Learning for life: pre-employment screening

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help
you to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also
help you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand
and what you need to explore further.

1. What are the advantages of a pre-employment health test?

a) Promotes and protects health
b) Reduces sickness absence and identifies high risk applicants
c) Establishes baseline data and promotes occupational health
d) Complies with health and safety legislation

2. What are the disadvantages of a pre-employment health test?

a) It deflects time from proactive work
b) It discriminates against people with existing disease
c) It is an invasion of personal freedom
d) It generates a lot of waste paper

3. Pre-employment examinations involve an assessment of the applicant’s
health in relation to

a) The hazards
b) The risks of the proposed job
c) The sickness absence policy
d) A company pension scheme

4. When can an employer be as selective as it wishes with regard to recruitment?

a) Periods of full employment
b) Holiday times
c) Periods of high unemployment
d) Leap years

5. With pre-employment assessment, to whom does the OHP have a duty of

a) Employer
b) NMC
c) Employee
d) RCN

6. What will identify circumstances in which health surveillance is

a) Pre-employment questionnaire
b) Medical examination
c) Safety officer
d) Risk assessment

7. There are three basic steps to health surveillance risk assessment.
Which of the following is NOT one of the steps?

a) The identified health risks
b) Cost implications
c) Controls in place
d) Occupational health issues

8. When should job applicants be informed of health and safety risks?

a) On application
b) At medical
c) At interview
d) When signing their contract

9. Who should have access to OH medical records?

a) Anyone
b) The OH team
c) Personnel
d) Safety officer

10. What are the identified health risks of driving a heavy goods

a) Stress, sedentary driving and sudden collapse at the wheel
b) Isolation, sedentary driving and sudden collapse at the wheel
c) Stress, isolation and sudden collapse at the wheel
d) Stress, sedentary driving and isolation


1.c). 2.a) The answers to questions 1and 2 are the bottom line when
it comes to pre-employment health tests. It may be worth carrying out a
literature search to back up these facts so that you feel they are
‘evidence-based’ and discuss this with your colleagues or your mentor. Discuss
whether your own practice is in line with modern thinking. 3.b) Obtain a
copy of HSE G61 or their free leaflet Understanding health surveillance at
work. Is your practice in line with HSE guidelines? 4.c). 5.a). 6.d) Has
your OH department undertaken a risk assessment for health surveillance in your
workplace? When was it done, who did it and how often is it reviewed? Are you
happy with it and do you feel that the present practice is up to date? If not
what can you do about it? 7.b). 8.c). 9.b) Revisit your NMC Code, plus
the article on confidentiality in September’s issue of Occupational Health if
you are not sure about this area. 10.a) Some employment has statutory
requirements for health surveillance and this includes certain types of
driving. Write a list of jobs that you think require statutory health
surveillance and carry out a literature search to find out if you are right.

Comments are closed.