Safer Recruitment – Guidance for Applicants


The purpose of this summary is describes the minimum requirements of a recruitment process that aims to:

  • attract the best applicants to vacancies;
  • deter prospective applicants who are unsuitable for work with children or young people;
  • identify and reject applicants who are unsuitable for work with children and young people

Statutory Requirements

There are some statutory requirements for the appointment of some staff in Children's Services – notably qualified teachers and social workers.  These requirements change from time-to-time and must be met.

Identification of Recruiters

Children's Services will ensure that all interview panel members have received training in recruitment and selection and are aware of safer recruitment practice.

Inviting Applications

Advertisements for posts – whether in newspapers, journals or on-line – will include the statement:

“This post is subject to an enhanced CRB disclosure.”

Prospective applicants will be supplied, as a minimum, with the following:

  • job description and person specification;
  • Children's Services safer recruitment policy (this document);
  • the selection process for the post;
  • an application form

All applicants must complete the council application form in full. If completed online, shortlisted applicants will be required to sign their form in person at interview.

Shortlisting and References

Shortlisting of applicants will be against the person specification for the post.

References will be taken up as part of the final selection stage , prior to any start date being agreed, so that any discrepancies can be addressed during the selection stage.

References will be sought directly from the referee.  References or testimonials provided by the candidate will not be accepted. References will be sought be in writing from the employing organisation. Referees will be contacted to verify references provided and where necessary, to clarify any anomolies or discrepancies. A detailed written note will be kept of these exchanges.

Note: references will be verified.

Should applicants only be able to provide personal / character referees consideration will be given to other relevant methods.

Where necessary, previous employers who have not been named as referees will be contacted in order to clarify any anomalies or discrepancies.  A detailed written note will be kept of such exchanges.

Referees will always be provided with the job description and person specification for the post, and asked specific questions about:

  • the candidate’s suitability for working with children and young people;
  • any disciplinary warnings, including time-expired warnings, that relate to the safeguarding of children;
  • the candidate’s suitability for the post.

The Selection Process

Selection techniques will be determined by the nature and duties of the vacant post, but all vacancies will require an interview of shortlisted candidates.

Interviews will always be face-to-face. Telephone interviews may be used at the short-listing stage but will not be a substitute for a face-to-face interview (which may be via visual electronic link).

Candidates will always be required:

  • to explain satisfactorily any gaps in employment;
  • to explain satisfactorily any anomalies or discrepancies in the information available to recruiters;
  • to declare any information that is likely to appear on a CRB disclosure;
  • to demonstrate their capacity to safeguard and protect the welfare of children and young people.

Employment Checks

All successful applicants will be required:

  • to provide photographic proof of identity
  • to complete an online CRB disclosure application, with satisfactory identity proofs, and receive satisfactory clearance
  • to provide actual certificates of qualifications
  • to complete a confidential health questionnaire
  • to provide proof of eligibility to live and work in the UK


All staff who are new to the council will receive induction training that will include appropriate safeguarding policies and guidance on safe working practices for their area, arranged through their line manager within the first 2 months.

Regular meetings will be held during the first 3 months of employment between the new employee(s) and the appropriate manager(s).

Note: All new recruits are subject to a probationary period during which performance and suitability to work with children are monitored.