How Scottish Government made their staff vetting process 4x faster

Amiqus reduced Scottish Government’s overall pre-employment process from 5.5 weeks to 7 days


Through the Scottish Government CivTech accelerator, the People Directorate piloted Amiqus’ software with the goal of turning months of paperwork into days of secure, online and accessible staff vetting.

  • The Scottish Government People Directorate manages around 3000 new hires every year
  • Across the Scottish Government corporate body that number grows to more than 10,000
  • Through the pilot, Amiqus reduced the time taken to complete the entire pre-employment process by 80%, from 5.5 weeks to 7 days
  • It’s been proven that if candidates are able to access this product on their own devices, they are able to provide all of their details within 24 hours
  • And candidates can be offered a start date just 2 days after they’ve provided their information
  • Candidate feedback has been excellent, achieving an overall candidate satisfaction score of 1.8 out of 7 (where 1 is high satisfaction and 7 is low satisfaction)
  • It has significantly boosted staff morale
  • Amiqus has been selected to support the Scottish Government People Directorate in facilitating their pre-employment checks for two years

Below Amiqus’s Head of Client Management, Richie Stewart, describes what it was like to collaborate with People Directorate’s resourcing team during the CivTech process.

The problem

Pre-employment checking was a process that could take months

“Prior to the People Directorate resourcing team undertaking the CivTech process with Amiqus, they were aware that their pre-employment process was very time consuming and labour intensive. Some of the biggest problems concerned sending emails to candidates with very large attachments – detailing everything required from the candidate in order to progress their application – and then relying on the postal service to receive and return sensitive personal documents, such as passports of qualifications, safely. All paperwork then had manual notes added which recorded everything sent and received.

“The correspondence and discussions with candidates and colleagues could therefore take many weeks, or even months, to complete; all depending on the length of time it took candidates to respond to emails, and make any corrections required, before the resourcing team organised the safe return of their documentation through the postal service.

An image with research conducted through a design sprint with a lot of sticky notes on the wall.
“Their pre-employment process was very lengthy and time consuming.”

The resourcing team could be dealing with hundreds of candidates at any one time and so would be constantly updating emails and sending things back when incorrect documentation was sent in, while simultaneously making sure that the candidates understood that – even after an offer of employment was made – an agreement on a suitable start date for everyone involved would also have to be reached. As a result, the whole process could take three to four months.

“With the Scottish Government having so many different variations all across Scotland, and England, you can then appreciate that carrying out the full recruitment process for every single entity is very lengthy indeed and with candidates who were further afield, it could be even more problematic.

An image on of a manual process of filling in details on to manual paper documents.
“Everything had to be printed and sent.”

Keeping candidates’ sensitive documents safe was an exceptional challenge

“Everything would have to go through Edinburgh, so the resourcing team would be asking a candidate from Orkney, for example, to post all of their documents to the People Directorate. This might entail asking them to print things off at the local library, that would possibly only be open once a week, and to provide the People Directorate with perhaps the only copies of their documents.

“So, for instance, their birth certificates, passports, qualifications – candidates were asked to post these to the People Directorate and to trust that they would be received in good condition and kept safe before being returned to the candidate in a timely manner. That was clearly an exceptional challenge and responsibility for the resourcing team.

The approach

To provide an easier process in terms of time spent and labour

“When the Scottish Government made the decision to undertake the CivTech process and Amiqus became the successful challenger, the People Directorate knew they wanted a better process for both the resourcing team and the candidates themselves.

“From our point of view at Amiqus, we were keen to share our knowledge of how our other clients approached the same problem and this sharing of ideas and experience led to a great working relationship with the resourcing team, the People Directorate and CivTech throughout the pilot. We worked in tandem the whole way through and this cooperation even led to our engineers creating an entirely new payment gateway within our product to support the Scottish Government in issuing and managing rapid Disclosure checks.

“We’re now delighted to have been selected to support Scottish Government People Directorate in facilitating their pre-employment checks for two years.

The results

24 hrs

Time taken to receive candidate information

2 days

Time taken to provide candidate with start date


Reduction in pre-employment processing time

Talk to us

Get your questions answered by an expert