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Care-matching platform offers freelancers third-party background checks

SINGAPORE — An online platform linking caregivers with potential clients has become the first here to team up with a third party to conduct background checks on its freelancers.

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TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — An online platform linking caregivers with potential clients has become the first here to team up with a third party to conduct background checks on its freelancers.

The service will be optional for Caregiver Asia’s freelance caregivers, who will have to pay S$24.99 for the background check by employee screening and development firm Avvanz.

Caregiver Asia, which has 6,000 Singaporean and permanent-resident caregivers on its database – 2,000 of whom are active – has no plans at the moment to make third-party background checks compulsory, said its chief marketing officer Sheo Rai.

Caregivers who apply for, and successfully clear, their third-party background checks will be identified by a badge on their service profiles. Those who fail the check will not be listed.

Avvanz will check for criminal records and links to terrorism and corruption, among other things. Its sources include available data from regulatory bodies and public sources here and abroad.

While freelancers with a criminal past are unlikely to sign up for a third-party background check, Caregiver Asia’s chief executive Yeo Wan Ling said the agreement with Avvanz is part of efforts to ensure the platform continues to be a “trusted place for the booking of care”.

“In addition to our own internal screening, the background checks will provide more assurance that the freelance caregivers hired can be trusted. This will also provide our caregivers the additional boost to getting hired,” said Ms Yeo.

Like other similar platforms, Caregiver Asia already screens those who want to offer their services. Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals must be properly qualified and the company checks their credentials with regulatory bodies such as the Singapore Medical Council and Singapore Nursing Board

Others, such as healthcare assistants and care companions, are interviewed and the company checks their certifications or encourages them to take up its training courses, said Mr Rai.

The three-year-old platform has not had to delist any caregiver, he said.

Other platforms that help link freelance caregivers with care-seekers include Homage and Jaga-Me.

Jaga-Me’s co-founder and chief executive Julian Koo said its current in-house process of curating its healthcare professionals and care aides is robust enough.

Background checks cover applicants’ educational qualifications, work history, registration with regulatory bodies, and criminal records. Jaga-Me conducts interviews that assess applicants’ personalities and ability to think on their feet, and a more experienced person tags along with new ones to ensure safety and competency, said Mr Koo.

Jaga-Me employs about four care managers who review new patients, and has close to 300 nurses and a handful of doctors who are freelancers.

According to its website, Homage’s background checks cover criminal records and reference checks. It also conducts in-person interviews and ensures caregivers are screened for tuberculosis.


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