Safer Recruitment Policy Statement
Fresh Start Management Services Ltd are committed to safeguarding and recognise that safe recruitment is the first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all students.
As a provider that works nationally, we align our policies and procedures in accordance with national policy and Local Safeguarding Children Boards Guidance. Our commitment to safeguarding runs through our whole recruitment process and is evident at all stages of the process in accordance with national guidelines.
This policy is reviewed annually or more frequently if there are relevant changes in legislation in the interim period.
All Fresh Start Management Services staff are required to read this policy.
To be agreed and adopted by the Managing Director.
The following definitions will be used throughout the policy:
The Company’s process for the recruitment and selection of staff for clients is designed to be systematic and effective, ensuring all individual processes are carried out in accordance with the Department for Education – Keeping Children Safe and Safer Recruitment Statutory guidance. Safeguarding underpins all that the Company does.
No work-seeker or member of staff will receive less favourable treatment because of race, sex, religion or belief, disability, marital or civil partnership status, age, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, or caring responsibilities, nor will they be disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be justified.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:
2. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
The criteria for selection are based on the specific or generic requirements laid out by the Client. This can be either in the form of a Staff Request Form, a telephone conversation or meeting and is evidenced in a job description and person specification provided by the Client. A work-seeker’s suitability, knowledge, skills, attitude, mental and physical ability are measured against these criteria.
2.1 Record Keeping and Management
The Company keeps a record of the recruitment and selection process. All information is treated in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.
Data may be stored electronically and, or as written records. Records of unsuccessful work-seekers are kept for no more than 2 years. For staff, data records are kept for up to 85 years from the date of termination of contract. Records of applicants who are not called for interview are kept for no longer than the needs of the business dictate.
Throughout the recruitment process the Company will ensure that confidentiality is maintained, however, this does not preclude disclosure of information where necessary as required by law, or as permitted under the Data Protection Act 2018.
2.3 Disclosure and Barring Service Checks
The Police Act 1997 provides a statutory basis for certain criminal record disclosures, which may be used by employers depending on the nature of a role. If the nature of the work carried out by the Client requires a work-seeker to provide a current Disclosure Barring Service certificate (DBS), then this will be requested by the Company along with a full disclosure of any spent or unspent convictions in accordance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. Failure to meet these requirements will result in immediate termination of an application.
2.4 Permission to Work in the United Kingdom
The Company will ensure that any foreign national has the Right to Work in the UK and can provide proof of this. The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 makes it a criminal offence for an employer to contract those who do not have permission to live or to work in the United Kingdom. For further information, visit the Home Office website at www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk. See Section 7. Work Seekers who have Worked Outside the UK for more information.
2.5 Requesting References
The Company requests references on all work-seekers who have agreed to the Company providing a work-finding service. References will be requested at any stage of the recruitment process depending on the Client’s specific requirements.
If the work-seeker is applying for a position to work with children, young people or vulnerable adults, then strict guidelines are adhered to, to ensure that Safeguarding protocols are followed. For further information, please see ‘Section 5’.
3. DEFINING A VACANCY
3.1 Identify Recruitment Requirements
The Company will work directly with the Client’s designated member of staff responsible for the vacancy(ies) in question. The Client is required to provide a Job Description and Person Specification which will state the essential and desirable criteria for selection based on a set of competencies, identified as necessary for the requirements of the job adhering to Regulation 18 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.
3.2 Identifying Specific Requirements and Areas of Risk
Once the Client has provided the Company with a completed ‘Staff Request Form’ (see ‘Appendix 2’) the Company will also require the Client to provide any relevant information on areas and levels of potential risk posed to a work-seeker, including what steps they have taken to reduce and or prevent such risks from occurring. The areas and probability of risk, along with the steps the Client has taken to prevent and or reduce such risks from occurring, are discussed between with the work-seeker and the Company, as part of the selection process.
4. PROCESSING ENQUIRIES FROM WORK-SEEKERS
4.1 Initial Enquiry and Registration
Work-seekers are required to register with the Company via the Company’s online registration form and provide their CV as well as additional information; for example, education background, employment history, allegations or criminal convictions, and specific skills and expertise.
A work-seeker is also required, at this time, to agree to the Company’s terms giving permission to the Company to provide a work-finding service and to introduce the work-seeker to a Client.
A Job Description and Person Specification is made available to the work-seeker upon registering, as well as the Company’s Safer Recruitment, Data Protection and Equal Opportunities Policies.
A work-seeker’s registration is then processed using the Client’s ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria from the Job Description and Person Specification, specific to the role. This is to ascertain the work-seeker’s suitability for the role applied. If the work-seeker is unsuitable as a candidate, they are notified by email and their application for the position closed. The work-seeker may then be asked if they wish to remain on the Company’s Register of Work-Seeker’s, and if they decline then their information will be deleted, according to the Company’s Data Protection Policy.
4.2 Security Check
Where the work-seeker meets the general criteria, they will be subject to a telephone Security Check. This check is to:
If the work-seeker is deemed unsuitable for the role at this point, their application will be closed, and notified by email. The work-seeker may then be asked if they wish to remain on the Company’s Register of Work-Seeker’s, and if they decline then their information will be deleted, according to the Company’s Data Protection Policy.
5. SELECTION PROCESS
The Selection Process enables the Company to identify the strengths and specialisms of the work-seeker as well as their limitations. The Selection Process consists of an online assessment, a prohibition from teaching check, telephone interview and face-to-face interview.
5.1 Online Assessment
The purpose behind implementing the Online Assessment is to assess the work-seeker’s comprehension, writing skills and ability to report information. It is also used to check their understanding of Safeguarding, engagement and de-escalation strategies.
The interview process is conducted in various stages and across different platforms including, but not limited to, telephone, online video and in person; whilst always being carried out by Safer Recruitment trained members of staff. Detailed notes are taken at all stages of the interview process, including audio and video recordings of telephone and online interviews, and are reviewed by a panel of two or more Recruitment Consultants for quality assurance. A recommendation, based on suitability for the post, is then made, based upon the information gained at all interview stages.
5.3 Background Checks
If a work-seeker is considered successful, at each interview stage they will be required to complete online background checks which include a DBS self-declaration form, medical questionnaire, employment and character references, education and employment history including any gaps, address history and time spent living or working abroad. The background checks include the work-seeker uploading ID, Right to Work and proof of address documents as well as DBS certificates, qualifications and training certificates, and any other necessary authorisations and documents that the company may require.
6. OBTAINING REFERENCES
The Company considers referencing a vital part of its recruitment process and reflects its commitment to upholding the standards of the Conduct Regulations as well as adhering to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) Code of Professional Practice. It is the Company’s policy not to accept open references.
6.1 Referencing Staff
The Company requests references on all prospective internal staff once an offer of employment has been made. A minimum of two references are required, including a reference from the candidate’s current and or most recent employer.
The Company has the right to withdraw any offer of contract made to a prospective member of staff if information comes to light through a reference which contradicts or calls into question their suitability.
6.2 Referencing Work-Seekers
When requesting references for work-seekers who apply for a position with a Client, these references are taken at the request of the Client to verify the suitability of the work-seeker. Copies of references are forwarded to the Client when requested for inclusion in decision making and safeguarding.
All references are requested through a secure online platform which is fully integrated with the Company’s Online Management Information System. A work-seeker has the opportunity to inform the Company whether or not they give permission for a reference to be requested before being introduced to a Client.
A minimum of two Employment/Professional references are requested for every work-seeker and must include a reference from their recent employer/contractor or agency. If a reference has been requested from an Agency and the Agency does not wish to provide a reference, the Company will approach the relevant place of employment where the candidate held a position.
These references are scrutinised and must correspond with the candidate’s stated employment history. These references include questioning the individual’s suitability for the role they’ve applied for, their professional conduct and verify if there are any safeguarding concerns surrounding the individual. Their references are also required to be verified over the telephone with the referees themselves.
Both professional and character references are requested for each work-seeker and the information received is cross-referenced with their application and any other information obtained to check for any anomalies, contradictions and areas of concern. Work-seekers who are unable to provide suitable references or a reasonable explanation for any anomalies may not be considered.
7. DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE
The Company ensures that every work-seeker applying for a position in a ‘regulated activity’, meets the requirements of the Client by providing a current enhanced DBS certificate with ‘Barred List’ and ‘Child/Adult workforce’. An Update Service Check will be run on every work-seeker who provides a DBS certificate to verify whether any criminal convictions or cautions have been declared since the work-seeker’s DBS certificate was issued.
7.1 Blemished DBS
If the work-seeker’s DBS has criminal convictions or cautions declared, (blemished DBS), regardless if on the update service, then their certificate along with supporting documentation will be risk-assessed. The Client will then inform the Company whether they are willing to consider the work-seeker in the light of the blemishes, by sending a digitally signed copy of the Client’s DBS Risk Assessment. For more information on how the Company handles DBS certificates see ‘Appendix 1’.
7.2 Referring to DBS
It is the Company’s obligation to inform the DBS about a candidate who has either harmed or has been placed at risk of harming a child or vulnerable adult. If the Company believes that the candidate has engaged in Relevant Conduct or the Harm Test is satisfied, the Company will provide the necessary information to the DBS by completing a DBS Referral Form according to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
If a Client notifies the Company that a work-seeker has been removed from carrying out ‘regulated activity’ because the Client believes that the person has engaged in ‘relevant conduct’ or the ‘harm test’ is satisfied, the Company will encourage the Client to provide information to the DBS about the matter by completing a DBS Referral Form.
Regardless of whether the Client has made a referral, it is the Company’s responsibility to do so, according to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
8. WORK-SEEKERS WHO HAVE WORKED OUTSIDE THE UK
8.1 Qualification Checks
If a work-seeker applies for a position and has an overseas teaching qualification, for this qualification to be accepted, the work-seeker must provide evidence qualifications have been checked and verified by NARIC. If the work-seeker cannot provide this evidence, their qualification(s) will not be accepted.
8.2 Overseas Police Checks
Where a work-seeker has worked or lived abroad for six months or more within the last five years, an International Police Certificate or Overseas Criminal Records Check is required. For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants.
If there is no obvious reason why a work-seeker cannot obtain an ‘International Police Certificate’ or ‘Overseas Criminal Records Check’ and does not wish to provide one, the work-seeker’s application may be refused by the Client.
9. QUALIFIED TEACHER CHECKS
When a Client requires a work-seeker to hold ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ or similar, additional checks are put in place to assess the validity of the work-seeker’s qualification and teaching record.
9.1 National College of Teaching and Leadership
All work-seekers who hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or a Teaching References Number (TRN) are submitted to the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and or The Society of Education and Training, for a Prohibition from Teaching check (PTC). This identifies the validity of the work-seeker’s QTS/TRN and details if there are any Alerts (Active Sanctions) on their record.
If, for whatever reason, the work-seeker does not appear on the NCTL register, the Company will contact the work-seeker and inform them, as well as contacting the NCTL and investigating further.
If a there is evidence that a work-seeker has demonstrated unacceptable professional conduct, conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute and or a conviction, at any time, then it is the Company’s responsibility to make a referral of the work-seeker in question to the NCTL.
10. INTRODUCTION TO CLIENT
A work-seeker is introduced to the Client when the Company has been satisfied that the work-seeker has met all the necessary requirements stipulated by the Client. This is done by the Company providing the Client with all relevant and necessary information, including: application form, CV, employment history, qualifications and training certificates, right to work documents, proof of ID and address document, DBS certificate and or evidence of Child Barred List Check, and references. Interview notes, along with any recommendations may also be included.
Once the Client has informed the Company of their decision, the Company will then inform the work-seeker by telephone within 24 hours and send confirmation via email the same day.
10.1 Additional information on Work-seekers.
If the Company, having introduced a work-seeker to a Client, receives or obtains information, which indicates that the work-seeker is or may be unsuitable for the position in which the work-seeker has been employed by the Client, the Company shall inform the Client of that information without delay (the same day, or where that is not reasonably practicable, on the next business day), in accordance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. This applies for a period of 3 months from the date of introduction of a work-seeker by the Company.
Name: Edward Robbins
Position: Operations Director
Date: 29th January 2020
Due for Review by: January 2021
As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to help assess the suitability of applicants for positions of trust, the Company complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice 2015 regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of certificates and certificate information.
The Company also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018 and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of certificate information.
Storage and Access
Certificate information is only stored electronically on the Company’s Online Management Information System, which is strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.
In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, certificate information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. The Company maintains a record of all those to whom certificates, or certificate information has been revealed. It is a criminal offence to pass certificate information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.
Once processed, the certificate will be destroyed, or deleted in the case of electronic copies, in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice.
Certificate information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the work-seekers full consent has been given.
Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, the Company does not keep certificate information for any longer than is necessary. This is generally for a period of no more than 6 months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints.
If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep certificate information for longer than 6 months, the Company will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights of the individual before doing so.
Throughout this time, the usual conditions regarding the safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.
Once the retention period has elapsed, the Company will ensure, that any DBS certificate information is immediately destroyed by secure means; for example, by shredding or, in the case of information that is held electronically, file deletion.
The Company will not keep any photocopy or other image of the certificate, or any copy or representation of the contents of a certificate. However, notwithstanding the above, the Company may keep a record of the: