All you need to know about induction

So what is induction to work?

Induction is a workplace-specific process that ensures new employees understand the employers’ local practices and policies, both clinical and non-clinical. A well-planned induction should help a doctor become familiar with their new working environment, and to work effectively, so that they can provide excellent care.

Induction is work, and will generally take place during working hours. Where induction takes place outside working hours – for example with online modules – you should receive either pay or time off in lieu at an appropriate rate.

What does the induction programme include?

The key features of a quality induction programme should include:

Physical orientation – maps etc
Organisational orientation – how do I fit into the team?
Health and safety (fire safety, manual handling, infection control etc)
Information on the organisations history, services, culture and values, including an appreciation of equality and diversity issues
A clear outline of the job and its requirements
How structured MMC training will be provided in line with national standards
IT and communications arrangements (eg use of intranet)
Clinical governance, complaints handling and risk management
Additional induction material may be tailored for doctors new to the NHS in the UK, to include tax/NI matters, history and structure of the NHS, life and work in the UK etc.
Getting cleared to work (Occupational Health, CRB or Disclosure Scotland)
Having arrangements made to be paid, go on holiday, details of your working patterns, study leave etc

When should I get paid for the induction period?

You should be remunerated for your time spent undertaking any tasks associated with induction. Alternatively, you may be granted time off in lieu (TOIL) for your time spent completing these tasks. This should also apply to online and homework based induction programmes.

Your salary should not be withheld until induction is complete, especially if there is a valid reason for being unable to attend induction. In these situations, an alternative time should be arranged for you to undergo induction.

If you have problems with the arrangements surrounding induction particularly if you are asked to complete tasks prior to commencing work or in your own time, contact the BMA for advice and assistance.

What should I expect from my employer during the induction process?

As induction is part of your employment, for which you are paid, and any facilities necessary to complete induction should be provided by your employer. Employers should also provide information about what documentation you need to take with you to your induction, in advance of you starting work.

The responsibility for successful induction does not rest solely with the employers – there is also an onus on you to engage actively with induction procedures and be active participants in the process.

Online induction tools

Online induction is becoming more common with junior doctors being asked to complete online induction modules in a certain time frame. The BMA has received reports that in some cases employers have said that if online induction is not completed by a certain date pay would be withheld. If your employer threatens to deduct pay for failing to complete an online induction contact the BMA immediately.

In Northern Ireland, Training Tracker, an online induction portal, was launched by the Trusts last year. It consists of a number of modules which must be completed either prior to commencing employment or as part of the induction process. At the end of each module trainees are required to print a certificate confirming completion and keep in their portfolio.

Online induction, like all forms of induction, is work, and you should receive appropriate remuneration, either pay or time off in lieu.

Northern Ireland JDC’s (NIJDC) position on Training Tracker

The NIJDC has had a number of complaints about the way Training Tracker was implemented and we are currently in the process of addressing these.

Induction is a mandatory part of starting any new job and as such, should be provided in the workplace during salaried hours. Facilities and time should be made available to Junior Doctors to complete these modules at work. It was unclear when this was introduced whether this was going to be the case and many Junior Doctors have ended up completing these modules in their own time.

We have also heard of a few instances where Juniors have had their study leave delayed as a result of not having the relevant modules completed. The NIJDC regards this as an unfair and disproportionate punishment.

We will continue to represent Junior Doctors on these issues over the course of this year both directly with employers and through Local Negotiating Committees at each Trust.

When should I complete my induction?

As patient safety is the primary concern with new employees, induction should be done as quickly as possible and essential elements of induction will need to be provided by the end of the first day of work. It is also of great importance that trainees are able to learn effectively from the start of a placement to ensure maximum benefit from training placements.

Time and facilities should be provided for all trainees at the start of a post to receive adequate induction to their work place.

Doctors who are required to work for their new employer on the night shift which starts on the first day of work, should be prioritised for issue of anything necessary for them to work that night such as essential ID cards, passwords and safety information. Ideally this would be in advance of the first day to allow them adequate safe rest during the day leading up to the shift.

Where it is impossible for trainees to be present at their new employer for induction (for example for trainees who are working overnight immediately prior to commencement of a new post) should have alternative and mutually convenient arrangements made for the induction.

I have concerns about my induction process, what should I do?

If you are concerned or have any examples of both good and bad induction processes, please call our BMA advisers on 0300 123 1233.

Where can I get more information?

Induction packs from NHS Careers (England) are a national resource intended to supplement inductions carried out locally within NHS trusts. They give new employees an introduction to the NHS, some insight into what their working days will involve, as well as vital signposting to information on important issues such as career development, pay and benefits and staff well-being.

They should be used in addition to the induction materials provided by your employer and in no way provide a substitute for the site-specific information you will receive during this process.

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