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Section 5. Safer Recruitment

A key way of protecting children and adults from harm is to ensure the careful recruitment of those working with them. The House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy states ‘The Church will select and vet all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church’.

The chaplaincy is solely responsible for recruitment of church officers. Further to this, the Chaplaincy Council is responsible for the appointment of those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults, paid or unpaid. Often the responsibility is delegated to the incumbent. At least two individuals (which could include the incumbent) must be responsible for recruitment. All those involved in recruitment must be capable and competent, trained in safer recruitment and able to keep personal matters confidential.

This section is for guidance only and can be adapted to suit the requirements of your chaplaincy; however, the completion of a Confidential Declaration Form (CDF) is a requirement for all appointments and a Safeguarding Check is a requirement for those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.  The suggested Steps to Safer Recruitment are as follows:

Step 1: Job/Role Description

Paid Posts

Construct a clear and accurate Job Description and Person Specification, which sets out what tasks and responsibilities the applicant will undertake, and the skills and experience required.

This will include what level of Safeguarding Check is required.

Unpaid Roles

Construct a clear and accurate Role Description, which sets out what tasks and responsibilities the applicant will undertake, and the skills and experience required.  This Safeguarding Officer Role Description provides a useful template.

This will include what level of Safeguarding Check is required.

Step 2: Advertise

Advertise unpaid roles within chaplaincy notices and paid roles more widely.

Step 3: Application Form

Ask all applicants to complete an Application Form for all paid roles (a Curriculum Vitae may be used for voluntary roles, but an application form is good practice and is recommended).

All applicants must provide the details of two referees.

Step 4: Confidential Declaration Form (CDF)

Ask all applicants to complete a Confidential Declaration Form (CDF).

Step 5: Shortlist

Paid Posts

Shortlist, carefully examining the application forms. Identify any gaps in employment/personal history and ensure those shortlisted have met the requirements of the person specification.

Unpaid Roles

Review any interest from volunteers and assess suitability against requirements.

Step 6: Interview/Discussion

Have a face-to-face interview (or informal discussion if unpaid) with pre-planned and clear questions to assess applicant’s suitability for the role. Seek explanations for gaps in employment/personal history.

It may also be appropriate to ask the individual to complete a test or presentation, if applicable.

For all paid and unpaid roles, check identification and the Confidential Declaration Form (CDF).

Step 7: Appointment Decision

For both paid and unpaid roles, the interviewing panel will decide whom to offer the role to.

Please ensure that the Diocesan Safeguarding Team is advised when a Safeguarding Officer steps down and when a new Safeguarding Officer is appointed.

Step 8: Offer the Role

The offer of a role is provisional until References have been received and, for roles that require work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, a Safeguarding Check has been completed to the satisfaction of the Chaplaincy Council and local Safeguarding Officer.

No role can commence until satisfactory checks have been completed.

Step 9: Checks

Once the applicant has been provisionally offered the role, a Safeguarding Check must be completed for those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. The applicant’s References can now be sought and checked, where relevant.

Further guidance can be found via our online Safeguarding Officer Guidance.

Step 10: Appoint

Once all checks (Safeguarding Checks and References) are satisfactory and support the interview decision, the person can be formally appointed.

It is recommended to add an End Date to unpaid roles. It is suggested that this could be the same date as the Safeguarding Renewal Date. Once this date arrives and the Safeguarding Renewal has been completed, the End Date can be extended.

Step 11: Settling In / Review Period

Have a settling in period and review throughout.

Conduct a review once the End Date has arrived.

Step 12: Induct, Train and Support

Induct new paid and unpaid workers. This should include an explanation of expectations in relation to behaviour (a Code of Conduct). The NSPCC and Barnardo’s websites both give helpful guidance and samples that chaplaincies can use to create their own Code of Conduct.

Ensure supervision/support is in place.

Arrange for appropriate Safeguarding Training (see Section 6).

Churchwardens and Other Elected Officers

The election process for Churchwardens and other elected officers is determined by the ‘Church Representation Rules’ and whilst the roles are defined, there will be no interviews or references.

The suitability of a candidate for the role will be determined by those involved in the election process.

All Churchwardens are the Bishop’s Officers, and as such, the Diocesan Bishop expects Churchwardens to submit a Confidential Declaration Form (CDF), and complete a Safeguarding Check if they are elected. A blemished record could result in them being disqualified from holding the office of Churchwarden.

  First Published   17 October 2019
  Last Updated   17 May 2021
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