Global Nurse Partners recently had the opportunity to interview Kaley Cook, Program Manager for the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices, a division of CGFNS International dedicated to ensuring that all foreign-educated health professionals are recruited fairly, ethically, and with transparency  for employment in the United States. Healthcare professionals looking to move their career to the US and hiring professionals look to the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices to help identify recruitment agencies committed to ethical recruitment practices. Questions are highlighted in bold font.

Can you tell me a little bit about your role at CGFNS?

As the Program Manager for the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices, I work with both international recruiters seeking Alliance certification and with migrant healthcare workers who have questions about their migration experience. In this role, I also work with CGFNS’ Global Affairs team to conduct data analysis and produce research on the recruitment and migration landscapes. 

Can you provide an overview of CGFNS International and its mission, as well as the specific role of the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment within the organization?

CGFNS International is a credentials evaluation organization that has been working to help nurses and allied health professionals bring their education and expertise across borders since 1977. CGFNS has varied services for credential evaluation and certification in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, including the U.S.-based VisaScreen® and Credentials Evaluation Service programs.

The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices is a division of CGFNS that is working for fair and transparent recruitment practices of healthcare professionals seeking to work in the U.S. We certify international recruiters that demonstrate compliance with our Health Care Code (Code) and are a confidential resource for any migrating healthcare worker coming to the U.S. with questions about their recruitment experience.

What kind of organizations or individuals are eligible to apply for certification as ethical recruiters, and what are the benefits of becoming certified?

Certification as an Alliance Certified Ethical Recruiter (CER) is open to staffing and placement firms, as well as healthcare facilities that are managing their own recruitment. In seeking and maintaining certification, recruiters can show their commitment to fair and transparent practices and offer their clients the additional reassurance of Alliance oversight during their migration journeys.

What is the process of certification for ethical recruiters within the Alliance? What criteria or standards do recruiters need to meet to become certified?

To become a CER, recruiters must be able to demonstrate compliance with our Code and provide copies of recruitment materials and standard employment contracts. This is done through our Certification Application. Recruiters must also agree to a survey of all the healthcare professionals they have worked with in the past three years and a thirty-day public comment period.

What role does the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment play in promoting fair and ethical recruitment practices in the international healthcare sector?

One of our top priorities is education. There can be a huge amount of information asymmetry in the relationship between a migrating healthcare worker and a recruitment firm or healthcare facility. This process works better when all parties know their rights and responsibilities from the start—and it can be helpful to have a third-party organization like the Alliance that can answer questions confidentially, or that can create resources with information on topics ranging from the differences between the recruitment model types to recruitment firm red flags.

Are there ongoing responsibilities or requirements that certified ethical recruiters must fulfill to maintain their certification?

CERs are certified for a two-year period. After that, they must complete the full application process again. During their certification period, they must remain in compliance with our Code. If we receive a complaint that a recruiter has violated the Code, there would be an investigation that could result in remediation or de-certification.

Can you provide examples of some of the ethical recruitment challenges that the Alliance has addressed or aims to address in the industry?

There has been a lot of work done by many organizations to move towards more ethical healthcare migration in recent years. At the Alliance, we’ve been pleased to see some of our CER requirements become more standard practices in the industry, including the proration of breach fees and how they are calculated. Recent court cases and the spotlight on healthcare recruitment in recent years have driven these changes as well.

On a larger scale, there are serious concerns about over-recruitment globally. The negative impact of increased reliance on international recruitment in sending countries must be acknowledged and those facilitating migration – whether it be governments or recruitment firms – should find ways to sustain, replenish, and improve local health services in those countries.

Finally, what does it mean to CGFNS International, as well as to the healthcare industry as a whole, when a recruitment agency or professional is certified as an ethical recruiter by the Alliance?

Migrating to the U.S. is complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. It is understandable why migrating healthcare workers seek to work with international recruiters who know about the process and can cover the costs. However, international recruitment models are, by their natures, easy avenues for exploitation, which means recruiters must go the extra mile to show their commitment to fair and transparent practices. CGFNS encourages healthcare professionals who are considering using a recruiter to ensure it is certified by the Alliance. Becoming an Alliance Certified Ethical Recruiter shows migrating healthcare workers and employers that a firm is committed to those values and is willing to hold itself publicly accountable.


Anyone with questions about their recruitment journey or Alliance certification can contact [email protected]. All inquiries are confidential.

Global Nurse Partners is a Certified Ethical Recruiter (CER) as designated by the Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices (Alliance), a CGFNS International division. As a CER, we adhere to the Health Care Code and proudly display the Seal to affirm our commitment to ethical practice, continuous improvement, and corporate social responsibility.