The Research Passport and Streamlined Human Resources Arrangements
Information for holders of existing Honorary Research Contracts when PCTs are abolished
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 Primary Care Trust Property Transfer Scheme 2013
This transfer scheme (paragraph 23(4)) sets out arrangements for the transfer of rights and liabilities for other contracts and agreements including Honorary Contracts:
Any rights or liabilities which the transferor has, immediately before the transfer date, in relation to an honorary contract between the transferor and an individual health professional who was not an employee of the transferor, are, on the transfer date, to transfer to—
(a) in the case of an honorary contract held by a health professional employed in an academic post relating to public health, the Secretary of State; or
(b) in any other case, the [NHS Commissioning] Board.
In the case of a) above an administrative note to explain the process for transferring contractual relationships between NHS organisations and universities (and their employees) to Public Health England has already been sent to Higher Education Institutes.
In the case of existing Honorary Research Contracts that fall under b) above if:
· the PCT has not made arrangements prior to abolition to transfer the contracts to another holding organisation that can carry on the contracts and
· arrangements have not been made on behalf of the [NHS Commissioning] Board to terminate the Honorary Research Contracts before the 1 April 2013 and replace them with alternative arrangements with effect from 1 April 2013,
then any existing rights or liabilities held in relation to the existing Honorary Research Contract by the PCT will be transferred to the [NHS Commissioning] Board on 1 April 2013 as they stand.
This means that individuals with existing Honorary Research Contracts can continue with existing functions they are performing under current Honorary Research Contracts with the knowledge that the existing rights and liabilities have been transferred to the [NHS Commissioning] Board.
Moving forward the [NHS Commissioning] Board will decide upon the appropriate handling of existing Honorary Research Contracts after 1 April 2013 and will notify individuals accordingly at that time.
For information, the Department of Health has published a discussion paper Determining arrangements for supporting research in primary and community care, to support organisations working in collaboration with local networks, in considering how to achieve a smooth transfer of capability within the changing NHS for supporting commissioners with their new research roles and for supporting primary care research.
Determining arrangements for supporting research in primary and community care (PDF)
The ‘Research in the NHS: Human Resource (HR) Good Practice Resource Pack’ describes the process for handling HR arrangements for researchers and provides a streamlined approach for confirming details of the pre-engagement checks they have undergone with the NHS.
The ‘Resource Pack’ includes details of:
- A Research Passport system for issuing honorary research contracts (HRCs) or letters of access to HEI researchers who need to undertake their research within the NHS. The research passport provides evidence of the pre-engagement checks undertaken on the researcher in line with NHS Employment Check Standards; and
- NHS to NHS arrangements for sharing and accepting pre-engagement checks between NHS organisations when NHS staff wish to undertake research within the NHS outside of their employing Trust.
The Department of Health recommends the "Research Passport" to the NHS, to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and to other research employers working in partnership with the NIHR. The UKCRC Partners endorse the routine use of the Research Passport.
The Research Passport system and associated procedures have been developed in parallel with the development of the Integrated Research Application System and other arrangements across the UK to streamline the arrangements for obtaining permission for research from NHS organisations.
NEWS (September 2012) – changes to criminal record and barring arrangements come into force
The Government is committed to reviewing and reforming the vetting and barring scheme and criminal records regime, scaling them back to common sense levels. Changes to the system are included in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The first changes come into effect on 10 September, 2012 and include
The HR Good Practice Resource Pack has been updated to reflect the changes. Researchers and their employers should ensure that where applicable new Research Passport applications are supported by an appropriate disclosure. In particular, from 10 September onwards employers should only request a check against the ISA barred list(s) for positions that fall within the post-September definition of regulated activity. Please note, anyone within the pre-September definition of regulated activity will remain eligible for enhanced CRB checks, whether or not they fall within the post-September definition of regulated activity.
- A new definition of regulated activity
- Repeal of controlled activity
- Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring.
For advice on the use of the Research Passport, please see below for the relevant lead organisation and contact for each UK nation:
- England: The NIHR Comprehensive Local Research Networks (CLRNs) are supporting the implementation of this guidance across HEIs and the NHS in England. If you have any questions, in the first instance, please contact the Lead RM&G Manager of your local CLRN. Further information is also available from Jacqueline Mathews, NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Scotland: NHS Research Scotland via NHS Scotland Health Boards. Contact: Liz Coote
- Wales: Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care. Contact: Alex Newberry
- Northern Ireland: HSC R&D Office Research Passport Working Group. Contact: Gail Johnston.
The HR Good Practice Resource Pack was initially developed with extensive support from the NHS R&D Forum working with DoH partners in the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC). The package sets out guidance and good practice standards, underpinned by standard documentation, so that individual NHS bodies can be confident that the process used to carry out criminal record and other checks on honorary researchers is in line with NHS Employment Check Standards. Following a systematic implementation programme in England during 2009/10, supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Networks, the HR resource pack has been refined to reflect feedback from users of the scheme, including researchers, HR in the NHS and University sectors.
You can go directly to specific areas of the HR Resource Pack by clicking on the links below. You can also use the interactive routemap to gain an overview of how the scheme operates for University and NHS Researchers.
The HR Good Practice Resource Pack
HR Good Practice
The Research Passport
Frequently asked questions
The Department of health has published information on the scope of regulated activity in relation to adults, as defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) which has been amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA).
The Department of Education has published information on the scope of regulated activity in relation to children.