National Safeguarding Unit (NSU) - Safe Activities For Everyone

Safer recruitment practices for people working with children 

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Finding and recruiting the right people to work with children can be difficult. We’ve created a safer recruitment checklist to help make sure that you recruit appropriate candidates as employees or volunteers.

The Safe Network checklist for safer recruitment

  • Write a clear job description (what tasks the applicant will do) and a role profile (what skills the person will be expected to have).
  • Use application forms to assess the candidate’s suitability for the role. This makes it easier to compare the experience of candidates and helps you to get all of the important information you need to ask.
  • Make it clear that your organisation has a commitment to safeguarding and protecting children. You could include this in a job application pack.  See how our notes on policies and procedures How to write a child protection policy statement
  • Have a face-to-face interview with pre-planned and clear questions.
  • Include a question about whether they have any criminal convictions, cautions, other legal restrictions or pending cases that might affect their suitability to work with children.  
  • Check the candidate’s identity by asking them to bring photographic ID.
  • Check the candidate actually holds any relevant qualifications they say they have.
  • Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check  
  • Take up references. Ask specifically about an individual’s suitability to work with children.
  • Provide a copy of your organisation’s safeguarding procedures and employee/volunteer code of behaviour (i.e. what is and is not acceptable behaviour in relation to children).

Next Steps 

Baby smilingSafer recruitment toolbox
Standards toolbox which includes useful templates, sample documents and guidance.

DBS checks
Find out more about the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking process.

More from the web

A course that highlights best practice when recruiting new members of staff.
Safer recruitment and selection

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Recruitment of people working with children and vulnerable adults

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