Safer Recruitment Policy

Definitions

  • Fresh Start Management Services Ltd will be referred to as ‘the Company’ throughout this policy
  • The term ‘staff’ refers to the Company’s employees
  • The term ‘work-seeker’ refers to any person receiving a work finding service from the Company
  • The term ‘Registration’ refers to any written submission of personal information by a work- seeker for the Company’s consideration in providing a work finding service
  • The term ‘Client’ refers to any company, school, organisation or body that commissions the Company to provide a recruitment service.

Introduction

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:

  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Complaints Policy and Procedure.

Criteria for Selection

The criteria for selection are based on the specific or generic requirements laid out by the Client, in a Job Description and Person Specification. A work-seeker’s suitability, knowledge, skills, attitude, mental and physical ability are measured against the requirements provided by the Client. A job description and person specification are made available to a work-seeker following their initial enquiry, should the information they provide lead us to consider that they may be suitable for one or more available positions.

Staff are trained in Safer Recruitment and are conversant with all aspects of the Company’s recruitment procedures, including their role and responsibilities within the recruitment process.

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 5 years. For staff, data records are kept for up to 75 years from the date of termination of contract.

Confidentiality

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.

Disclosure and Barring Service Checks

The Police Act 1997 provides a statutory basis for certain criminal record disclosures, which may be used by an employer 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 in accordance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. If the work-seeker is unsuitable or unwilling to meet this registration may be refused.

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.

Requesting References

The Company requests reference details and or information from 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. Obtaining References.

Defining a Vacancy

Identify Recruitment Requirements

The Company will work directly with the Client’s designated member of staff responsible for the vacancy(ies) in question, ensuring that the Job Description and Person Specification provided accurately reflect the role, and adhere to Regulation 18 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. The Company requests the Client to complete a ‘Teacher Request Form’. See Appendix 2.

Identifying Specific Requirements and Areas of Risk

The Company requires 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. This information is obtained from the Client within the ‘Teacher Request Form’. See Appendix 2.

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.

Job Description and Person Specification

The Client is required to provide a Job Description and Person Specification. These will state the essential and desirable criteria for selection based on a set of competencies, identified as necessary for the requirements of the job.

Processing Enquiries From Work-Seekers

Initial Enquiry and Registration

Work-seekers are required to register with the Company online and provide their CV as well as additional information; for example, education background, employment history, allegations or criminal convictions, and specific skills and expertise.

Once a work-seeker has registered, an application pack is sent to them containing a Job Description and Person Specification for a specific role, and the Company’s Safer Recruitment and Selection Policy. If a Client requires any of their own policies, information or application form to be made available to the work-seeker at this time, these will also be included.

If a Client’s application form has also been completed at the time of Registration, it is processed by the Company using the ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria from the Job Description and Person Specification, specific to the role. This is to ascertain the work-seeker’s suitability as a candidate for the role applied for.

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.

Security Check

Where the work-seeker meets the general criteria, they will be subject to a telephone Security Check. This check is to:

  • Confirm their name and personal details
  • Confirm they have the right to remain and work in the UK
  • Confirm they have read and understood the job description and any other information sent to them
  • To give them the opportunity to disclose any criminal convictions (spent or unspent) and any allegations that may have been made against them.

If the work-seeker is deemed unsuitable for the role at this point, their application will be closed, and are notified by email. The work-seeker’s information will be deleted, according to the Company’s Data Protection Policy.

If the Company is satisfied with the information provided by the work-seeker at this stage, a ‘Candidate Agreement’ will be sent to the work-seeker, requesting permission to provide a Work- Finding Service and to introduce them to a Client.

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.

Online Assessment

The online assessment consists of 4 sections:

  • Numeracy
  • Literacy
  • Safeguarding
  • Assessment of Potential Risk.

The purpose behind implementing the 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 and look at how they might respond in various situations.

Interviews

The interview process is conducted in two stages and is carried out by two or more Safer Recruitment trained members of staff.

The first stage of the process is the ‘Telephone Interview’. The second stage is the ‘Face to Face Interview’, which is always held in person with the work-seeker. Detailed notes are taken at both stages and may be reviewed by the Recruitment Manager for quality assurance. A recommendation, based on suitability for the post, is then made, based upon the information gained at both interview stages.

During the Face to Face Interview, ID, Right to Work and proof of address checks are made by verifying suitable valid documents. The work-seeker is also required to provide their DBS certificate, qualifications and training certificates, and any other necessary authorisations and documents.

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 or verbal references, UNLESS THEY CAN BE CONFIRMED IN WRITING OR BY EMAIL.

Referencing Staff

The Company requests references on all prospective internal staff once on 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.

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 for inclusion in decision making and safeguarding, if required.

All references are requested through a secure online platform which is fully integrated with the Company’s Online Management Information System. References are not automatically requested but sent manually by the Company at the appropriate time.

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 may not be considered.

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.

References are verified by telephone, in a random pattern for quality assurance, to confirm the identity of the referee.

Disclosure And Barring Service Checks

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.

Blemished DBS

If the work-seeker’s DBS has criminal convictions or cautions declared, (blemished DBS), 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.

Making a Referral to the DBS

It is the Company’s obligation to inform the DBS about a work-seeker who has either harmed or has been placed at risk of harming a child or vulnerable adult. If the Company decides to withdraw its service from the work-seeker where it may believe that the person 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.

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.

Work-seekers Who Have Worked Outside The UK

Qualification Checks

If a work-seeker applies for a position and has unrecognised teaching qualification(s), for such qualification(s) 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) may not be accepted.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

APPENDIX 1

General Principles

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.

Handling

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.

Usage

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.

Retention

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.

Disposal

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:

  • Date of issue of a certificate
  • Name of the subject
  • Type of certificate requested
  • Position for which the certificate was requested
  • Unique reference number of the certificate
  • Details of the recruitment decision taken.

APPENDIX 2

Teacher Request Form

Name and contact information of Client:
Type of Contract:
Start Date:
Location where teaching will take place (including post code):
Required Notice:
Job Title:
Number of Vacancies:
Required training / experience / authorisations and necessary qualifications:
Required Hours:
Pay / Benefits and remuneration details:
Health and Safety / Risk Assessments
Additional Information: