How Scottish Government made their staff vetting process 80% 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

In their own words

After the pilot was complete, we asked a Scottish Government HR Resourcing Manager what it had been like to work with Amiqus:

“Amiqus will revolutionise the way that we do pre-employment within Scottish Government.” - HR Resourcing Manager

The problem

Pre-employment checking was a process that could take months

“Prior to us undertaking the CivTech process with Amiqus and the resourcing team, we were very much aware that our pre-employment process was very lengthy and time consuming, as well as very labour intensive, because we were asking people to post things into us directly as well as having to make manual notes on everything that we received.

“Prior to the pilot, we would be sending out emails with very large attachments that indicated everything we required from a candidate to take their application forward. It was a process that could take months depending on candidates actually responding to emails; depending on the candidates actually sending things in; depending, and very much reliant on, the mail service receiving these documents before we could process them.

Image: Wall of postits with a number of questions and issues written on them
"We were very much aware that our pre-employment process was very lengthy and time consuming."

“We would be dealing with hundreds of candidates at the same time and so we would be constantly updating these emails and sending things back when incorrect documentation was sent in, while making sure that the candidates understood that - once we actually received all of their documentation - we would then have to also spend time negotiating a start date that was amenable and suitable for everyone including our onboarding colleagues.

“So everything could take three to four months for us to be able to bring someone in from the point of application to them undertaking the whole process of their application being assessed; their interview being undertaken; us doing appropriate employment checks and then being able to onboard them.

“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 business entity is very time consuming and with candidates who were further afield, it could be even more problematic.

Image: Person signing a stack of documents
"Everything had to be printed and sent."

Keeping candidates’ sensitive documents safe was an exceptional challenge

“Everything would come through to Edinburgh, so we would be expecting a candidate from Orkney, for example, to post all of their documents to us. We would be asking them to ensure that they were able to print things off. They would have to use the local library that would possibly only be open once a week. We were asking them to find a printer and then to post things to us and to trust us with the only copies of their documents.

“So, for instance, their birth certificates, their passports, their qualifications - we were asking them to post those to us and to trust that we would receive them in good condition; that we would deal with them appropriately and keep them safe before returning them to the candidate in a timely manner. This was an exceptional challenge.

The approach

We wanted 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, our vision for going forward was possibly, right at the beginning, very unclear. We knew we wanted an easier process in terms of time and labour. We knew we wanted to be able to provide a better service for our candidates coming through that process, but it was Amiqus providing us with information as to what other organisations now did, and what they had previously provided, that contributed to our vision becoming structured and clear.

Image: Wall of postits outlining the pre-employment process
"They were part of our team, working alongside us,"

At times it felt like Amiqus were part of our team

“We started working with Amiqus and, I have to say, it became an absolute pleasure. They worked with us readily when we requested different things at different times. We had a really good working relationship with them throughout the whole process. It actually felt at times like they were part of our team, working alongside us, rather than us requesting something that the Amiqus team would then deliver. We worked in tandem the whole way through.

The results

  • 24 hrs

    Time taken to receive candidate information

  • 2 days

    Time taken to provide candidate with start date

  • 80%

    Reduction in pre-employment processing time

It’s a complete gear shift change

“I don't think that any of us were actually aware of the benefits, the amount of benefits, that would come from adopting this type of product within our systems. We’ve been able to prove and provide the evidence that, if candidates are able to access this product on their own devices, it saves us so much time having to wait for the mail, or for people to come into the actual office to drop things off. You know, people from Aberdeen would come down to Edinburgh for the day just so that they could drop paperwork in.

“We have proven that people are able to provide all of their details within a matter of 24 hours, and that we're able to receive confirmation that they have no criminal record linked to them, so that we're in a position to offer them a start date just two days after they've provided their information.

To see the difference in my team is amazing. That's the key for me, I know this has worked.

“Amiqus will revolutionise the way that we do pre-employment within Scottish Government. It has increased our productivity and it has increased my staff morale because we have a product that we are proud of. My team is exceptionally excited about using this going forward. We have worked exceptionally close with everybody. The full team from Amiqus has ensured that there are no concerns going forward.

“This is such a change from where we were before. It's a complete gear shift change and for that the team is grateful that we all know this is a product that works for us. Amiqus will increase our availability to more people within the community, because I think sometimes people are too scared to apply because they're not one hundred percent sure, or because the right information hasn’t been quite clear or visible enough. Whereas, with this kind of tool, people can see upfront exactly who our partners are. They see exactly what the app can provide. To see the difference in my team is amazing. That's the key for me, I know this has worked.”

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