A requirement

Safe imageOperating a safer recruitment policy sends a powerful message to parents, children and visitors, as well as those intent on causing harm, that safeguarding children and adults is taken seriously by the URC.

Churches that are registered charities fall under the regulatory control of the Charity Commission. The Commission requires that charities prevent harm to the beneficiaries of the charity ‘through sound recruitment and safe programming’ and that ‘the recruitment methods of staff, volunteers and trustees should be sufficiently robust and appropriately reviewed’. Likewise, in the case of churches that are not registered as charities, assessing the suitability of staff, volunteers and Elders aligns with the care and responsibility to ensure the welfare of all in the local congregation. Find out more

What is Safer Recruitment?

Safer recruitment is a framework which uses a range of measures designed to both deter and prevent unsuitable individuals from working (either paid or unpaid) with children and/or adults at risk. Mistakenly, some believe that carrying out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is all that is needed when recruiting staff and volunteers. It can be tempting for churches to take shortcuts when people are willing to help, are a familiar face or there are gaps in the rotas. However, it is important to be aware that a DBS check is only one part (albeit an essential one) of a safer recruitment process that helps to prevent unsuitable or dangerous individuals gaining access to children, young people and adults at risk.

The safer recruitment process includes:

  • providing a job description and a person specification 
  • completing an application form 
  • completing a self-declaration of criminal history 
  • a face-to-face interview 
  • checking references 
  • completing a DBS check
  • induction in role
  • training for the role 
  • a trial period.

For further information see Section 6 of Good Practice 5, Appendix K - Guidance on safer recruitment and criminal record checks.

Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS)

Criminal record checks are just one part of an effective recruitment process. They reveal any information held on central police databases, such as cautions and convictions, and any mention on government lists that bar an individual from working with children or adults at risk. Although each nation in the UK uses a different scheme, they are all aligned and recognise each other’s decisions. An applicant who is barred from working with children in one nation is barred across the UK.

Individuals and the self-employed cannot apply for a standard or enhanced check from the DBS directly. Due Diligence Checking Ltd has been contracted to provide criminal records checking services for all relevant paid and voluntary roles and positions within the URC.

Appendix K outlines the criteria for levels of DBS checks (coming soon).

DDC DBS handout for applicants