interface to automatically transfer the applicant records of new starters and rotating DiTs into ESR.  They were therefore keen to continue to use the TIS Interface. However, after the LET started using the TRAC system and had their first large intake of DiT in August 2020, it quickly became apparent that as the Applicant Records had already been created in ESR via the TIS Interface, the result was that there was an extremely large amount of data in TRAC which could not be automatically transferred to ESR due to there being no link between the two systems (as the link for the recruitment process only existed between TIS and ESR directly).  This data therefore needed to be manually input into ESR to complete the Applicant Record.  This data entry took the LET a number of months to complete in ESR. The result was reporting, and data quality checks were extremely problematic.

The Project

The LET worked collaboratively with the NHSBSA ESR Systems Integration Team and Civica colleagues to review this duplication of data entry and effort to explore a possible solution and agree a way forward to alleviate the resulting workload through the year - especially for the large rotation periods in August, October, and February.  

Key information from each of the following records was identified and confirmed as eligible for transfer from TRAC to the ESR Applicant record created by the TIS Interface:

Lead Employer - Info into ESR

A new bespoke API was developed which would enable NHS Organisations to continue to benefit from the use of the link between TIS and ESR to create the Applicant records and manage employment checks for DIT in a third-party e-Recruitment system. The agreed solution/API would provide a one-off feed to subsequently copy the employment checks for the DIT from the third-party E-Recruitment system into ESR to complete the existing Applicant record. 

Key Benefits

This is a generic solution and can be used by other e-recruitment suppliers or applicant tracking systems (ATS).

This supports the NHS People Plan - Enabling Staff Movement programme which aims to improve the onboarding processes of Postgraduate Doctors in Training (DiT) in line with national NHS objectives. There are approximately 50,000 DITs that rotate through NHS Organisations every year.

The benefit of the API solution has resulted in the automatic transfer of data into ESR, resulting in an approximate 50% data entry reduction from August 2020.  With an average of 1500 new starters per year within the LET, there has been a saving of approximately 250 hours in manual data entry on ESR for the LET’s new starter pre-employment checklist. The improved link/API provides us with a seamless link between TIS, ESR and TRAC ensuring our employee records are fully complete in time for the DiTs start date.

As a large Lead Employer of Doctors and Dentists in Training we are always looking for time savings. Being able to use both the TIS-ESR interface and the ESR-Trac API has great benefit to reducing data entry for all new starters.

Laura Sams, Deputy Head of People Services, Northeast LET

Next Steps

Further information on the Recruitment System API can be found on the ESR Hub

If you want to understand associated costs for your organisation and request access to the API, please raise a Service Request on the ESR Service Desk. This can be completed by using the following options: Request a new service > AC > ESR Interfaces > Other system interfaces.

Please note to use this API you will also need to have an active interface between your DiT Provider and ESR (TIS Interface).



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