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Guidance for Safe Recruitment, Selection and Retention for Staff and Volunteers


Contents

1. Introduction
2. Scope
  2.1 Planning and Advertising
  2.2 Job Description
  2.3 Person Specification
  2.4 Information Pack to Candidates
  2.5 Application Form
  2.6 Scrutinising and Shortlisting 
  2.7 Interviews
  2.8 Interview Panel
  2.9 References
  2.10 Safer Practice Guidance
  2.11 Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Workplace
  2.12 Audit Process
3. Policy Statement
4. Elements of Safe Practice for all Partner Agencies, Including those who work Primarily with Adults
4.1 Participation of Children and Young People
4.2 Safeguarding (Warner) Interviews 
4.3 Conditional offer of Appointment 
4.4 Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
4.5 Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service
4.6 Checks on Overseas Staff
4.7 Employment Agency Staff
4.8 Staff Records 
5. Post Appointment Induction
6. Maintaining a Safer Culture
7. Whistleblowing
8. Training
9. Definitions
  Further Information
  Amendments to this Chapter


1. Introduction

Safe recruitment is central to the safeguarding of children and young people. All organisations which employ staff or volunteers to work with children and young people have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare. This includes ensuring that the organisation adopts safe recruitment and selection procedures which prevent unsuitable persons from gaining access to children.

It is the responsibility of each agency or organisation, including within the voluntary and community sector, to consider how these principles can be embedded in and applied to their organisation. Where appropriate, this will be in consultation with their personnel or human resources adviser or other advisory bodies.

The States of Jersey is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people[1], including children[2]. Click here.

This Safe Recruitment policy (the “Policy”) provides one such safeguard, in that it sets clear guidance in respect of the recruitment and selection process for persons who will work with vulnerable people and will help to deter, reject or identify people who are unsuitable to work with vulnerable people.

[1] In this policy, references to vulnerable people will always include children who may, however infrequently, be the recipient of a regulated activity.
[2] Children is defined as anyone under the age of 18.


2. Scope

This guidance applies to all adults who have contact with children, young people through their work whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. It applies to permanent, temporary, zero hours contract and agency staff and to those recruited from overseas. It also applies to staff who do not have direct responsibility for children, but who will have contact with children within the organisation and will be seen as safe and trustworthy and/or have access to confidential and sensitive information e.g. administrative staff, receptionists, caretakers, maintenance workers.

The principles of safe recruitment should also be included in the terms of any contract or service level agreements drawn up between the organisation and contractors or agencies that provide services for, or staff to work with, children and young people. Any service level agreement or contract should contain a safeguarding statement, which makes explicit the standards expected. The agreement should be regularly reviewed.

This policy applies to the recruitment of all persons who will work with vulnerable people. While its application is not limited to such persons, it is intended to apply to those persons who are recruited to carry out the types of work that may amount to regulated activity as currently defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. Although the 2006 Act does not apply in Jersey, it is relevant to determining the extent to which criminal record checks may be made and its provisions with respect to barring persons from work with vulnerable people may be extended to Jersey in the future.

In relation to children, regulated activities include those that involve regular, unsupervised contact with children such as teaching or caring for children or providing guidance, childminding or foster care to children. They also include work more generally in establishments such as schools, children’s homes or childcare premises.

Regulated activity relating to adults identifies activities which, if any adult requires them, lead to that adult being considered vulnerable at that particular time. It also includes a person who provides day-to-day management or supervision of those people. Regulated activities include providing health care (whether as a professional or under supervision), personal care, social work or providing training or assistance with the conduct of a person’s affairs or personal care skills. It also includes conveying adults because of their age, illness or disability to or from their place of residence and a place where they receive health care, personal care or social care.

Human Resources should be contacted for advice if there is any doubt as to whether this policy applies to a recruitment process.

Roles and Responsibilities under this Policy

In addition to the generic policy responsibilities that can be found on the Policy intranet page, specific to this policy:

Job applicants, volunteers and existing employees are responsible for:

  • Providing complete and truthful information on job application documentation, ensuring relevant information is not withheld;
  • Supporting the employment clearance process by providing requested documentation in a timely manner;
  • Complying with the requirement to complete a renewal DBS check after a three year period or earlier if requested by Human Resources. This may be either in the form of a standard, enhanced or enhanced with barred list check as deemed necessary by the Recruiting Manager and Human Resources taking into account the role within the organisation; and
  • Ensuring that they disclose any cautions or convictions that are received during their employment. This information should be disclosed to the employee’s line manager.

Recruiting managers are responsible for ensuring that:

  • They have undergone safe recruitment training;
  • They complete a thorough risk assessment in the exceptional circumstances where a person working with vulnerable people commences employment without all employment clearances being obtained;
  • In the above exceptional circumstances, ensuring that the employee is not allowed direct unsupervised contact with vulnerable people;
  • Posts working with vulnerable people are identified before the recruitment process begins and Human Resources are advised accordingly;
  • All recruitment documentation and practices adhere to the guidelines in this Policy; and
  • Workers who work for the States of Jersey through a contract for services on an interim, locum, self-employed, zero hours or agency basis and voluntary staff or any other basis have been and shall be subject to safe recruitment procedures and are compliant with this Policy.

Interview panel members are responsible for ensuring that:

  • All recruitment practices adhere to the guidelines in this Policy and that of the Recruitment and Selection Policy; and
  • A member of the panel has undergone safe recruitment training.

Human Resources are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Support is available to Chief Officers, recruiting managers and interview panel members to ensure that the safe recruitment procedures outlined in this Policy are adhered to;
  • Chief Officers are advised on the exceptional circumstances where a person working with vulnerable people may commence employment without all per employment clearances being obtained; and
  • A thorough risk assessment is completed in the above cases where a person commences work without all employment clearances.

Chief Officers or their nominee are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Authorisation is only provided in exceptional circumstances to commence a person working with vulnerable people without all employment clearances being obtained;
  • A thorough risk assessment is completed in the above cases where a person commences work without all employment clearances; and
  • This Policy is implemented effectively within their Department.

Safe Recruitment Policy Provisions

Guidance on Best Practice

  • This Policy is primarily concerned with safeguarding, reference should also be made the States of Jersey Recruitment Managers Guidlines; click here

  • Safe Recruitment is only one element of safeguarding vulnerable people, safe employment practices should be in place at all times;
  • Vulnerable people should be informed in writing about how they can report concerns and to whom;
  • Each Department should have procedures and systems in place to ensure safe working practices;
  • Safe recruitment training should be completed by managers recruiting to positions that will work with vulnerable people;
  • People working with vulnerable people should have a renewal DBS clearance completed at a minimum every three year period or as required by Human Resources;
  • There should be an inclusion in any written agreement or contract with third party providers setting out responsibility for carrying out the recruitment and vetting checks on staff and volunteers in line with those set out in this Policy[3];
  • Audit of compliance with this Policy will take place on a risk assessment basis by the Internal Audit division; Human Resources may also spot check recruitment to ensure compliance with this Policy.

[3] Where the third party provider can not conduct the vetting / DBS check themselves, the relevant Department can sponsor the application through existing States of Jersey processes e.g. third party providers who are self employed.

2.1 Planning and Advertising

It is important to be clear about the mix of qualities, qualifications and experience a successful candidate will need to demonstrate, and whether there are any particular matters that need to be stated in the advertisement for the post, in order to prevent unwanted applications. The recruitment process needs to be planned, including who will be involved, responsibilities and timescales.

The advertisement should include a statement about the employer’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and Adults at Risk, and reference to the need for the successful applicant to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

2.2 Job Description

Once a post becomes vacant or a new post is created the job description and person specification need to be reviewed/agreed to ensure compliance with safe recruitment guidance.

This should clearly state:

  • The main duties of the post;
  • The extent of contact/responsibility for children and young people;
  • The individual’s responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of the children/ young people/Adults at Risk s/he is responsible for, or comes into contact with.*

*This includes where the post holder will work mainly or exclusively with adults. Some of these adults will be parents, grandparents or carers and will have contact with children and young people.

2.3 Person Specification

This should include:

  • The essential and desirable qualifications and experience;
  • Other requirements needed to perform the role in relation to working with children and young people;
  • The competencies and qualities that the successful candidate should be able to demonstrate:
    • It is essential to plan the recruitment exercise, identifying who should be involved, assigning responsibilities and setting aside time for the work needed at each stage so that sufficient time is available to cover safeguards;
    • For teaching positions adequate time should be allocated to allow references to be obtained on shortlisted candidates before interview;
    • Those involved in the recruitment process of positions that will work with children should also undertake the On-line Safer Recruitment Training. At least one member of the panel should have acquired the on line certification;
    • Those involved in any recruitment process should have undertaken appropriate training in recruitment and selection before participating in the process and at least one member of the panel should have obtained the States of Jersey’s in-house Recruitment and Selection Certificate to Practice;
    • At least one member of the panel should have undertaken safe recruitment training, this should ideally be the recruiting manager;
    • Job Advertisements should include a statement on the employer’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people and state the need for the successful applicant to undertake a DBS clearance where applicable;
    • Job descriptions should clearly state all or any responsibility for contact with vulnerable people and the person specification should include criteria relating to safeguarding.

2.4 Information Pack to Candidates

All information given to interested applicants should highlight the importance of the rigorous selection processes and the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. It should be clear that proof of identity will be required, as well as a Disclosure and Barring Service check where appropriate.

The pack should include a copy of:

  • The application form, and explanatory notes about completing the form;
  • The job description and person specification;
  • Relevant information about the organisation and the recruitment process;
  • The agency’s Child Protection Policy Statement;
  • A statement of the terms and conditions relating to the post.

2.5 Application Form

  • A standard application form must be completed and should never be substituted by a CV. Incomplete application forms will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant for completion;
  • It is important to scrutinise and compare application forms and references to ensure they are completed fully and properly, that the information provided is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies. Gaps in employment should also be identified and reasons for leaving explored;
  • Any discrepancies should be noted so that they can be clarified and can also form part of the consideration of whether to shortlist. Reasons for a history of repeated changes of employment without any clear career or salary progression, or a move from a permanent post to agency, freelance or temporary work, also needs to be explored and confirmed.

Employers should use an application form to obtain a common set of core data. It is not good practice to accept curriculum vitae in place of an application form because this will only contain the information the applicant wishes to present and may omit relevant details. The applicant form/information pack should refer to the organisation's commitment to safeguarding children. It should obtain:

  • Identifying details of the applicant including current and former names, current address and Social Security number;
  • A statement of any academic and/ or vocational qualifications with details of awarding body and date of award;
  • A full history in chronological order since leaving secondary education, including periods of any post-secondary education/training and part-time and voluntary work as well as full time employment, with start dates, explanations for periods not in employment or education/training and reasons for leaving employment;
  • Details of referees. One referee should be the applicant's current or most recent employer/line manager, not a colleague. Normally two referees should be sufficient:
    • Where an applicant is not currently working with children, but has done so in the past, it is important that a reference is also obtained from the employer by whom the person was most recently employed in work with children in addition to the current or most recent employer;
    • References should not be accepted from relatives or friends.
  • A statement of the skills and abilities, and competencies/experience that the applicant believes are relevant to his/her suitability for the post and how s/he meets the person specification;
  • There should be an explanation that the post is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974;
  • Information should be requested about any previous - including spent - convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings or bind-overs.

2.6 Scrutinising and Short Listing

The same selection panel should both short list and interview the candidate. At least one member of the panel should have undertaken safe recruitment and selection training.

  • All application forms should be scrutinised to ensure:
    • They are fully and properly completed;
    • The information is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies;
    • Gaps in employment/training or a history of repeated changes of employment are identified.
  • Incomplete applications should not be accepted;
  • Any anomalies, discrepancies or gaps in employment and the reasons for this should be noted, so that they can be taken up as part of the consideration of whether to short list the applicant, as well as a history of repeated changes of employment without any clear career or salary progression or a mid career move from a permanent to temporary post;
  • All candidates should be assessed equally against the criteria contained in the person specification.

2.7 Interviews

  • The interview should assess the merits of each candidate against the job description and person specification, and explore their suitability to work with children/young people/Adults at Risk;
  • The interview should stress that the identity of the successful candidate will be checked thoroughly and, that where a Disclosure and Barring Service check is appropriate, prior to appointment there will be a requirement to complete an application for a Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure:
    • The selection process should always include a face-to-face interview with at least two people forming the interview panel. The interview should assess the merits of each candidate against the job requirements and should explore their suitability to work with vulnerable people;
    • The interview and interview questions need to be carefully planned with probing questions asked to obtain all relevant information. Interview questions should be competence based and should cover questions that test a candidate’s attitudes, values and understanding of issues;
    • The inclusion of vulnerable people on interview panels should be encouraged;
    • Original copies of candidate’s identity and educational or professional qualifications need to be checked thoroughly at the interview stage;
    • In addition to assessing candidates' ability to perform the duties of the post, the interview will also explore issues relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people, including:
      • Motivation to work with and attitude towards vulnerable people;
      • Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with vulnerable people;
      • Ability to support the organisation’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people;
      • Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours;
      • Concerns or discrepancies arising from the information provided by the candidate and/or a referee;
      • If references were not obtained prior to interview, the applicant should be asked if there is anything they wish to declare in light of the questions that have been (or will be) put to his or her referees;
      • The panel should also ask the candidate if they wish to declare anything with regard to any allegations of misconduct or criminal investigations that may have occurred in the past. Candidates for posts that involve regulated activity should be aware that they will be asked to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate with barred list from the DBS. The certificate may include information held by local Police forces in the British Isles with respect to allegations or criminal investigations that have occurred, even where they did not result in a conviction. This information may be disclosed in an Enhanced Certificate or Enhanced Certificate with barred list where the Chief Officer of the relevant Police force reasonably believes the information is relevant to assessing the applicant’s suitability for the post;
      • Any gaps in the candidate’s employment history should also be discussed and recorded in writing.
    • Attitudes to use of authority;
    • Whether the candidate wishes to declare anything relating to the requirement for a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

2.8 Interview Panel

A panel of at least two people is recommended, allowing one member to observe and assess the candidate and make notes, while the candidate is talking to the other. One member of the panel should be trained in safe recruitment practice.

The members of the panel should:

  • Have the necessary authority to make decisions about the appointment;
  • Meet before the interview to agree their assessment criteria in accordance with the person specification and to prepare a list of questions they will ask all candidates relating to the requirements of the post;
  • Identity any issues they wish to explore with each candidate based on the information provided in their application form and in the references;
  • Notes of the applicant’s interview answers should be collated by chair of the panel and stored (by HR).

The interview should also explore issues relating to safeguarding, including:

Vetting and Checking Guidance

Offer of Employment

Once the interview panel has made its decision about the preferred candidate, an offer of appointment to the successful candidate can be made, but the offer must be conditional on the satisfactory completion of the employment and vetting checks.

Employment and vetting checks are a necessary requirement of the recruitment and selection process in order to ensure effective safeguarding in recruitment.

All checks completed must be:

  • Confirmed in writing;
  • Documented and retained on the personnel file (subject to any data protection restrictions); and
  • Followed up where they are unsatisfactory, or where there are discrepancies in the information provided.

A single central record will be kept by the Human Resources Business Support team of recruitment and vetting checks undertaken to include dates and whether results where positive or satisfactory but not to include any specific details of offences.

The employment and vetting checks carried out on intended new appointees who will work with vulnerable people are outlined below.

Identity Checks

It is important to be sure that the person is who he or she claims to be. Identity checks must be completed for all positions working with vulnerable people.

For workers provided by a third party, identity checks must be completed to include a photographic identity check and obtaining evidence of address[4].

Identified concerns may not justify not appointing an applicant. Identity concerns may be unrelated to safeguarding and may have happened many years ago. These concerns need to be explored with the applicant and properly risk assessed and a risk assessment kept on file.

[4] As per JVB guidelines re appropriate documentation.

Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable people. The Jersey Vetting Bureau (JVB) was established as a DBS Registered Umbrella Body providing an authorised link between Jersey and the DBS.

Information that is part of a DBS check must be treated as confidential. It is an offence for DBS information to be passed to anyone who does not need it in the course of their duties. Recruiters should also be aware that the minimum age for applicants to now apply for a DBS checks is 16 years. The applicant must be 16 years of age or over at the time of making the application.

Verification of Qualifications

Verification must always be obtained on any qualifications that candidates claim in their application and that are legally required for the job or that the employer regards as essential. If there is any doubt about the validity of the qualification, or the awarding body, written confirmation should be obtained directly from the awarding body.

For those applying for professional posts, the qualifications and any professional registrations legally required for the job must be confirmed in the same manner.

Candidates should be asked to bring documents confirming any educational and professional qualifications that are necessary or relevant for the post to interview. For example, original or certified copy of a certificate, diploma or degree. Where original documents or certified copies cannot be provided, written confirmation of the relevant qualifications must be obtained from the awarding body.

Status

In some cases there may be a requirement for an applicant to have a particular status, e.g. registration with a professional body. If required, evidence of such registration should be obtained by the Human Resource business support team.

In addition enquiries should be made with the professional body to establish whether or not the candidate is subject to any outstanding complaints or investigations.

Verification of Candidate’s Medical Fitness

All successful candidates must receive medical clearance from the Occupational Health Service before their offer of employment can be confirmed.

Reference Checks

The purpose of seeking references is to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. References should always be sought and obtained directly from the referee and not through a third party or the candidate themselves. Where there is any concern or discrepancy in a reference received, a follow up phone call to the referee should take place to confirm the referee’s identity and clarify the contents of the reference received. A file note should be kept of the discussion and the referee advised of this at the start of the conversation.

All posts should be subject to the taking up of references as this is an indispensable tool within the safer recruitment process. In all cases at least two references should be obtained to provide both professional and personal perspectives on the candidate and his/her ability, motivation and aptitude for the post. One reference should be obtained from the most recent line manager.

For teaching positions, written references must be obtained before an interview takes place and in all cases references should be obtained before entering into a contract of employment with any candidate.

2.9 References

  • One reference should be from the current or most recent employer/line manager or HR (not from a colleague within the organisation);
  • A copy of the job description and person specification should be included with all requests;
  • References or testimonials provided by the candidate, or open references, i.e. To Whom It May Concern should not be accepted. Open references/testimonials may be forged or the result of a 'compromise agreement';
  • References should be sought on all short listed candidates, including internal ones. If possible these should be obtained prior to interview so that any issues of concern they raise can be explored further with the referee and taken up with the candidate at interview. (This may be particularly helpful for posts where a safeguarding interview is planned);
  • Where a reference has not been obtained on the preferred candidate before the interview, once received it should be scrutinised and any concerns resolved satisfactorily before the person's appointment is confirmed;
  • References should seek objective verifiable information and not subjective opinion. The use of reference proforma can help achieve this.

If an applicant is not currently employed in working with children, but has previously done so, then it is advisable to check with the last relevant employer to confirm details of their employment and reason(s) for leaving.

Requests for references should ask:

  • The referee’s relationship with the candidate, e.g. did they have a working relationship and how long has the referee known the candidate;
  • How s/he has demonstrated that s/he meets the person specification;
  • Whether the referee is satisfied that the person has the ability and is suitable to undertake the job;
  • Whether the applicant has been the subject of any disciplinary sanctions and whether the application has had any allegations made against him/her or concerns raised, which relate either to the safety and welfare of, or the applicants behaviour towards, children and young people. Details about the outcome of any such concern should be sought;
  • Whether the referee is satisfied that the candidate is suitable to work with children/young people/Adults at Risk. If not, for details of the referee’s concerns and the reason why the person might be unsuitable.

Requests should remind the referee that they have a responsibility to ensure that the reference is accurate and that relevant factual content of the reference may be discussed with the applicant.

  • Requests addressed to a candidate’s current employer or a previous employer should also seek:
    • Confirmation of details of the applicant’s current post, salary and sickness record;
    • Specific verifiable comments about the applicant’s performance history and conduct;
    • Details of any disciplinary procedures the applicant has been subject to which relate to the safety and welfare of children or to the applicant’s behaviour towards children, young people or Adults at Risk and the outcome;
    • Details of any allegations or concerns about the applicant that relate to the safety and welfare of children or behaviour towards children, young people or Adults at Risk and the outcome of these concerns.

On receipt of references:

  • They should be checked to ensure all questions have been answered satisfactorily;
  • Prior to the confirmation of an appointment, referees should be telephoned to confirm their views on the candidate and to ensure information provided by the candidate is accurate;
  • Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations should be considered in the circumstances of the individual case. Cases in which an issue was satisfactorily resolved some time ago or an allegation determined to be unfounded or did not require formal disciplinary sanctions, and in which no further issues have been raised, are less likely to cause concern than more serious or recent concerns, or issues that were not resolved satisfactorily. A history of repeated concerns or allegations over time should give cause for concern.

Previous Employment History

The application form seeks information about previous employment. Those recruiting should always obtain satisfactory explanations for any gaps in employment. If a candidate is not currently employed in a position covering vulnerable people, it is advisable to check with the last position they held in this capacity to confirm details of their employment and their reason for leaving. This may mean that a third reference is required.

Those that have lived outside the UK

Extra time will need to be allocated to the employment and vetting checks of applicants who have lived outside the UK. DBS disclosures will not generally show offences committed by UK citizens or residents whilst living abroad and will not include details of any offences committed abroad by foreign nationals who have never lived or worked in the UK. Therefore in addition to a DBS disclosure, additional checks such as obtaining certificates of good conduct from relevant embassies or Police forces are necessary. These checks are obtained through the applicant.

Where an applicant is from or has lived in a country where criminal record checks cannot be made, employers must take extra care in taking up references and carrying out other background checks e.g. additional references should be sought, and references followed up by phone. The completion of a risk assessment should also take place in such cases.

Right to work in Jersey

A check should be made of the candidates Residential and Employment Status in line with the Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012. In the case of non European Economic Area nationals checks need to be made with the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service to ensure the candidate has permission to work in Jersey.

Volunteers and Agency Staff

It is appropriate to obtain a DBS check in respect of volunteers and agency staff who engage in regulated activity. Some types of voluntary work may not meet the definition of regulated activity, because the work is only carried out occasionally and under appropriate supervision. Further guidance can be sought from HR in relation to those cases, where it may not be possible to obtain a DBS check. In those cases it is still good practice to obtain references and proof of identity.

Under no circumstances must a volunteer or agency staff member, who has not obtained an appropriate DBS disclosure, be left unsupervised with vulnerable people.

If volunteers are to be recruited by another organisation, written assurance should be obtained from that organisation that the person has been recruited and vetted in line with this guidance. Where the DBS check has resulted in disclosed information, the Department must obtain a copy of the DBS Disclosure and make an assessment before the individual can start work. The department must also check that the person presenting themselves for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made.

Third Party Suppliers and Commissioned Services

There should be an inclusion in any written agreement or contract with a third party provider or commissioned services setting out responsibility for carrying out the recruitment and vetting checks on staff and volunteers in line with those set out in this Policy.

The identity of contractors and their staff should always be checked, this is especially important where the contractor could have an opportunity for contact with vulnerable people.

Contractors for whom an appropriate DBS check has not been undertaken should be supervised if they will have any contact with vulnerable people.

Commencing Employment without all Employment Clearances

In exceptional circumstances where there is an urgent operational need to start a new employee it may be possible to start the employee without having obtained all pre-employment clearances. This should only occur in exceptional cases and only one employment clearance should be pending with all other checks being viewed as satisfactory. In such cases, the authorisation of the Senior Human Resources Business Partner and the Chief Officer of the Department will be required. Authorising officers will require a thorough risk assessment to take place before authorisation can be provided and the new employee should not be allowed direct unsupervised contact with vulnerable people.

Employees or Volunteers Changing their Duties

Where an existing employee or volunteer changes their duties, which therefore result in them working with vulnerable people or bring them into regulated activity [5], a review should take place of all vetting and referencing checks that are required for the new role. An enhanced DBS check, to include a barred list check should be carried out in cases where the employee or volunteer will work in regulated activity.

[5] See Glossary and the beginning of this section for further details of the meaning of this term.

2.10 Safer Practice Guidance

Safeguarding should feature highly in all processes, policies, procedures and practices to send a clear message to applicants, existing staff and volunteers and to help deter unsuitable individuals and inappropriate behaviour.

As far as safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people is concerned the induction and probation programme should include information about, and written statements of;

  • Policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding and promoting welfare e.g. child protection, anti-bullying, health and safety, internet safety, safeguarding procedures etc.;
  • Safe practice and the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of staff, children and other service users in the establishment;
  • Clear procedures for reporting concerns;
  • Contact details for the named Safeguarding Lead;
  • Other relevant Human Resources procedures e.g. disciplinary, capability etc.

Departments are responsible to ensure all employees working with or in contact with vulnerable people receive appropriate training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people in line with the recommendations of the Joint Safeguarding Partnership Boards’ training strategy.

Once an applicant has been confirmed in post they will be required to disclose any cautions or convictions they receive during their employment. This information should be disclosed to the employee’s line manager.

2.11 Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Workplace

Vulnerable people may complete work experience placements within the SoJ, for example through Project Trident etc. It is important that all employees working with vulnerable people ensure that their behaviour and conduct is appropriate at all times. A mutual placement agreement should be signed by all parties in order to ensure that the placement works effectively. The following basic guidance should be included in such an agreement:

  • Should there be occasions when physical contact is needed with the secondee (e.g. guidance in carrying out a technical operation) the need for this must be clearly explained and such contact kept to a minimum and only used when necessary;
  • Whilst it is important to reassure the secondee, who may be nervous in the work environment and reliant on guidance, it is important not to be over familiar. The same appropriate behaviour standards are required with secondees as with any staff members;
  • Secondees may be required to spend time with one employee, however extended periods should be avoided and an open-door policy should be implemented at all times;
  • The safeguarding lead in the placing organisation is to be identified and to be the first contact for any identified concerns regarding the safety or wellbeing of the secondee. However, should concerns be expressed about the placing organisation, it would be appropriate to refer these directly to MASH (519000) for children and young people, or SPOR (443500) for adult secondees; and
  • If a manger is aware of any of their employees who are disqualified from working with vulnerable people it is un-acceptable to make a placement

If the person working with the secondee is unsupervised and the same person is in frequent contact with the secondee, the work is likely to be regulated activity. If so, the department should ensure that the person providing the instruction or training is not a barred person.

If the activity undertaken by the secondee on work experience takes place in a ‘specified place’, such as a school or college, and gives the opportunity for contact with vulnerable people, this may itself be considered to be regulated activity. In these cases consideration should be given as to whether a DBS enhanced check with barred list should be requested for the child or vulnerable person in question. This should be discussed with the organisation placing the secondee, ensuring DBS checks are not requested for children under the age of 16.

2.12 Audit Process

Human Resources may complete a check of a sample of recruitments that fall under this Policy to ensure compliance with the Policy.

Internal audit may be considered on a risk assessment basis to complete an internal audit at any point to ensure compliance with this Policy.


3. Policy Statement

Safeguarding is Everyone’s Responsibility

Organisations should have a policy statement outlining their commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and Adults at Risk, which it is expected ALL staff and volunteers will share. It should convey that robust recruitment and selection procedures are in place to identify and deter people who might abuse children or are otherwise unsuitable for employment. They are to minimise the possibility of children and young people suffering harm from those in a position of trust.


4. Elements of Safe Practice for all Partner Agencies, Including those who work Primarily with Adults

Safer practice in recruitment means giving consideration to safeguarding arrangements at every step of the process.

4.1 Participation of Children and Young People

Children and young people can make a valuable contribution to the recruitment process and their participation should be considered for key strategic and managerial posts as well as posts where staff will have a high level of responsibility for children’s day to day care e.g. residential staff.

The following considerations should be taken into account in planning children’s involvement:

  • Clarification of the role children will take in the process, how their views will be taken into account in selection and what weighting these will be given;

  • Preparation and/or training;

  • Process for debriefing/feedback.

4.2 Safeguarding (Warner) Interviews

For posts requiring the post holder to work with highly vulnerable children, e.g. Looked After children, children with disabilities, or posts where staff will have sole care of responsibility for a child/group of children, e.g. staff taking children on residential trips, consideration should be given to the need for an additional safeguarding (Warner) interview. Such interviews were a recommendation of The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Selection, Development and Management of Staff in Children's Homes (Warner, 1992). The aim is to address areas that are more difficult to assess in the formal interview setting.

Quality Standards: Management and Administrative Regulations, Guidance on Chapter 4 of the Regulations – Staffing requires registered person to exercise care in the selection of all staff and volunteers working with children in children’s homes. The Bichard Report recommended the assessment of personal qualities during the selection process.

Areas of assessment include:

  • Motivation;
  • Integrity and values;
  • Authority;
  • Accountability;
  • Ethical standards;
  • Emotional resilience;
  • Team work.

Elements include:

  • Identification of support for candidate if necessary;
  • Careful recording to evidence findings;
  • Feedback to candidate.

Training is essential for staff prior to undertaking these interviews.

4.3 Conditional Offer of Appointment

Pre-Appointment Checks and References

An offer of appointment to the successful candidate should be conditional upon:

  • Receipt of at least two satisfactory written references, where possible confirmed by telephone;
  • Verification of the candidate’s identity;
  • A satisfactory or enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure, which includes a check of the Barred Lists, including an overseas 'Certificate of Good Conduct' or equivalent (unless the Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service applies);
  • Evidence of permission to work for those who are not nationals of a European Economic Area country;
  • Verification of the candidate’s medical fitness;
  • Verification of qualifications;
  • Verification of professional status/registration where required, i.e. Health and Care Professions Council for social workers, National College for Teaching and Leadership for teachers. Nursing and Midwifery Council;
  • Verification of successful completion of statutory induction / probationary period where appropriate.

All checks should be:

  • Confirmed in writing;
  • Documented and retained on the personnel file (subject to restrictions on the retention of information imposed by Disclosure and Barring Service regulations);
  • Followed up where they are unsatisfactory or where there are discrepancies in the information provided.

Where:

  • The candidate is found to be on the Barred Lists, or the Disclosure and Barring Service Disclosure shows s/he has been disqualified from working with children by a Court;
  • The applicant has provided false information in, or in support of, his/her application;
  • There are serious concerns about an applicant’s suitability to work with children.

These facts should be reported to the Police and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (if they are not already aware). Anyone who is barred from work with children is committing an offence if they apply for, offer to do, accept or do any work which constitutes Regulated Activity. It is also an offence for an employer knowingly to offer work in a regulated position, or to procure work in a regulated position for an individual who is disqualified from working with children, or fail to remove such an individual from such work.

4.4 Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

See also Section 4.5, Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service

The level of disclosure requested, i.e. Standard or Enhanced, should reflect the nature of the duties of the post and degree of contact with children or young people or with sensitive, confidential information. For partner agencies of WSCB it is recommended that Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks should be undertaken on staff and volunteers, unless there are specific reasons that this is not necessary for the specific post. A record should be kept of the date when the disclosure was obtained, by whom, level of disclosure and unique reference number. Disclosure and Barring Service checks should be:

  • Treated as confidential;
  • Kept secure;
  • Destroyed as soon as no longer required (not normally longer than 6 months after decision to appoint; however, note that it may be necessary to retain them for longer for inspection regimes).

CRIMINAL RECORD

Employers must make a judgement about suitability, taking into account only those offences which may be relevant to the post in question. In deciding the relevance the following should be considered:

  • The nature of the appointment;
  • The nature of the offence;
  • The age at which the offence took place;
  • The frequency of the offence.

Anyone who is barred from work with children is committing an offence if they apply for, offer to do, accept or do any work constituting Regulated Activity. It is also an offence for an employer knowingly to offer work in a regulated position, or to procure work in a regulated position for an individual who is disqualified from working with children, or fail to remove such an individual from such work.

4.5 Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service

With effect from 17 June 2013, an optional online Update Service is operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), designed to reduce the number of DBS checks requested.

Instead of a new criminal records/Barred Lists check being necessary whenever an individual applies for a new paid or voluntary role working with children/Adults at Risk, individuals can opt to subscribe to the online Update Service. This will allow them to keep their criminal record certificate up to date, so that they can take it with them from role to role, within the same workforce.

Employers do not need to register, but can carry out free, instant, online status checks of a registered individual’s status. A new DBS check will only be necessary if the status check indicates a change in the individual’s status (because new information has been added).

4.6 Checks on Overseas Staff

The same checks should be made on overseas staff as for all other staff, (although it is not possible to conduct overseas Disclosure and Barring Service checks). A 'Certificate of Good Conduct' or equivalent should be obtained.

Where an applicant has worked or been resident overseas in the previous 5 years, the employer should obtain a check of the applicant's criminal record from the relevant authority in that country and seek additional information about an applicant's conduct. Not all countries provide this service and advice can be sought from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Applicants from non European Economic Area countries would be referred to Jersey Customs and Immigration Service to ensure they are able to work in Jersey.

4.7 Employment Agency Staff

Where staff are recruited through an agency, written confirmation should be obtained that the appropriate checks have been undertaken. Similarly, safe recruitment practices need to be observed with sessional staff. 

4.8 Staff Records

In relation to each member of staff appointed a record should be kept to show:

  • Written references obtained and confirmed by telephone;
  • Gaps in employment history checked;
  • A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service /Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate obtained, with unique reference number and date;
  • Reasons/decision to appoint despite criminal convictions (i.e. a Risk Assessment);
  • Evidence of proof of identity (this will have been provided for the Disclosure and Barring Service check);
  • Evidence of qualifications;
  • Details of registration with appropriate professional body;
  • Confirmation of right to work in Jersey;
  • Record of interview questions and answers.

Records should be signed and dated by appointing manager/chair of the interview panel.


5. Post Appointment Induction

There should be an induction programme for all staff and volunteers. The purpose of the induction is to:

  • Provide training and information about the organisation’s safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures. This training should be at a level appropriate to the member of staff role and responsibilities with regard to children;
  • Support individuals in a way that is appropriate for their role;
  • Confirm the conduct expected of staff;
  • Provide opportunities for a new member of staff or volunteer to discuss any issues or concerns about their role or responsibilities;
  • Enable the line manager or mentor to recognise any concerns or issues about the person’s ability or suitability at the outset and address them immediately;
  • Ensure that the person receives written statements of:
    • Policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding;
    • The identity and responsibilities of staff with designated safeguarding responsibilities;
    • Safe practice and the standards of conduct and behaviour expected;
    • Other relevant personnel procedures e.g. Whistleblowing, disciplinary procedures. 


6. Maintaining a Safer Culture

6.1 Maintaining an ethos of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children/young people/Adults at Risk can be achieved by:
  • A clear written statement of the standards of behaviour and the boundaries of appropriate behaviour expected of staff and volunteers;
  • Appropriate induction and safeguarding training;
  • Regular briefing and discussion of relevant issues;
  • Effective supervision and staff appraisal processes;
  • Clear reporting system is a user, member of staff or other person has concerns about the safety of children.

6.2 Monitoring

Monitoring of both the recruitment process and induction arrangements will allow for future recruitment practices to be better informed. It should cover:

  • Staff turnover and reasons for leaving;
  • Exit interviews;
  • Attendance of new personnel at safeguarding training.

6.3 Supervision and Staff Review and Development

Annual staff reviews are important elements in ensuring safe practice. They should:

  • Ensure staff are up to date with current safe practices;
  • Identify areas for development;
  • Openly address any concerns about behaviour and attitudes;
  • Put in place action plan and arrangements for review.

6.4 Disclosure and Barring Service Re-checking

See also Section 4.5, Disclosure and Barring Service Update Service

Further Disclosure and Barring Service checks on staff should always be considered when:

  • There has been a break from employment of 3 months or more;
  • There are grounds for concern about the person's suitability to work with children (note that the employee can decline).

And in addition when:

  • A staff member, who has not previously had a Disclosure and Barring Service check, applies for and is successful in obtaining a post which requires a Disclosure and Barring Service check within the same organisation;
  • A member of staff transfers to a multi-agency team, e.g. Youth Offending Service (YOS), e.g. secondments of employees from different employers such as Police, Probation or Health. If the seconded employee is undertaking Regulated Activity under the Vetting and Barring Scheme or is in an exempt post and is not a direct employee of YOS, then a Disclosure and Barring Service check should be undertaken before the person commences work.


7. Whistleblowing

A mechanism should be established for confidential reporting or Whistleblowing of any behaviour towards children or young people which is abusive, inappropriate or unprofessional. This includes:

  • Conduct which is a breach of the law;
  • Conduct which compromises health and safety;
  • Conduct which falls below established standards of practice with children and young people.

This mechanism should:

  • Discourage anonymous reporting;
  • Provide for the reporter identity to be revealed only with consent;
  • Provide support for the reporter, e.g. in giving evidence.


8. Training

  • All those involved in recruitment and selection of staff, including key managers and HR professionals, should have regular comprehensive safe recruitment and selection training, and appropriate updates,
    e.g. National College of School Leadership;
  • Each interview panel should include a person suitably trained;
  • SPB should monitor the take up of training to ensure that all organisations have appropriately trained staff involved in their recruitment processes.


9. Definitions

9.1 Children:

Refers to any child under the age of 18 years.

9.2 Staff or Volunteers:

Refers to any adult who is employed, commissioned or contacted to work with or on behalf of children, in either a paid or unpaid capacity.


Further Information

Jersey Vetting Bureau Policies and Procedures

States of Jersey Recruitment and Selection Policy (October 2012)

Safe Recruitment Policy: Work with Vulnerable People including Children

Equality Act 2010

Keeping children safe in education

Disclosure and Barring Service website

Statutory guidance: Regulated Activity (children) - supervision of activity with children which is regulated activity when unsupervised.

Care Quality Commission – Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

Raising Concerns at Work – Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and Employers in Health and Social Care

Amendments to this Chapter

In June 2015, Section 2.9, References was updated to reflect, Right to work in Jersey -In the case of non European Economic Area nationals checks need to be made with the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service to ensure the candidate has permission to work in Jersey. Section 4.6, Checks on Overseas Staff was updated to reflect Applicants from non European Economic Area countries would be referred to Jersey Customs and Immigration Service to ensure they are able to work in Jersey. A link to Raising Concerns at Work – Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and Employers in Health and Social Care was added to the Further Information section.

End.