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APSO Code of Ethics – What should you, the candidate, know?

APSO is the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations, APSO is tasked with continuously improving standards and providing guidance to stakeholders on developments and trends in the staffing industry. All recruitment agencies that are registered as APSO members are compelled by the Code of Ethics & Codes of Professional Practice and are governed by the Institute of Ethics South Africa. The Codes are in place in order to set universal standards with the aim of assuring that professionalism amongst its members is maintained. The Codes offer assistance on matters regarding legal agreements, professional practice and the minimum service levels that should be to given by APSO members to their clients as well as candidates.

All candidates dealing with recruitment agencies should be aware of the following points highlighted from the APSO Code of Ethics:

No matter what reason an agency may give, It is against the APSO Code to charge a candidate any sort of fee.
Agencies may not enter into or force candidates to sign contracts or agreements that would hold them responsible for compensation for the failure to perform according to the established or agreed-upon specification.
An agency may not divulge any information that they have on candidates to clients without first obtaining permission. Therefore, an agency may not send the CV of any candidate to their clients without first acquiring permission from the candidate.
An agency may not market a candidates CV to any clients without first conducting an interview with the candidate in order to obtain the correct information and to make sure that the information that is stated on their CV is correct. The Candidate must ensure that all the information submitted is always precise.
All interviewing conducted by agencies should to be done with an approach that maintains the Candidates privacy and confidentiality. The approach also needs to, as far as possible, provide anonymity from other candidates.
An agency cannot prevent a candidate from searching for job opportunities through other sources, i.e. through other agencies or by making use of their own sources. However, Agencies may enter into an exclusivity or sole mandate agreement to represent a candidate providing that it is limited to specified clients.
All information gathered from Candidates must, at all times, remain confidential and must be used merely for recruitment purposes with precautionary measures put into place to avoid threatening the Candidates current employment.
An agency may not submit details of any candidate to their clients without first disclosing the name of the client to the candidate
An agency must keep Candidates informed about the outcome of all applications as soon as a decision is made by the client.
All tests that are required to be completed within the recruitment process can only be carried out once permission has been given by the Candidate. Additionally, it needs to be performed in compliance with current legislation.
Credit, qualification, criminal and employment reference checking must be taken in strict accordance with the applicable legislation and with the express permission from the candidate.