Frequently Asked Questions

KEY CONCEPTS

Terminology

We use the term "Candidate" to refer to any worker registered with Circular Wave.

Is Circular Wave an agency?

No, we are a software company. We provide a highly advanced, mobile-centric bank staff management platform which allows NHS organisations to directly engage with any Candidate, whether a member of their own staff or from another organisation. "Cutting out the middleman" at scale is highly desirable and makes financial sense - but until now was not feasible due to paper processes and the administrative burden involved.

Virtually all NHS Trusts currently maintain a staff bank, with varying degrees of success. We believe that intelligent use of internal bank staff, bank unification and mass direct engagement - facilitated by great technology - could reduce agency spend to zero.

If you are not an agency, how can you supply staff to the NHS?

We do not supply or recruit any staff - you do, by inviting your existing bank staff to sign up. Your pool of available staff can be expanded by directly engaging with external Candidates via the platform and unifying banks with other organisations.

If that sounds like a lot of work for your HR department - it isn't. See the Onboarding section for more details.

Is Circular Wave a "managed service?"

No. Managed services are provided by agencies, and usually lock an organisation into a "master vendor agreement". The agency provides an on-site team to manage both bank and agency requests.

But managed services are flawed - an agency can never be truly transparent and impartial. We are not an agency. Circular Wave replaces middlemen with technology, and gives organisations complete transparency through true direct engagement. There can be no upwards pressure on rates and there is no commission. Provided sufficient Candidates are signed up to the platform, Circular Wave fills vacancies faster, is more convenient, more efficient and far cheaper.

How do you compare with neutral vendor solutions?

Neutral vendor solutions are a software layer (with limited functionality) that interfaces with multiple agencies. They do not offer true direct engagement with Candidates, and despite claims to the contrary, have very limited power to affect the supply-demand fundamentals that influence market rates.

Circular Wave does not interface with agencies, thereby dispensing with the fundamental inefficiency that is responsible for escalating spend. Organisations using Circular Wave have complete control over everything - everything is handled by the technology.

What is direct engagement?

Direct engagement is where an organisation establishes a relationship with an external Candidate without any intermediaries. By being able to use Candidates external to your organisation, temporary vacancies can be filled much more transparently and cheaply, avoiding agency commission.

BASICS

What types of organisations can use Circular Wave?

Any NHS organisation with a temporary staffing requirement will benefit from it.

Which staff groups can Circular Wave be used for?

Circular Wave can be used for all staff groups, both clinical and non-clinical. Whether you intend to use it for hospital doctors, GPs, nurses, HCAs, ODPs, pharmacists, physiotherapists, technicians, IT specialists, secretaries - or all of them - Circular Wave has you covered.

Where can I see a demo of Circular Wave?

The best way to find out if Circular Wave is right for your organisation is to try it! Our Free plan has all the features you need to get the end-to-end experience, so you can evaluate it at no risk. Give Circular Wave a try.

You can also arrange a product demo if you want to learn more about Circular Wave before signing up - simply get in touch. We'll guide you through the basics and answer all your questions.

STAFF ENGAGEMENT

What incentivises Candidates to use the Circular Wave app?

From our research, many Canidates find being enrolled with an agency or regular bank to be disruptive and irritating, due to indiscriminate calls and emails. Candidates can set their preferences, and unlike human agents, these can't be ignored by the platform. Candidates are therefore already highly incentivised to use the app and resistance has not been an issue thus far.

With that said, incentive programmes can be highly effective and can be administered via the app.

Not all Candidates have their own smartphone. Won’t they be at a disadvantage?

The number of healthcare staff who do not possess a smartphone is actually rather small and rapidly shrinking as they upgrade their devices. That said, the lack of a smartphone does not prevent an individual from registering with, and being informed of vacancies via Circular Wave - although they obviously need access to a device to register.

Upon registration new users enter their mobile telephone number and if they do not possess a smartphone they can subscribe to our SMS notification service.

Maureen / Geoffrey / Billy Bob definitely won’t use an app. They have trouble with the microwave.

We want using Circular Wave to be as easy and intuitive as the very best mobile apps - after all, even a 2 year-old can use an iPad. To this end, we constantly refine the experience based on user feedback. We test new functionality on groups of uninitiated users - any features that fail the “mother-in-law” test are reworked!

Where required we can run training sessions but demand for these has been non-existent.

ONBOARDING

Getting our staff onto the app will be a significant burden for the HR department.

Not true - most of the work is done by the Candidates. See below.

What is the process for inviting a single Candidate?

This is done via the app with a few touches and takes a few seconds. The Candidate will be sent a download link and a unique invite code to register.

Can we onboard Candidates in bulk?

Absolutely. At present, we ask you to provide us with an anonymised .csv or .xlsx file and we handle the rest. In the near future, this will be handled by file upload via our website.

Can we see how registration is progressing?

You are given oversight of all new registrations and can see progress toward completion. The platform sends automated reminders to Candidates who have not completed their profiles and / or compliance data, and will also notify you when a Candidate profile is ready for approval.

CANDIDATE COMPLIANCE

Do you screen candidates for compliance with the requirements of the mandatory NHS Employment Checks?

No. We provide the infrastructure and technology for candidates to create and maintain their own compliance profile within the app. This can be overseen by employers, and is fully auditable. We do not oversee the validity of information that they enter, as we are not an agency. Responsibility for checking compliance rests with the employing organisation.

That will be a problem. One of the benefits of agencies is that they do all the compliance.

This is indeed stipulated in Framework agreements and agency SLAs but is regularly inadequate. For this reason, many NHS organisations require new locums to bring in paper documents for verification before their first placement, making the agency compliance process largely redundant and creating unnecessary duplication of workload and paper.

In contrast, Candidate profiles within the Circular Wave app have all necessary compliance data, so the necessary checks are paperless and can be done well before a Candidate starts work. In addition compliance data is fully auditable forever.

How do we verify candidate compliance?

For your own "bank" staff, by definition they will already have undergone rigorous checks upon employment. When they register on Circular Wave, you can perform an abbreciated compliance check - all that needs to be done is to cross-check their profile with what you have on file.

For external staff, a full audit can be performed of all uploaded documentation. This is assisted by real-time checks against professional bodies (e.g. GMC, NMC, HCPC) and DBS Update Service (if the candidate is registered).

Is there any possibility of non-compliant Candidates using Circular Wave?

No, this can't happen. The signup process is initiated by the NHS organisation. All invited Candidates must provide their unique invite code - this prevents members of the general public from signing up. Additional checks occur during basic registration to check validity - any signups that fail validation cannot proceed further. Once their profile is complete, it must be checked and documentation approved by a suitable individual before the Candaidate is allowed access to jobs.

INFORMATION GOVERNANCE

What sort of data is transmitted to / from Circular Wave servers?

Job Request details (role, grade, speciality, shift times, hourly rates), Candidate details (name, role, grade, speciality), timesheets and survey answers.

Do we need to hold additional information about Candidates at our organisation to use Circular Wave?

No information will sit within your organisation, all data is held within the Circular Wave platform itself. All data is transferred to and from Circular Wave’s servers and the mobile apps installed on end-user mobile devices.

Is Circular Wave compliant with the Caldicott principles of Information Governance?

Yes, absolutely. Caldicott principles are not violated because

  • no patient data is involved at any point
  • all Candidates explicitly consent to their basic information being held when they sign up
  • despite data sent during app usage being of extremely low sensitivity (responses to Job Requests, survey answers, timesheet data etc) it is nevertheless stored and transmitted to the highest security standards

IT & SECURITY

What hardware is required in order to use Circular Wave?

Candidates install the app on their own mobile devices at zero cost to themselves and your organisation.

As far as your organisation is concerned, this depends on your local IT guidelines. No additional hardware is needed if your organisation implements a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy - the app is likewise installed on end-user mobile devices. For those Trusts not implementing a BYOD policy, all that is required is a few devices for use by the HR department / department managers.

Our IT Policy doesn’t allow connected devices to access app stores. How do our staff get hold of the app?

All use of the app by Candidates will be with their personal devices, so there is no limitation on them using the various app stores. If the organisation prevents staff access to the app stores when connected to WiFi, Candidates can simply download the app over 3G/4G cellular networks or their home networks to mitigate restrictions.

For organisations, the app could be installed on personal devices as above (if implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy), or if to be installed on corporate mobile devices, the app would need to be approved by IT. We are happy to discuss any internal workings of the app as needed.

What devices / mobile operating systems does Circular Wave run on?

Currently we support

  • Apple devices (iPhone / iPad) running iOS version > 7.0
  • Android devices (all types) running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above

Why don’t you support <operating system>?

The vast majority of mobile devices run iOS or Android so those are were the first operating systems we have targeted. The third-placed Windows Phone currently has less than 5% total market share, and even less than this amongst the healthcare worker subgroup. Market shares of the other mobile operating systems (e.g. Amazon Fire OS, Firefox OS) are much smaller.

Windows Phone support is on our roadmap.

Can we access Circular Wave via a desktop machine?

No, Circular Wave is not currently available on desktop. We provide neither an old-school locally installed desktop application or a web application at present.

We would need a desktop application.

We have considered building a web application at great length. We feel that it would be a “nice to have”, but it is far from essential. Many of the benefits of Circular Wave (portability, Push Notifications) would be lost when used on a desktop machine.

The main issue is the browsers currently in use by the NHS. Most of them are very out-of-date - Internet Explorer 7 usage is the norm. This browser was released in 2006 and in addition to its many security flaws it simply cannot offer the experience that modern browsers can.

We aren’t prepared to compromise on security or user experience. For these reasons we decided to target the mobile devices that virtually everyone carries with them on a daily basis. We will revisit the issue of building a web application regularly.

Do we need to make any security / firewall changes?

There should be no requirement for firewall changes - all traffic is over HTTPS (on standard port 443). Data is transferred over cellular networks or WiFi to Circular Wave’s servers.

Any website / content filtering software employed by Trusts should likewise not need any modification.

Is the data sent to Circular Wave’s servers encrypted?

The Circular Wave app communicates with our servers via industry standard HTTPS. All traffic to and from the mobile app is encrypted with 2048-bit certificates. In addition to this, the server has very granular permissions that restrict access based on user role. All unsecured requests, or those without the correct permissions, are rejected.

Do you integrate with <other software product>?

We fully accept that Circular Wave does not cover the full range of functionality required of an end-to-end HR system. There are plenty of software providers doing bits of this already and we have no desire to reinvent the wheel, so some integrations are therefore already planned.

The need for integration with other systems is addressed on a case-by-case basis. We will consider integrating if the system in question has a robust API (Application Programming Interface) which we can hook into. This is therefore more of a question for your current software providers.

SUPPORT

Do you offer technical support?

Email support is available on all plans (including Free). Telephone & email support is available on all paid plans.

What time is technical support available?

Telephone support is available Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1700. We endeavour to respond to all email requests the same day (7 days a week).

SAVINGS

We don't need Circular Wave - the recently implemented hourly rate caps together with the Frameworks will stop the escalating spend.

We have to disagree with you. Whilst the recently announced hourly rate caps are well-intentioned, Monitor themselves admit that interference in a free market is risky. We believe that the proposals will not have the desired effect - and possibly the opposite (you can read more on our blog). The spend will continue to escalate until the NHS regains control of the supply, through a concerted effort to directly engage with its workers.

PRICING & BILLING

Is there a charge to download the software?

No, it is and always will be free to download from the app stores.

Can we trial or pilot the product?

We insist upon it! Our Free plan enables you to try it out with a small cohort of Candidates, perhaps from a single staff group or department. When you're ready to move up, just let us know.

What is the time limit on the Free plan?

There isn't one. The Free plan is just that, free for as long as you want to use it.

Do pricing plans include VAT?

All prices exclude VAT. We are registered for VAT - our registration number is GB 226-317-229.

My organisation wants to change to another plan, how do we do this?

This is all managed within the app, go to Account > Your Plan. This is only accessible to users who have superuser access. As all pricing plans are contract-free, you can do this at any stage.

Can I downgrade from a paid plan to Free plan?

Yes, absolutely.

How do we stop using Circular Wave?

All pricing plans are contract-free and can be cancelled at any time. Simply get in touch - as soon as this happens we will revoke your access to the Platform and you will not pay a penny more.

If we downgrade do we receive a refund?

We will refund any whole months remaining back to your payment method. We do not offer refunds for fractions of a month - we will calculate the remaining balance for the current month on your account and hold it for your organisation as a credit. You can use that credit towards a reactivation of your paid subscription in the future.

What are the payment options?

You can use a debit card or standing order to pay for any plan, this is the most simple method. For the Standard and Pro plans we can invoice you instead - please contact us to arrange this.

Are there any benefits to paying annually?

Yes, we provide two months for free if you pay annually in advance.