Recently, we at DemandforSupply have been noticing that an increasing number of our agencies have become a CSS supply partners. We thought you might like to know what it all means.
The DfE and Crown Commercial Service have launched their National Agency Database of accredited suppliers. The service is offered for free to all non profit UK schools with the aim of offering a more cost-effective way of recruiting temporary staff. Under the framework accredited agencies guarantee that all necessary pre-employment checks have taken place; fees, rates and charges are transparent and give schools a chance to avoid temp-to-perm fees.
Who can access the service?
The database and accompanying agency selection tool is currently available to:
- Pupil referral units
- Children centres
- Further education institutions.
Unfortunately the service is not currently available to independent (for-profit) schools but is available to charities/non-profit schools.
What are the benefits for schools?
Recruitment agencies signed up for the service have been audited and accredited by the DfE. These accredited agencies also agree to adhere to a set of standards of practice. They include:
- No temporary to permanent fees if the worker has been in their post at least 12 weeks and you give the supplier 4 weeks’ notice.
- All temporary workers are screened to Keeping Children Safe in Education standards.
- Ability to hire employees on fixed term appointments and pay them via your payroll (they must have a fixed end date to their employment).
- Hire a ‘Nominated Worker’. This gives you the ability to hire a worker not currently signed up to an agency supplier. You can find a supplier who will perform the background screening and put them on the agency payroll for you.
- Complete transparency of costs, meaning each supplier has agreed to declare their fees prior to entering into a contract.
What about managed services?
This framework also provides a list of ‘managed services’ that may appeal to Academy Trusts and larger schools. It includes a choice of either Master Vendor or Neutral Vendor depending on a schools’ individual requirement.
How do I sign my school up?
Schools that already have a DfE Sign-in can get access to the preferred supplier list tool here.
If your school does not have a DfE sign-in, you can fill out this form and request access.
You can find comprehensive details about the framework here at the CCS. This page includes full details about eligibility and the managed service options.