The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices, divided into subject areas. If you have a question that is not listed, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Code
The Voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct for the Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Health Professionals to the United States provides voluntary standards that aim to ensure that the practice of recruiting foreign-educated health professionals (FEHPs) to the United States is done in a responsible and transparent manner.
The Code sets standards for ensuring that the rights of FEHPs are protected, that clinical and cultural orientation programs are adequate, and that the practice of recruitment is not harmful to source countries.
The Code was developed in response to widespread recognition that international recruitment of health professionals needs to be conducted in an ethical way that balances diverse stakeholder interests. There is general acknowledgement that there is currently no mechanism for preventing or reporting unethical conduct in international recruitment.
The Code was authored by a diverse group of stakeholders representing unions, health care organizations, educational and licensure bodies, and recruiters.
Our goal is that all employers and recruiters will use the Code to influence their recruitment practices. Both employers and recruiters can apply to become certified by the Alliance as being in compliance with the Code’s standards. In addition, the Alliance uses the Code as a guiding tool when assessing applications for certification.
Foreign-educated health professionals are encouraged to use the Code to learn about their rights and to identify how recruiters and employers should be treating them during the recruitment process.
An endorser is an organization that does not engage in the recruitment of foreign-educated health professionals, but would like to show their support of the Code and the mission of the Alliance. Examples include unions, foreign health professional associations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Endorsers are not subject to monitoring by the Alliance.
An organization that has been certified by the Alliance is directly involved in the recruitment of health professionals. In addition, their compliance with Code standards are monitored through the Alliance Survey Monitoring Program.
If you are interested in becoming an endorser, please download and submit the endorsement form. View the list of endorsers.
About Certified Recruiters
Organizations that engage in any phase of the recruitment process should consider becoming certified by the Alliance. Whether your organization participates in the process directly or indirectly, the Alliance welcomes your application and your commitment to the standards set forth in the Code.
Eligible organizations include:
- Recruiting organizations that contract with FEHPs in a source country to facilitate migration to the United States and placement in healthcare employment
- Staffing agencies that recruit and employ FEHPs and assign them to healthcare organizations in the United States; and
- Hospitals, health systems, and long-term care organizations who employ FEHPs (either recruited directly or through recruiters or agencies)
For more details, please view Apply for Certification.
Firms are monitored through the Alliance Survey Monitoring Program, a confidential survey that is completed by health professionals who have been through or are currently moving through the recruitment process.
The Alliance also accepts “open reports” from health care professionals directly. Open reports are secure and confidential comments on recruitment practices that have been experienced or observed by any interested party.
The Alliance only investigates and addresses reports of non-compliance related to the Code. Activities that are outside the scope of the Code are not monitored. Certified companies are not held accountable for parts of the recruitment process they did not facilitate directly.
The Alliance investigates all credible reports of non-compliance. Reports of non-compliance are validated by speaking directly with the individual who provides the information and reviewing all other potential sources of data. Certified companies will participate in mediation and/or remediation to address compliance issues that arise. If companies fail to maintain compliance with the Code, they may be de-listed.
About Foreign-Educated Health Professionals
CER’s recruitment practices are monitored by the Alliance to ensure they meet ethical standards that were developed to protect FEHPs throughout the recruitment process.
The Alliance can only address reported problems that directly relate to CER’s non-compliance with the Code. In order to act upon a complaint, whether it is received through the Open Report section of the Web site or the Alliance Survey Monitoring Program, the Alliance will contact the health professional making the report to discuss the situation in more depth. After talking to the health professional, the Alliance will contact the recruiter without revealing anyone’s identity if it is at all possible, in an effort to resolve the problem. The identity of a health professional will never be given to a recruiter without explicit permission.
Alliance staff, in conjunction with a Compliance Committee appointed by the Alliance Board of Directors, will review and investigate problems reported to the Alliance pertaining to recruiting companies. If a problem is reported regarding a company that is certified by the Alliance, every effort will be made to review, validate and investigate reports within 90 days of receipt. The Alliance will then manage the investigation, adjudication, and crafting of proportional responses to unethical practices. Alliance CER’s have agreed to participate in the review process, and where necessary engage in mediation, remediation or both with the Alliance acting as a neutral facilitator.
The Alliance will encourage interested parties to resolve isolated incidents of minor Code violations through mediation and other forms of facilitated communication and negotiation. If a validated report reveals systemic problems embedded in a company’s business practices or culture that result in non-compliance with the Code, the Alliance and CER will enter into a remediation process to correct the problem.
If a report is received about a recruiting company that is not certified by the Alliance, the report will be documented and validated as thoroughly as possible and the recruiting company will be notified that a report is on record. The company will be invited to become familiar with the Code and consider becoming certified.
Although each situation presents unique issues and challenges, the Alliance will make every effort to complete formal remediation processes within 90 days of the close of the investigation period. As a result, the Alliance intends for reports that lead to remediation to remain “active” for no longer than a total of 180 days (90 days for the investigation and 90 days for the remediation process). The remediation process involves working with the CER to identify and address administrative practices and organizational norms that require modification in order to maintain compliance with the Code. In many instances practices can and will be corrected within a much shorter timeframe.
The expectation is that companies that are certified by the Alliance will make every effort to come into compliance with both the Code and our monitoring program. Should a company fail to successfully engage in the remediation process the Alliance will move to de-list the company, revoking their status as a Certified Ethical Recruiter.
For reports concerning organizations that are not certified, the Alliance has no mandatory obligation to become involved. That said, we may choose to serve as a resource for the claim filed. Request for information will invite the Alliance to educate the agency about the voluntary Codes.
Participation in the survey is voluntary. However, all FEHPs are encouraged to share their recruitment experiences with the Alliance because it will help to ensure that the rights of all health professionals are respected. The Alliance will use the surveys to monitor whether recruiters and employers who are certified, are consistently following the principles and guidelines in the Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Ethical Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Health Professionals to the United States (Code).
As a rule, the Alliance compiles information provided by surveyed health professionals in a way that does not identify them. Therefore, the Alliance requires the express consent of individuals who provide information in order to disclose their identity during the mediation and/or remediation process.