“Safe recruitment” is the term that is used to cover all of the activity related to the appointment of staff or volunteers who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults. It is essential that church leaders have a good understanding of the requirements and the pitfalls in this area of safeguarding. Although not a legal requirement, we would strongly recommend that at least one church leader has been trained in safe recruitment practice. This does not need to be church-specific; someone who has undergone the training in their professional life will not require further training.
Safe recruitment includes the DBS checking of staff who are employed or who volunteer in eligible roles, however the DBS check is only one feature of a safe recruitment system. It is important that churches understand that it is no longer regarded as sufficient to simply run a DBS check prior to appointment. For churches who do not have someone who is trained in safe recruitment, we do provide this training; please see our “Standard training” page under the “Our services” menu item.
The aim of safe recruitment is to ensure that staff and volunteers who have access to vulnerable people are checked for suitability for the role.
A safe recruitment system should include the following:
- A policy that covers appointment and retention of staff and volunteers
- Role / job descriptions and person specifications
- An application process
- An interview process
- Background checking (DBS Checks)
- A single Central Record that covers all staff and volunteers
- Ongoing supervision
- Record of training and awareness raising activity
It is important to understand that background checking of staff and volunteers is required for all eligible roles, but also that it is illegal to run a DBS check on someone whose role is not eligible. Safe recruitment is therefore one of the more complex, but equally, more important aspects of safeguarding.