Pre-employment Screening


Posted: 4.12.08 Pre-employment Questionnaires And Medicals

The aim of pre-employment screening is to:

  • Identify the work-related health risks of the proposed employment
  • Advise managers on prospective employees’ fitness for the job
  • Provide a baseline for future targeted health screening i.e. lung function test, hearing test, and so on
  • Advise on the need for health surveillance or screening in relation to a particular job
  • Offer advice to management on any reasonable adjustments to the work content or environment that may be required on the declaration of a medical condition or a disability, as defined under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Types of work where attendance–based screenings are required include:

  • Work with patients
  • Work with babies or children
  • Contact with laboratory animals or insects
  • Handling dangerous pathogens (ACDP category two or three)
  • Work requiring health surveillance under COSHH Regulations
  • Food handling
  • Vocational drivers – HGV
  • Tasks requiring accurate colour vision

Pre-employment health assessment will NOT:

  • Predict poor attendees of the future. The only known predictor of future short-term absence is the individual’s previous record of attendance, which can be obtained from the past employer’s reference
  • Indicate employees who will never become sick in the future

The format of pre-employment health assessment is based on a risk assessment of the individual job specification.

There are many low-risk occupations, where a postal pre-employment questionnaire will suffice. On receipt of this completed questionnaire, if medically indicated, a referral to a qualified occupational health (OH) professional may be advised. The OH professional may telephone the individual with any queries. It is also possible to request, with the candidate’s permission, a medical report from their GP or consultant.

As the name suggests, pre-employment health assessment should be viewed as a part of the recruitment process, like interviewing and reference seeking. An applicant should not be made a job offer, verbal or otherwise, until all aspects of the recruitment process have been completed.

It is very important that Occupational Medicals, as your OH provider, fully understands the requirements of the job in question. For this reason, we will ask you to provide us with detailed job descriptions from the outset.

Reporting on fitness for the job
After we’ve conducted a paper-based or attendance-based health assessment, we will send you a ‘fitness statement’ indicating the applicant’s suitability for employment. The form will usually indicate one of four outcomes:

  • Applicant fit for the proposed employment
  • Applicant fit for the proposed employment, subject to specific comment, restriction or limitation
  • Applicant unfit for the proposed employment: consider alternative duties in line with the Disability Discrimination Act if applicable
  • Refer applicant for pre-employment medical due to the nature of the job and associated risks

The questionnaire
The questionnaire is tailored to the individual job, and we provide ‘high risk’ and ’low risk’ questionnaires.

Screening potential employees helps ensure that individuals are fit to carry out their contracted duties.

We would be delighted to meet you and provide advice on any aspect of managing the health of your employees, whether pre- or post-employment. We can offer tailor-made solutions delivered by qualified occupational health professionals, whatever your requirements.

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Occupational Medicals Enterprise Ltd
Registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No. 06221455 VAT Registration No. 924029147
Registered address: Charles House, Albert St, Eccles, Manchester M30 0PW