All organisations engaging people in ‘Regulated Activities‘ must have robust and transparent recruitment procedures in place to ensure children, young people and vulnerable adults are safeguarded and they should be familiar with the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership policies and procedures. Before recruiting staff (whether paid or unpaid), the following should be considered:
- The application process should include the organisations commitment to safeguarding in for example the Job Description and any other documentation;
- Thorough checks should be made of an applicant’s identity, work history and references including any gaps in time;
- Proof of qualifications should be obtained;
- Checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service should be undertaken;
- A probationary period and supervision of the person should take place;
- References should be obtained and verified.
This is not an exhaustive list but a framework for sound recruitment practice.
The Disclosure and Barring Service:
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012, carrying out functions previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The DBS is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) of the Home Office, operational from the 1 December 2012.
The DBS provides a service which enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make better informed, safer recruitment decisions. It does this by providing them with information to enable them to determine whether candidates are unsuitable or unable to undertake certain work; particularly with occupations involving regular contact with vulnerable groups, including children. The information provided by the DBS should be used in conjunction with other recruitment tools to determine an individual’s suitability for a certain position or post. The DBS also determine whether an individual can work in a regulated activity post with children or adults by making complex decisions as to who should be placed on or removed from either or both of the children’s and adult’s barred lists.
The DBS undertakes functions contained within Part V of the Police Act 1997, functions contained within the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007.
Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service:
A referral to the DBS should be made when an employer or organisation, eg a regulatory body, has concerns that a person has caused harm, or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups, including children.
In these circumstances the employer must make a referral to the DBS, though this is not obligatory for regulatory bodies.
Referring a teacher in England to the Teaching Agency
If the person to be referred to the DBS is a teacher in England consideration should also be given to refer the case to the Teaching Agency. The Teaching Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Education, responsible for the regulation of teachers in respect of serious misconduct.
Find out more at the Teaching Agency’s website.