The Department currently has in place recruitment controls for all grades and external recruitment is authorised in only the most exceptional circumstances.
As part of the work currently being undertaken, on Next Generation HR, a single 'e-recruitment' system is being developed that will enable Departments to manage recruitment and lower the use and cost of external recruitment agents.
All external vacancies in the core Department are now also advertised through Job Centre Plus.
During 2008-09 the Department used recruitment agents to handle the administration for their external recruitment campaigns. 73 posts were filled through external recruitment in the core Department. The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency filled 10 vacancies through external recruitment.
For the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency 16 job vacancies were filled using external agencies.