“Safe recruitment” is the term used to cover all of the activity relating to the appointment of your staff or your volunteers who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
It is absolutely essential that church leaders have a good understanding of the requirements and also the pitfalls in this area of recruitment and safeguarding. Although it’s not a legal requirement, we would recommend that at least one church leader has been trained in safe recruitment practice. This does not need to be church-specific training; someone who has undergone the training in their own professional life will suffice.
Safer recruitment also includes the DBS checking of staff who are employed or who volunteer in your church or organisation. However, the DBS check is only one element of a safe recruitment system. It is important that churches understand that it is no longer regarded as sufficient just to simply run a DBS check prior to an appointment. For churches who don’t have anyone who is trained, we can provide this training.
Both staff and volunteers who have access to vulnerable people must be checked for suitability for their roles, safer recruitment is about ensuring just that.
This system should include the following:
- A recruitment policy covering both the appointment and the retention of staff and volunteers
- Written job role descriptions and person specifications
- An application process
- An interview process
- Background checking: your DBS Checks
- A Single Central Record that covers all staff and volunteers
- Ongoing supervision
- Record of training and awareness raising activity
It is so important to understand that the background checking of staff and volunteers is required for all eligible roles. But also, it’s illegal to run a DBS check on someone whose role is not eligible.
This area is one of the more complex, but equally, more important aspects of safeguarding.