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Medical Clearance FAQ

For policy guidance on medical clearance for staff, please refer to UN Circular ST/AI/2018/4, Temporary Appointment guidelines,  


Q. What is the process for requesting medical clearance through Atlas interface to EarthMed?

1. You will need an employee ID to request medical clearance through Atlas. See Atlas Instruction

2. Enter a medical clearance request in Atlas. Make note of the Reference Number that is created when you submit the medical clearance request. 

3. Send the following email to the staff member using the template below (please note that P.17 is no longer required) and make sure that the Reference Number is in the Subject field: 

Subject field: Request for medical clearance for [insert full name, employee ID], reference number [insert reference number]

Dear [insert name], 

Congratulations on your selection. 

All appointed staff members are subject to medical clearance and the offer is contingent upon this condition being met. 

Please therefore: 

1. Complete the form Medical Examination Self Certification (MS3) and send the form by email to

2. When you send the email, please make sure you use the same subject field as in this email. It is especially important that you have the Reference Number in the subject field of the email. 

3. Once you have submitted the email please confirm on which date you have submitted the email. This will allow us to follow up, in case the clearance takes longer than expected.

Kind regards, 

Q. What is EarthMed?

UN Medical Services Division (MSD) created an online medical clearance request system called EarthMed. The Medical Clearance Request page in Atlas is the interface to EarthMed.

When HR requests medical clearance in Atlas, the data will move into EarthMed and be processed by MSD. Whenever there is a status change, for example from 'Submitted' to 'Cleared', you will automatically as the requestor receive an email with the new status, and the Medical Clearance Request page in Atlas will be updated with the new status. This email is considered proof of medical clearance if the status is 'Cleared'.

It will be more efficient for MSD to process the medical clearance, and therefore faster to receive the medical clearance, because the system is online and because UNMS can determine themselves which medical facility should process the request based on availability of medical staff in various locations.

Q. What are the steps for the staff member?

There is no need to ask staff members to undergo a full medical examination upfront. Unless staff are security staff, there is no initial need for them to undergo a full medical examination with a certified physician. The self-certification, the form Medical Examination Self Certification (MS3) is applicable for both staff appointed to HQ and Field duty stations including non-family duty stations. UN Medical Services Division will determine based on the self-certification in the MS.3 form if a more elaborate and full examination is required using the Entry Medical Examination (MS2) (English version, French version).

Staff should complete the MS.3 form and return this to (the P.17 is no longer required). It is important that the Atlas Reference Number is entered in the email's Subject field. 

Q. Is the P.17 form Request for Medical Clearance still required?

No, the P.17 is replaced by the new Atlas interface.  

Q. Are TA contracts expected to go through medical clearance?

If the TA is less than 6 months, medical clearance should not be requested, but SM should submit a "Statement of Good Health"

If the TA is more than 6 months, medical clearance is required. If the TA initially was for less than 6 months, and is subsequently extended, medical clearance is required.

TA appointments in security service functions and those assigned to non-family duty stations is required to obtain medical clearance.

TA appointments moving to FTA contract will need to obtain medical clearance. 

See also Temporary Appointment guidelines

Q. When is Medical Clearance required?

Medical clearance is required for any appointment of six months or longer to assure that the SM chosen for the position is fit to undertake the tasks for that particular position and duty station. 

Medical clearance is also required for re-appointments, and change in contract types (f.ex: from TA to FTA and vice-versa) as well as interagency movements.

Q.  We have a UN Clinic in our duty station – do we still need to submit through the new Atlas interface?

Yes, the medical clearance request should still be submitted through the new interface, even if your UN clinic has delegated authority to grant medical clearances. Please see UN Medical Service's Global Directory of UN Clinics (as of June 2019)

Q. Do staff member still need to arrange a Doctor's appointment in addition to the new self-certification form MS.3?

No, staff will only submit the MS.3 form. However, UN Medical Services may, following the review of the MS.3 form, request staff to obtain a full medical examination.

Q. Do Service Contract Holders need to go through medical clearance?

The Atlas Medical Clearance Request page is only for staff (holding TA, FTA, PA contract) and not for Service Contracts.

Service Contract holders should use the Medical Examination Self Certification (MS3) form together with the P.17 form. 

As HR focal point you should:

a) HR should prefill the P.17 form

b) HR sends MS3 form and the prefilled P.17 form to the Service Contract holder.

c) The Service Contract holder should complete the MS3 form and send together with the P.17 form to the local UN examining physician/UN authorised doctor.

d) the UN examining physician/UN authorised doctor should review the MS3 and incidate the status on the P.17 and sends to HR.

If a Service Contract holder is moving to a staff contract (TA or FTA contract) then you need to issue a new staff employee ID and you need to use the Atlas Medical Clearance page to request the medical clearance from UN Medical Services Division.

Q. Do other UN agencies also use EarthMed for medical clearance for their staff?

Other UN agencies are also using EarthMed.

Q.  Will the EarthMed interface be used to submit extended sick leave cases for staff?

This is currently being looked into, but at the time the EarthMed interface is not being used for extended sick leave cases.

Q. How often is the data transferred from Atlas and EarthMed? 

There are two data transfers in place between Atlas and EarthMed:

1. Once a day Atlas is transfering basic staff records to EarthMed. This is enabling MSD to have staff records for all incoming medical clearance requests.  

2. Every hour will Atlas and EarthMed transfer medical clearance request data back and forth. For example if you enter a medical clearance request it will take no longer than one hour to be transferred to EarthMed. In addition, when a medical clearance status has been set to 'Cleared' by MSD, the new status will appear in Atlas no later than one hour later.    

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