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The Three Most Important Factors You Might Have Overlooked When Considering Agency Jobs

TL;DR – The registration process is more rigorous with a Framework agency and that’s good. Nursing agencies can often seem a bit daunting when considering working for them for the first time. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon – the terms ‘framework’ and ‘off-framework’ might as well have been written in gibberish.

As a result, you might not be interested in looking at the differences between the different types of agency and just pick the one which pays the most.

To some degree, it’s not a bad way of doing things, but, generally, once you get to scratch the surface, you might find there are some differences with greater impact than just the pay rates being offered.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the three most important factors you might have overlooked when considering agency work.



Working with a nursing agency should, in theory, be straightforward. An agency posts a job, there are great rates, it’s at a hospital close to you, and the timing is perfect. You book the shift, buy train tickets and prepare yourself for the day ahead.

A few hours later, you get a call informing you that the shift is cancelled. This can happen in both Framework and non-framework agencies, but, generally, it happens less in framework agencies.

If a job gets cancelled, you have more options to choose from.

More Jobs Available

One of the great things about working for a Framework nursing agency is the range of jobs available. These agencies get shifts faster than anyone else as they have the first option on all work from hospitals. Off-framework agencies are only used when all available options are exhausted, so there may be fewer shifts available.

Not only that, but there are more hospitals and locations to choose from, giving you the opportunity to work in a diverse range of settings (including care homes, secure mental health units, health clinics etc)

Lines of Work

Generally, when comparing the amount of work available at nursing agencies, there is a tendency to focus on daily shifts. Framework agencies’ line of work can, however, make them more attractive to nurses.

With lines of work, a nurse could work between 1 week to 6 months (or more) in a certain shift, in a certain location. You get the benefits of a permanent nursing job with the high pay of a temporary role.

This kind of work offers the best of both worlds and is most likely to happen with jobs from framework agencies.


The future is more certain for framework agencies, but completing the registration process can take time. The quickest time to being placed in to work, with all the documents prepared beforehand is generally around 2 weeks, but it can take up to 3 months to complete the process.

Framework agencies, in the future, will likely be more and more the preferred provider for nursing jobs (an article on the matter – Think your Job with a Off-Framework agency is Secure? Hunt Set to Tackle Waste in NHS via measures on Expensive Staffing Agencies).

The registration process is more rigorous with a Framework agency, and, paradoxically, that’s good.  You may need more training; more time will need to be spent becoming compliant. In the long term, however, you will look better to future employers. Revalidation may also be an easier process with an agency there to help you.

DISCLOSURE: Nursing Personnel is a Framework agency.

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