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1. I completed a CRB with you over 12 months ago and have been working without issue ever since and now you are asking me to complete a new disclosure, is this really necessary?

CRB Disclosures expire after three years. To comply with CQC regulation, we will require you to renew your CRB.

2. How often do I need to update my training and occupational health details?

How often you need to update your training record is dependent on with whom you took the training with and you should seek clarification from them as to how long the training certificate is valid for. More often than not course providers recommend refreshing your training yearly, but again this is dependent on the course taken also.

3. It seems a lot to remember (CRB, OH & Training) and as a busy working healthcare professional, I am concerned that a document will lapse and I unwittingly will become non-compliant. How can you help me with this?

As a FirstCol employee, your training record will be logged onto our booking system which gives us timely reminders as your training record and CRB come towards expiry. We will inform you of your situation and liase with you to either attend one of our free training sessions or complete your training online through sister company Safe Response.

4. What are the deadline requirements in relation to timesheets?

At FirstCol we guarantee to pay you weekly on a Friday. Timesheets must be handed in by midday on a Monday to be paid on the following Friday. All timesheets handed in after this time period will be processed for the Friday of the following week. Timesheets must be turned into the office, at most, one week after the shift was completed.

5. How should I present my timesheets and which copies do you require?

Your FirstCol timesheet has four copies attached to each other. The bottom yellow copy is to be kept by the establishment where you completed the shift. This is so the establishment in question has a reference point with regards to invoicing. The Blue copy which follows that is your copy to keep. Please do so in case there are any queries you wish to make regarding payment. When handing in your timesheet to FirstCol please present the white and pink copies together.

6. Do I get holiday pay? How does the Holiday fund work?

You get holiday pay at the standard rate, which is accumulated in your holiday fund. This can be requested at any point.

7. How do I get paid and how often?

FirstCol pays their employees weekly into a bank account of the staff member’s choosing. Please note that under no circumstances will FirstCol pay staff in cash.

8. My tax code is incorrect can you change it?

If you have any queries regarding your tax code, please contact HMRC as FirstCol use information given to us by HMRC to calculate how much tax to take off of your earnings.

9. How do I let you know of changes to my personal details?

If there are any changes to your personal details then feel free to put them in writing either by email or by post and they will be changed accordingly. Click Here to go access our contact details.

10. What happens if my shift is cancelled?

If your shift is cancelled within two hours of the start time of your shift, then FirstCol agree to pay you for four hours worth of work, at the wage that you would have earned on that particular day. If you are cancelled upon arrival, or sent home early without good cause, then FirstCol agree to pay you for the full shift.

All payments are made once the money owed to us by the client has been paid regarding the cancelled shifts, so there may be a time discrepancy between when your shift got cancelled and when you will get paid.

11. How do I break down my pay?

You should keep blue copies of your timesheets and calculate your gross pay by these hours and against your rate sheets.

12. There seems to be a high level of training required, where can I go for this and get these courses done?

FirstCol pride themselves on being 100% compliant and this includes ensuring all of our staff are up to date with their training. There are two options that a FirstCol employee cantake. Firstly, you book yourself in to our training courses that we hold in our headquarters in Crawley. These sessions are free to attend and lunch is also provided.

Alternatively, you can log onto our training site over at Safe Response and complete the respective courses online. Employees of FirstCol will receive a special discount on the fees applicable to the training programme chosen.

13. Who does FirstCol provide staff to?

FirstCol provide staff to a range of different clients. These include but are not limited to:

  • NHS Hospitals, both General and Mental Health
  • Prisons
  • Private Healthcare providers, both General and Mental Health
  • Maternity Units
  • Nursing Homes/Residential Homes
  • Private Independent Living Providers
  • NHS Community Hospitals
  • NHS Community Services (District Nurses and Mental Health Trust)


14. Will I get enough work and where do you currently have work?

FirstCol currently have staff who work enough hours to fill a full time job and those who are able to pick up a shift here and there, depending on their circumstances. FirstCol are committed to constantly acquiring new partners to work alongside, ensuring that our staff have a range of different establishments and clients to work with.

15. How do I apply to register with the agency?

To Join FirstCol, simply fill in the online form which can be found by clicking here. Once you have completed that a member of our recruitment team will acknowledge your application and process it further.

Alternatively you can download the application forms by clicking here, completing them and sending them by post to our headquarters in Crawley.

16. What happens once I have filled in an application form?

Once you have filled in an application a member of our recruitment team will review it, assessing your skills and experience against the posts that we have. At FirstCol we pride ourselves on the quality of our staff and if you meet the criteria then we will invite you for a face to face interview.

17. Why do I need to have a face to face interview?

It is for a variety of reasons that we have face to face interviews. Firstly, we like to see all employees.

18. Why is the registration process so onerous, I never had to do this even for my current employer?

At FirstCol we are proud to have our 2 Star ‘Gold’ CQC rating and it has been achieved through thoroughly vetting our assure you that every process is carried out to ensure the quality of our staff and safety of our patients.

19. My full time job is within the NHS and I have never had to undertake all the training and compliance that you are asking me for and I work there every day: why do I need this in order to do the odd agency shift back in the NHS?

Whilst we appreciate that you may not have had to undertake all of the training and compliance that we are asking you for, when you are working for FirstCol it is our standard practice that you are fully trained and compliant with the regulations that govern care.

20. Why do I need a Criminal Records check, when I have one that has been done recently with my current employer?

We can only use your existing DBS check for 3 months whilst we process your DBS check via FirstCol which is a legal requirement.

21. How much can I expect to earn?

Our rates of pay can be found by clicking here and can be downloaded to your computer.

22. Do I need Professional indemnity?

FirstCol recommends for your own protection that you

23. Why do I need an Occupational Health Assessment?

FirstCol will request an occupational health check should any concerns be raised regarding your fitness to work.

24. Do I need transport?

Although we do prefer that you are able to drive, the most important aspect is that you are willing to make your own arrangements to travel to and from a shift.

25. Is there any age limit?

FirstCol welcomes all applicants as long as they are of legal working age.

26. Do I need experience?

Although we do prefer those who do have care experience, we welcome applications from those who are enthusiastic to begin a career as a trainer. We ask that those without prior experience thoroughly research the job role before applying.


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