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REC Code of Practice

  1. Members will ensure that they and their staff comply with the provisions of the 1973 Employment Agencies Act as amended, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 1976(1) and any future amendments, other relevant legislation, statutory codes and official guidance including that relating to equal opportunities and equal pay, taxation, health and safety, data protection, trade union membership, immigration, rehabilitation of offenders, telecommunications privacy and working time. Members will ensure that any revisions or updates of relevant legislation and codes including the REC Code are communicated to staff and adhered to accordingly.
  2. Where a provision in this Code is less stringent than that of the Code of a specialist division(2) to which a member belongs, the relevant provision of the specialist division Code will apply.
  3. Members will ensure that work seekers and hirers are made aware of the standards of practice required by this Code and any specialist codes that apply.
  4. Corporate members will ensure that their staff are informed and trained to carry out their duties effectively, and that they seek to improve continually the performance of their staff by continuing development of their knowledge and skills.
  5. Individual members will make every effort to avail themselves of appropriate training and development opportunities.
  6. Members will comply with any REC guidance on ethical, commercial or statutory issues in the operation of their businesses, including the Rules of the REC where relevant and the requirements of the REC best practice code on equal opportunities. Failure to do so will be taken into account in any disciplinary proceedings or arbitration.
  7. Members and their staff will deal with and represent themselves to work seekers, hirers and others fairly, openly, honestly and courteously at all times, and will safeguard against actions deemed to bring the recruitment industry into disrepute.
  8. Members will ensure that temporary and contract workers supplied to clients are eligible to work in the UK. When introducing candidates for permanent or fixed term positions to be directly employed by the client, members will ensure that candidates and clients are aware of any eligibility criteria that may apply. Members should establish working practices in this respect that are in line with the REC’s guidance on equal opportunities and should safeguard against unlawful discrimination, in particular on the grounds of race or ethnic origin.
  9. Any selection tests used, including psychometric and personality questionnaires should be relevant, properly validated and where appropriate conducted by trained or licensed personnel.
  10. Clear agreement should be reached with work seekers and hirers about any expenses payable for attending interview or for any other purpose. Information on any expenses payable for attending interview should be given in writing before interview or commencement of an assignment, where possible.
  11. Members will document accurately, contemporaneously and appropriately all stages of the recruitment process, including the results of interviews, tests and references.
  12. Members will establish and operate in accordance with their own internal written complaints procedure(3) which should aim to effect swift and appropriate resolution of complaints. This procedure should be clearly communicated to all staff, work seekers and hirers and must be followed when dealing with complaints brought against the member.
  13. Complaints raised with the REC against members by work seekers and other parties will be dealt with under the REC complaints and disciplinary procedures.

(1) Those who operate in Northern Ireland must comply with corresponding legislation, namely the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions)(NI) Order 1981 (“the 1981 Order”) and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 1982.
(2) Specialist Divisions are divisions within REC Corporate membership established for recruitment firms operating in specific or specialist areas of the job market.
(3) REC corporate membership criteria require that corporate members operate their own internal complaints procedures.