The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has pioneered the first audit scheme for the recruitment industry.
The REC has been working with external auditors SGS to devise a regulatory audit. The REC Audited Scheme allows recruitment agencies to certify that they exceed their obligations under the law and the REC code of practice.
Gareth Osborne, managing director of the REC, said: "The recruitment industry is divided on the issue of licensing. On the one hand, there is wide support for a system of quality control that would ensure agencies have validated their good practice, but on the other, the Government does not have the resources to put behind a genuine audit of agencies. The REC has responded to this and developed a solution for recruiters, clients and jobseekers."
Geoff Armstrong, director general of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: "The REC Audited Scheme is a welcome initiative to raise standards in the recruitment sector. Effective self-regulation should offer employers a valuable quality mark when choosing suppliers of recruitment services."
The launch comes after a successful pilot programme. The Inspection Certificate, valid for two years, will be available to members as a paid service from January 2005.