NHS Professionals

Coronavirus National Vaccination Program

As England was planning the roll out of a Coronavirus vaccination programme at the end of 2020, NHS Professionals sought a background screening partner capable of delivering a high-volume screening programme to help verify that the tens of thousands of people expected to apply to support the National Vaccination Program, had the appropriate experience and safeguarding checks required.

“Against a background of the biggest public health emergency in living memory, we worked closely with Sterling to ensure that the vaccinators we recruited were competent and could be deployed safely to the front lines.  Working at pace and under significant pressure, Sterling delivered an outstanding service which helped us to deploy vaccinators where they were needed, quickly and effectively.”
Nicola McQueen
Chief Executive, NHS Professionals
A unique and urgent project built on health, trust, and safety

This was a critical, national-level project that needed to be executed swiftly and properly for the health and safety of the country. In addition, it would face media and public scrutiny as the roll out of the vaccination programme affected the whole population. A significant aspect of the partnership with NHS Professionals was the confidence that Sterling would not only deliver the project successfully, but that it would deliver it in a sensitive and timely manner, recognising that public trust and safety was at the heart of the vaccine delivery program. In addition, the NHSP needed a screening partner that would develop a customised programme, and one that focused on people, creating a smooth screening experience for them as they stepped through the process.

As part of the urgent fight against COVID-19, the project needed to be implemented at pace and be able to adapt to quick changes along the way to ensure applicants could be screened fast, without compromising on quality.

Technology and expertise to support a rapidly scaling program

We knew that the number of candidates that could require screening was expected to be in the tens of thousands, therefore NHS Professionals needed a partner that could adjust to significant numbers with little to no interruption to the process. There was also a need for technological agility, particularly to integrate with Tribepad, their existing applicant tracking system, to ensure a simple user experience between platforms.


  • Sterling developed a unique, tailored solution for NHS Professionals that delivered robust, project-specific checks that could be completed at speed and in significant volumes
  • Within a few short weeks of the initial conversation, the campaign was ready to go live, with Sterling scaling up its own resources so that the volume of responses could be handled swiftly and seamlessly
  • As part of the program implementation, communication channels were set up to optimise delivery of response times and speed of adjustments to the solutions
  • Sterling created a dedicated support team to provide the best possible applicant experience, and developed a web page with easily digestible content including program-specific FAQs and candidate guidance videos  


Working with NHS Professionals, Sterling has delivered against the promises made during the initial briefing. Over 22,900 individuals have been through the background screening process.

Key features

  • Sterling understood the unique needs of the project and delivered tailored solutions
  • Speed and flexibility were crucial during the period of work
  • Sterling went above and beyond to deliver on its promises, setting up additional communication and information channels to support candidates during the process
“Sterling are proud to have supported NHS Professionals with the background screening component of its program to recruit a mass team of Covid-19 vaccinators. The importance and gravity of the initiative in the fight against the pandemic was clear from the outset and we set to work immediately focusing our people, processes, and technology on delivering a solution that met the needs of this complex yet critical project.”
Steve Smith
Managing Director, EMEA, at Sterling:
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