What is Safer Recruitment?
Safer Recruitment is the safeguarding and protection of children and young people during the recruitment and selection process. All organisations which employ staff or volunteers to work with children and young people have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare. The purpose of safer recruitment is to help deter, reject or identify potential staff who might abuse children or are otherwise unsuitable to working with them by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.
It is essential that all education providers have a recruitment policy in place to ensure that all of their job applicants are considered equally and fairly, whilst also making sure that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability for the position. Standard recruitment processes ensure that no job applicant encounters bias based on their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age. Safer recruitment processes go further. They ensure that the applicant has their references cross-checked, that they have proof of identity, that any criminal convictions are declared, that the applicant is thoroughly vetted and has their background checked, as well as checking that the applicant has an up to date DBS Certificate and can provide proof of this in an initial interview.
How should it be implemented?
The existing employees involved in the actual recruitment and selection of staff are directly responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the principles of Safer Recruitment. The potential candidate’s experience and merit should be measured against the job description and person specification. This procedure must be consistently and thoroughly enforced while obtaining, collating, analysing and evaluating information from and about applicants.
Legislation and Compliance
The recruitment and selection of staff should be conducted in a professional, timely and responsive manner and in compliance with current employment legislation, and relevant safeguarding legislation and statutory guidance (including KCSIE 2016 and Prevent Duty Guidance). To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation, recommendations and guidance including the statutory guidance published by the Department for Education (DfE), Keeping Children Safe in Education - May 2016 (KCSIE), the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2016 (the Prevent Duty Guidance) and any guidance or code of practice published by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS); and to ensure that the education provider meets its commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.
Role and Responsibilities
It is the education provider’s responsibility to factor in the welfare of children and young people at every stage of the recruitment process, by making sure that all appropriate checks are carried out on every prospective member staff or volunteer. Every aspect of recruitment regarding these staff members and volunteers must be in line with the guidance and legal requirements, and the education provider itself must play a role in ensuring that all of their policies and procedures are in place, effective, and most importantly - utilised.