As U.S. healthcare employers confront major staffing challenges, the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices, a division of CGFNS International, Inc. (CGFNS), has updated and strengthened its ethical recruitment code, which establishes best practice standards for fair and transparent recruitment of foreign-educated health professionals into the U.S.
The fourth edition of the Health Care Code for Ethical International Recruitment and Employment Practices, known as the “Alliance Code,” strengthens recommendations around contract transparency and orientation programs. The Alliance Code was developed by a multistakeholder group representing interests across the sector, including employers, unions, recruiters, and representative nurse organizations.
It comes at a time when a growing global health worker shortage has left health systems struggling to fill vacancies and considering a variety of options, including sometimes turning to recruiting trained professionals from abroad. In the past five years, CGFNS has seen a doubling of its applications from foreign-trained health workers who are seeking eligibility to work in the U.S.
This trend has raised further concerns about ensuring that international recruitment practices are ethical, that they protect the rights of migrating health workers while establishing their obligations, and that recruiting agencies and employers are held accountable in the process. First published in 2008, the Alliance Code is reviewed and updated every five years to adapt to changes in the recruitment landscape and ensure its provisions continue to address basic rights and responsibilities of both migrating health professionals and those who recruit them to work in the U.S. The Code provides guidelines for recruitment agencies and employers, addressing migrant rights including the right to receive a fair contract, to provide informed consent and to access justice.
The Code has been voluntarily adopted by 12 firms that collectively recruit thousands of employees each year and that have undergone the Alliance’s rigorous certification process, including a contract review and health professional survey. A list of recruitment firms that have been certified as in compliance with the Alliance Code can be found here. https://www.cgfnsalliance.org/certification_process/view-certified-recruiters/
The 2023 Alliance Code is being released after a year of internal and external review by the Alliance’s Board of Governors.
“With the recent pandemic having further driven the growth in global demand for nurses and other health workers, there is increasing concern about ensuring that international recruitment processes are ethical and sustainable,” said Alliance Director, Mukul Bakhshi, JD. “This updated 2023 Code reflects recent changes in the recruiting landscape, and we hope it will help push the industry forward in ensuring that recruitment practices are fair and respect basic rights.”
“Our organization has been engaged in the work of the Alliance since its inception and fully endorses the Alliance Code,” said AONL Chief Executive Officer, Robyn Begley, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL). “A fair and equitable process of recruiting foreign-educated nurses is foundational to achieving a professional practice environment for all nurses. We remain committed to the advancement of high standards of treatment for all staff.”
“As the global leader in international credentials evaluation to support health worker mobility, at CGFNS we know that health worker migration into the U.S. brings individuals with critical skills to provide life-saving care. With the shortage persisting and employers stepping up their recruitment of foreign-trained nurses and other health workers, we must all work together to provide better protections to prevent exploitation,” said CGFNS President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Preziosi, PhD, RN, CAE. “We are proud of our work through the Alliance to continue to do our part to support nurses coming into the U.S.”
About CGFNS International, Inc.
Founded in 1977 and based in Philadelphia, CGFNS International is an immigration-neutral not-for-profit organization, proudly serving as the world’s largest credentials evaluation organization for the nursing and allied health professions. For more information, visit www.cgfns.org.
About The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices
Since 2008, the Alliance has fostered compliance to standards that advocate responsible, ethical, and transparent recruitment practices in the health care sector. The Alliance monitors certified recruitment organizations and verifies their processes to ensure that these standards are upheld and provides foreign-educated professionals resources to make informed decisions. The Alliance became a division of CGFNS International, Inc., in September 2014. For more information, visit www.cgfnsalliance.org.
Mukul Bakhshi, Esq.
Chief of Strategy and Government Affairs