Safer Recruitment and DBS

The Methodist and Anglican Churches have developed an integrated approach to safer recruitment and the new guidance needs to be in place in all areas of our Methodist church family.  Safer recruitment guidelines need to be implemented locally for the recruitment of all paid staff and all volunteers in the churches.

A Joint Policy Statement on Safer Recruitment has been agreed between the Methodist Church and the Church of England:

The Church of England and Methodist Church are committeed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults, and the care and nurture of children within our church communities.  We will carefully select, train and support all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles.  This means that we will:

 
  • Ensure that our recruitment and selection processes are inclusive, fair, consistent and transparent.
     
  • Take all reasonable steps to prevent those who might harm children or adults from taking up, in our churches, positions of respect, responsibility or authority where they are trusted by others.
     
  • Adhere to safer recruitment legislation, guidance and standards, responding positively to changing understanding of good safer recruitment practice.
     
  • Produce and disseminate practice guidance on safer recruitment for both churches, ensuring that such practice guidance is compatible, and keep it updated.
     
  • Always seek advice from human resources personnel to achieve best possible practice.
     
  • Ensure training on safer recruitment practice guidance.
     
  • Introduce systems for monitoring adherence to the churches' safer recruitment practice guidance and review them regularly.
     
We will carefully select, support and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures.  All posts, paid or volunteer, need to adhere to these practice guidelines.  The DBS certificate is a part of this new safer recruitment process and should not be seen as a stand-alone check but as one of the recruitment checks on taking on people into roles in the churches.  One of the implications of the new arrangements is the proposed enhanced role for the church safeguarding officer.  The DBS certificates are returned only to the applicant and not to the verifier.
 
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) via Churches Agency for Safeguarding will cease shortly as the contract with Methodist Church House is coming to an end and CAS is closing down.  DDC (Due Diligence Checking Ltd) is the new Registered Body that will be processing all DBS/PVG applications from the Methodist Church from 30 October.  All DBS applications will be done electronically.  PVG applications will still be paper based.

There are two checks made through DBS – criminal record checks (for all those eligible) and barred status check (for those in regulated activity).  All ministers are deemed to be doing regulated activity and so both checks are necessary.  The checks are required every 5 years or earlier where safeguarding concerns arise.  Checks are required for all presbyters and deacons, including supernumeraries, irrespective of whether they are in active work.

The DBS checks will be done electronically - contact the District Office for further information.  (Ministers need to be checked for 'Child and Adult workforce' and regulated activity with both children and vulnerable adults.)  Please inform the District Office of the date of the renewed clearance as soon as it comes through.

 
Guidance notes for both applicants and verifiers can be found at www.churchsafe.org.uk/resources.
 
Alongside the DBS check, the Confidential Declaration Form X should also be used for each individual who is volunteering in our churches with children, young people, or those who are vulnerable or at risk.  Likewise, Form A, Parts 1 & 2, should also be used for all volunteers working with children, young people, or vulnerable adults (adults at risk).

Whilst those postholders that previously required a CRB in Methodism can still obtain a new DBS, there is still a requirement under The Freedom of Information Act, and reinforced by our guidelines, that Safer Recruitment procedures will have been followed for the appointment of both paid staff and all volunteers.  Further information can be found at
www.methodist.org.uk/downloads/safe-update-5-1110-recruiting-safely-policy.pdf.
 
DBS eligibility guidance can be found at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/dbs-checking-service-guidance/eligibility-guidance?view=Binary.
 

 

Sarah Sutherland, 22/01/2014