As a condition of membership in the AAIHR, member organizations must adhere to a strict and detailed code of ethics as administered by an independent oversight panel.
The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (AAIHR) recognizes the right of international healthcare professionals to migrate and the corresponding potential benefits of such migration to healthcare professionals, their families, and their countries of origin, as well as to healthcare organizations patients in the United States. AAIHR believes that the legal and ethical recruitment of foreign-educated healthcare professionals to the United States to meet the needs of U.S. healthcare organizations and patients provides benefits to both the individual healthcare professional and American society as a whole.
The mission of the AAIHR includes the assurance of high standards of ethical conduct among all of the organizations engaged in international recruitment, including that recruiting and staffing companies that constitute AAIHR’s member organizations, U.S. healthcare provider organizations, foreign recruiting agents, U.S. immigration law firms, other organizations that participate in international healthcare recruitment, as well as the foreign-educated healthcare professionals themselves.
This Code of Ethics will serve to clarify the manner in which each AAIHR member organization may fulfill its responsibilities to patients, the general public, to client organizations, source countries, prospective healthcare professional employees and candidates, and one another.
As a condition of membership in AAIHR, each member pledges its support of, and adherence to, the principles, rules and practices set forth below. AAIHR members acknowledge that such compliance is in the best interests of patients, U.S. healthcare organizations, international healthcare professionals, source countries, and the international recruitment industry.
Recruit Responsibly – AAIHR members shall operate by recruitment policies that are, at a minimum, considerate of the impact of such recruitment on the performance of the health systems of source countries, and ideally, contribute to the sustainability of the source country’s ability to provide adequate healthcare to its peoples.
Comply with Applicable Laws – AAIHR members shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the United States and in the source countries in which they recruit, including all applicable U.S. healthcare, immigration, prevailing wage and employment laws.
Provide Fair Treatment in Contracting – AAIHR members shall:
Communicate Honestly and Accurately – AAIHR members shall:
Honor Commitments – AAIHR members shall employ commercially reasonable efforts to fulfill all agreements made with healthcare organization clients, healthcare professional employees and candidates, and make no promises that they have reason to believe they cannot fulfill.
Preserve Confidences – AAIHR members shall preserve and protect all confidential or proprietary information provided by candidates, employees, clients, vendors, and patients, unless expressly authorized by the disclosing party to reveal such confidential information.
Adhere to Credentialing Standards – AAIHR members shall carefully review qualifications and experience of applicants and comply with credentialing standards established by the relevant credentialing organizations for the specific healthcare occupations including those of the Joint Commission.
Ensure Quality US Placement – AAIHR members shall:
Ensure Freedom from Discrimination – AAIHR members shall provide a recruitment and employment experience free of discrimination. Employers will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. Employers recognize that experience, skills, scope of practice and education can differ significantly in different countries and that foreign-trained health care professionals can differ significantly from their U.S. trained counterparts in terms of competencies and skills, and Employers acknowledge that they have a duty to ensure patient safety and not place foreign-trained health care professionals in work environments for which they may not be prepared. Employers commit to treating candidates fairly based on their experience and skill sets recognizing that education and experience in a foreign country may differ from education and experience in the United States.
Ensure Appropriate Transition to Living and Working in the U.S. – AAIHR members shall:
Ensure Safe Employment – AAIHR members shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that migrating healthcare professionals are assigned to work sites that are safe, that they understand the nature of their work assignments and that they can perform such work without harm to themselves or others.
Responsively Address Complaints – AAIHR members shall take prompt action to address questions, concerns, or complaints regarding unsafe work conditions, discrimination, or any other matter involving the terms and conditions of the healthcare professional’s employment.
Ensure Freedom from Retaliation and Coercion – AAIHR members shall not withhold Green cards, passports, certifications, permits, visas, or other official documents from the candidates for any coercive purpose. Custody of such documents must be transferred to the applicant or employee as soon as the management of the certification, immigration and licensure process reasonably allows. Recruiters and employers shall not threaten or use immigration enforcement mechanisms to exercise control over healthcare professionals. Employers shall not discriminate against healthcare professional that file complaints or take legal action resulting from a violation of their employment contract or U.S. law.
Employ Reasonable Breach Protocols – AAIHR members shall rely upon good faith and reasonableness in pursuit of breach fees. Breach fees should never been used for punitive purposes. In an effort to resolve issues expeditiously and efficiently, employers should establish internal procedures to facilitate review of disputes regarding alleged contract breaches by either party.
All members are responsible for continuous review of the AAIHR’s Code of Ethics.
*The above standards in this Code of Ethics are MINIMUM Standards, and in cases whereby specific contracts between International Healthcare Recruitment and Staffing Companies and their Clients or Healthcare Professionals include standards in excess of these minimums, the maximum standards will be honored. Any member who is bound by law or professional ethics not to participate or comply with a provision of the Code is not obliged.
AAIHR believes that international healthcare professionals have the right to be treated ethically and professionally. AAIHR believes international healthcare professionals also have a responsibility to act in an ethical and professional manner. The following represent professional practice guidelines for international healthcare professionals in their dealings with prospective employers, visa sponsors, recruiters, and regulatory bodies governing their profession.
Honor Commitments – Healthcare professionals will be given ample opportunity to review contracts and consult with legal counsel if desired. In consideration of this privilege, healthcare professionals should:
Maintain High Standards of Ethics – Healthcare professionals should learn and adhere to the Code of Ethics for their profession. Healthcare professionals should also maintain high standards of ethics and fairness in dealings with international recruiting and staffing companies, regulatory organizations, healthcare provider organizations, colleagues, patients and families. Healthcare professionals should provide only authentic, original documents for credentialing, licensure, immigration, and employment purposes. Healthcare professionals should not participate in the sharing of test questions, do work on behalf of another healthcare professional or allow others to do work on his/her behalf, or take any action that would represent an unethical or unfair advantage in professional credentialing or examinations.
Preserve Confidences – Healthcare professionals should preserve all confidences of their employer, visa sponsor, client or a potential client concerning their proprietary information and business practices, unless expressly directed by the employer, visa sponsor or client to reveal such confidences.
Communicate Accurately and Forthrightly – Healthcare professionals should not knowingly make a false statement of fact to an employer, visa sponsor, client, licensing board or other regulatory organization, and should present employment history, qualifications and competencies, as well as professional and personal goals as accurately as possible.
Make Full Disclosures – Healthcare professionals should apply the principle of full disclosure with employers, visa sponsors, and clients. Healthcare professionals should be forthcoming and transparent in explaining:
Comply with Applicable Laws and Regulations – Healthcare professionals should comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations governing credentialing, licensing, immigration, and professional practice regulations for foreign-educated healthcare professionals.
Comply with Policies and Procedures – Healthcare professionals should meet the reasonable expectations of the employer and the healthcare facility to which they are assigned and comply with all policies and procedures of the employer and healthcare facility. Healthcare professionals should maintain professional standards and appropriately represent the recruitment firm to healthcare facilities.
Adhere to Credentialing Standards – Healthcare professionals should comply and remain in compliance with standards established by the relevant credentialing organizations for maintaining competency for the specific healthcare occupations including those of the Joint Commission. Healthcare professionals should assume the responsibility for educating themselves with regard to all standards and regulations surrounding patient care, documentation and privacy at both the Federal and State Levels. Healthcare Professionals acknowledge that continuing education is vital to success and high quality patient outcomes. Professional agrees that this is a personal responsibility to be coordinated with their employer.
Responsibly Resolve Conflict – Healthcare Professionals shall seek resolution of disagreements or misunderstanding with the staffing agency and healthcare facility in good faith.
While the AAIHR Code of Ethics describes the minimum standards for AAIHR Member Organizations, the AAIHR Best Practices outlines some of the aspirational goals that should be sought by AAIHR member firms. “Best Practices” are those that are possible and achievable, but perhaps not by all Recruiters and Employers all of the time. AAIHR Members are encouraged to respect and to reinvest in the sustainability of the health systems of source countries, especially developing countries. The following are examples of ways this might be accomplished:
The American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment (“AAIHR”) Independent Review Board (the “IRB”) shall consist of three or more individual representatives nominated by the AAIHR Ethics Committee and approved by the AAIHR Board of Directors (the “Board”). The members of the IRB shall be appointed for two-year terms and shall serve for such term or terms as the Board may determine or until earlier resignation on at least 90 days’ advance written notice or death. The Board may remove any member from the IRB at any time with or without cause.
The purpose of the IRB is to investigate complaints and alleged violations of the AAIHR Code of Ethics and
to sanction recommendations to the Ethics Committee for appropriate sanctions regarding any violations.
The IRB and its members shall have the following authority and responsibilities:
The Ethics Committee shall designate a member of the IRB as the chairperson. The IRB shall convene as necessary to investigate alleged violations of the Code of Ethics at such times and places as it deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities. The IRB shall report regularly to the Ethics Committee regarding its actions and make recommendations to the Ethics Committee as appropriate. Members of the IRB shall be entitled to compensation per grievance review, with an initial retainer for their commitment to cover the initial 5 investigations. IRB members will not be entitled to reimbursement of travel expenses, unless expressly authorized in advance by the Board.