Updated: Sep 5, 2020
In this section, we cover the essential paperwork that you need to do once you arrive in the UK. Based on our personal experience and feedback from current international trainees, delays in some of the paperwork can potentially affect your honorary contract with the NHS and your placement (i.e. you may not be able to pick up clients until this paperwork is in place).
Disclosure and Barring Service
DBS stands for ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’. A DBS check helps the employer make recruitment decisions, so you need it before your placement starts. Usually, the course staff will help you to submit the necessary documents needed for a DBS check. Please start gathering all the relevant documents as soon as you hear from the course. It takes a while for the government to process your criminal records, and you might need to obtain these documents before you arrive in London. If you have stayed or studied overseas in the last few years you may also need to provide criminal record from that country.
Some essential documents that would be required for this process (in original) are:
(2) Biometric Residence Permit
(3) A proof of your UK address – either a bank letter or a utility bill mailed to your address with your name on it.
You can find further details from the DBS online application page (click here). Once your DBS check is complete, do keep the physical letter and save a soft copy.
Occupational Health Clearance
We need clearance from Occupational Health (OH) to prevent health risks that may arise as we have close contact with service users. All trainees need to complete an OH screening which involves filling in a questionnaire and providing a proof of immunization history stating the dates we were given Rubella, Measles, Varicella (chickenpox- usually just stating that you have had it is enough), Tuberculosis (TB) (only for high-incidence countries listed here), Hepatitis B, and seasonal influenza immunisation (flu).
You will need to go through a blood test to check if these immunisations are still “active” and be given these vaccinations to ensure you have all the required immunisations.
Make sure you get an appointment as soon as possible as this can otherwise take weeks and may cost you initial class time.
Registering with a GP
We would recommend registering with a GP located close to where you stay as it makes attending GP appointments easier for you. Try to search for a GP practice that is close to where you live and register with them. Most practices accept online applications these days, although you are highly recommended to call and check if this is not clear on the Internet.
A visit to the GP requires an appointment taken at least a week in advance. Most services offer same day appointments if you call them between 8-8:30am. However, for anything urgent (Broken bones, high fever, dehydration etc.), we strongly suggest attending the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit at your nearest hospital for optimal care.
National Insurance Number
National Insurance Number (NINo) is an account number given to ensure our National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name. Although we do not get paid for working in NHS, we still need to apply for a National Insurance Number (NINo).
To get an appointment, you have to call 0800 141 2075 during business hours to arrange a national insurance number interview. The phone line is usually busy – unfortunately, some of us have waited up to 55-60 minutes to be in touch with a staff.
Prepare the documents needed for the application. After the phone conversation, the NINo application centre will mail you a form and types of supporting documents. One of the documents needed is proof of living address, which you can get from a letter mailed to you after you open a bank account or have bills in your name that are mailed to you.
Respond to the letter by mailing the documents back to NINo centre.You will receive the outcome about 2-3 weeks after responding to the mail by post.
As of September 2020, you do not need to attend the NINo application in person. We are unsure if this changes are permanent or temporary. The whole NINo application takes about 4-6 weeks depending on where you are and how busy the NINo branch in your area is.
Any delay in getting NI no. might affect your honorary contract (i.e., the Trust will not process your contract), which can potentially delay your ability to pick up clients. Therefore, our advice is to get this sorted as soon as possible. Also, not every Dclinpsy programs require a NINo number for honorary contract so please check with your course if you require a NINo number.