Anyone undertaking a role that involves contact with or responsibility for children (or other vulnerable groups such as adults at risks) should be taken through a safer recruitment process.
Across the UK, statutory guidance highlights the responsibility of those in the education, community and care sectors to have policies and procedures in place that ensure they only employ suitable people to work or volunteer with children.
In England, the statutory guidance is Working together to safeguard children (PDF) (Department for Education, 2018). This highlights the responsibility of all organisations working with children to have safe recruitment practices in place.
Sport relies on thousands of well-motivated staff and volunteers without whom most clubs, activities and events would not exist. It is essential that your sports club or activity has effective recruitment and selection procedures. This will help to create a safe workforce for both paid staff and volunteers, as well as helping to screen out and discourage those who are not suitable from joining your club or organisation.
In some instances, you may feel that it is not practical to include all these steps in a recruitment process, but you are strongly recommended to build in as many elements as you can.
Many national governing bodies, active partnerships, local authorities and other organisations have clear recruitment requirements that you may need to comply with. They can also offer guidance and practical support.
What are the benefits?
Here are some of the benefits of having recruitment and selection procedures in place in your club or activity:
- staff and volunteers will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities
- parents are assured that measures are taken to recruit only suitable people to work with children and young people
- there is a reduced risk to your organisation's reputation
Key things to consider
The same procedures should be adopted whether staff are paid or unpaid, full or part-time and that the individual has the right skills, knowledge and attitude for the role you are looking to recruit to.
Its important to ensure your organisation is doing all that it can to recruit the most suitable person for a role and one that will best suit your setting. Gaps in employment history, or any previous concerns raised within references about the applicant's conduct, will affect the applicants suitability to work with children and young people.