SOTA Safer Recruitment Policy
School Of The Arts (SOTA) is committed to safeguarding children (anyone under 18). SOTA complies with National Safer Recruitment Procedures and relevant legislation to ensure a consistent and thorough recruitment process. SOTA conducts Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on applicable positions as part of this process.
The aim of the Safer Recruitment policy is to help deter people who might abuse children or adults at risk from applying for roles where they will have access to those vulnerable groups.
Individuals involved in the recruitment and selection of staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with and complying with the provisions of this policy.
This Policy shall be applied consistently in relation to all staff regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
If a role involves working with children (anyone under 18) or adults at risk, the role requirements will be carefully reviewed to determine if a DBS check is required.
We will advertise for any vacant positions and any adverts and/or job descriptions will refer to any requirements to complete the appropriate DBS check.
All applicants are required to complete a standard application process to ensure they have all the information they need about our organisation, including the advertised role and to ensure we can assess their suitability for the role. This process will provide us with essential information such as employment history (either paid or voluntary), further education background, academic or vocational qualifications.
During the application process applicants are asked to confidentially self-disclose any unspent criminal offences or child protection investigations. If the role requires an enhanced DBS check, we will also ask applicants to disclose any unprotected spent offences. Where the information raises a safeguarding concern, details will be shared with the Safeguarding Team.
We will take reasonable steps to confirm the applicants’ suitability for the role, including; verifying qualifications and professional memberships, assessing skills and relevant experience. All applicants will be asked to provide an explanation for any significant gaps or repeated changes in employment history where no reasons have been provided on their application. We may also ask interview questions which are designed to allow candidates to demonstrate the attitudes and values that people working with children need to have.
Applicants will be asked to provide contact details of people willing to act as a referee during the application process. References are normally sought after a conditional offer of employment or engagement has been made, however there may be occasions when we ask applicants for their consent to contact a referee before an offer of employment or engagement has been made. All conditional offers of employment or engagement are subject to satisfactory completion of all vetting processes including references.
SOTA provides an induction programme for all new staff which includes our safeguarding policies and procedures. As part of the induction process all new staff are required to complete an initial probationary period to ensure that their conduct, performance, behaviours and attendance meet the required standards.
Any individual intending to work in Regulated Activity with children, young people or adults are required to complete an Enhanced DBS check and Barred List check before commencement of employment or engagement and at least every 3 years during their employment or engagement.
Regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do. It is defined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) which has been amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA).
Any individual intending to work in a role which involves work with children or adults at risk but is not defined as Regulated Activity will be required to complete an Enhanced DBS check before commencement of employment or engagement and at least every 3 years during their employment or engagement. SOTA will regularly monitor the specific nature of roles and whether they are defined as Regulated Activity.
All conditional offers of employment or engagement are subject to receipt of a satisfactory DBS check completed through the local authority, and may also include their licensing as a Chaperone by the local authority.
In order to minimise risk, if a role is not defined as Regulated Activity but requires an Enhanced DBS check and this check takes much longer than anticipated, in exceptional circumstances where a delay in employment or engagement may cause significant operational difficulties the [Chair/Manager/Secretary] may authorise an individual to commence their work in a supervised capacity. However this does not apply to roles considered as working in Regulated activity.
If we are not satisfied with the outcome of any of the above checks we may decide to withdraw a conditional offer of employment or engagement. We may also withdraw a conditional offer of employment or engagement if an applicant has failed to co-operate with this process or if the process has not been completed within reasonable timescales.
Staff who begin performing additional duties or a different role that moves them into Regulated Activity will be asked to complete a new Enhanced DBS and Barred List check.
DBS checks revealing content
A DBS check will disclose any spent convictions, cautions or reprimands that are not protected and have been subject to filtering by the DBS. DBS checks may also disclose other relevant information based on the position applied for.
SOTA may receive a notification when a DBS check has revealed content (i.e. an offence); however, SOTA may not know the details of the content.
If SOTA receives a notification that a DBS check has revealed content, the applicant will be asked to provide the original DBS check for review. SOTA will then review the information to decide if any further information or action is required.
If the DBS is not provided to SOTA for review, SOTA may withdraw any conditional offer of employment or engagement and take appropriate steps to prevent the individual from working with children and adults at risk