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Topic: Recruitment

letter confirming membership of professional body
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Letter confirming membership of professional body

Letter confirming membership of professional body

You probably take up references on a prospective employee but do you check the other information they’ve provided on their CV or in an application form, such as their membership of professional bodies and organisations? It’s not unknown for applicants to lie or to cite out-of-date information. Our letter should assist you with checking membership of any professional bodies.

Verification

With an estimated one in four people lying on their CVs, it’s important for employers to thoroughly check them before making a job offer. The lie could be about job titles, previous work experience, length of employment or qualifications, but it could also be about their membership of professional bodies or organisations which are relevant in their field of expertise. To counter this ask the prospective employee to bring in their membership card or other confirmation of their membership before they start work. Alternatively, you could try to verify the membership yourself or pay an external organisation to do it. This is where our Letter Confirming Membership of Professional Body comes in - you should send it to the relevant professional body asking them to confirm that the prospective employee is indeed a current member and their level of membership, if applicable. It’s a simple letter which sets out what that membership is and then asks the recipient to fill in a form requiring a “yes or no answer. Where they answer “yes”, it asks them to provide the relevant joining date. Where they answer “no”, it asks them to state whether the prospective employee is a former member. There’s a final box for any other comments.

Data protection

The Employment Practices Code, made under data protection legislation, states that you should explain to applicants as early as is reasonably practicable in the recruitment process the nature of your verification process and the methods you intend to use to carry it out, including any external sources that will be used. In addition, where it's necessary to secure the release of documents or information from a third party, you should obtain a signed consent form from the applicant, unless consent to their release has been indicated in some other way – use our Verification of Qualifications Consent Form. Don’t run checks on everyone you interview though as that’s likely to contravene the data protection principles. Wait until you’ve made a job offer and then run the checks on your preferred candidate. Should any of your checks produce discrepancies, don't just withdraw the job offer as a knee-jerk reaction - give the applicant the opportunity to respond and make representations before you make any decisions. Once you’ve received the documents or information from the third party, rely on the processing of them being necessary for the purposes of your legitimate interests, i.e. conducting due diligence on prospective staff and assessing their suitability for employment, as your lawful basis for processing.

 

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