We are committed to the safeguarding of our learners and believe that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is every employee’s responsibility.
Safer Recruitment Policy is embedded into our recruitment processes, with the aim of ensuring that: following:
- Students are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment
- Statutory responsibilities are adhered to
- Appropriate staff are appointed for the job they do
- Recruited staff and volunteers are the best in their field.
Safer recruitment checks
Safer Recruitment describes in detail the recruitment processes and the checks which are in place to help deter, reject or identify people who are unsuitable to work within our learning environments.
Should your application for employment be successful, your offer of employment will be subject to satisfactory safer recruitment checks. These checks are in line with the Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory legislation and will include:
All new permanent appointments are subject to satisfactory clearance of an Enhanced DBS check before the appointment is confirmed.
Disclosures will only be sought after a candidate has been provided with a provisional offer of employment or where applicable, a voluntary/temporary position.
As part of our recruitment process, you must give us permission to carry out a police check (Disclosure) before you commence your employment with the College and where individuals are registered with the online Update Service with the DBS, give us permission to check your status on line upon offer of employment with the College.
Once a verbal offer of employment our Human Resources team will contact the candidate via email, sending them a link to commence their DBS check via UKCRBs and asking them to make an appointment to bring in their original ID documents, so that they can be verified.
Individuals can join the DBS Update Service for an annual fee of £13.00 at the point an application for a new DBS check is made, enabling future status checks to be carried out to confirm that no new information has been added to the certificate since its issue.
Organisations can then subsequently carry out a free online check. This would identify whether there has been any change to the information recorded, since the initial certificate was issued and advise whether the individual should apply for a new certificate. Individuals will be able to see a full list of those organisations that have carried out a status check on their account.
Where a new employee has indicated that they have signed up to the DBS Update Service we will:
- obtain consent from the applicant to carry out a check (by completing a section of the application form to this effect);
- confirm the certificate matches the individual’s identity; and examine the original certificate to ensure that it is for the appropriate workforce and level of check, e.g. enhanced certificate/enhanced including barred list information.
- record the certificate number and the date the check of the update service was conducted on the Single Central Record.
The update service should not be confused with Portability. Portability refers to the re-use of a Disclosure i.e. a Disclosure obtained for a position in one organisation and later used for a position in another organisation. The Bedford College Group do not currently accept the portability of Disclosures and as such all offers of employment will be subject to completion of a new Disclosure check or a check on an existing certificate checked at the appropriate level registered with the DBS Update Service.
All offers of employment are subject to receipt of satisfactory references (covering a minimum of three years employment history). The first reference will be required from your present or most recent employer and a second from your previous employment (should the length of time since the previous employment be such that the business no longer exists, then a reference should be sought from the employment prior to that).
Candidates should be expected to nominate their current employer as their first referee in order to secure the most recent information about the candidate’s employment history, work performance and suitability for the post that is being recruited to.
There may be certain instances when more than 2 references are required.
Requesting References for School Leavers
For school leavers who are unable to provide an employment reference, their last educational establishment can act as a referee.
Requesting References for Candidates that were previously Self-employed
For candidates that have been self-employed and therefore unable to provide an employment reference, the HR Unit will endeavour to obtain at least one of the following:
- A reference from their last employer (up to 3 years previous)
- If the candidate has worked for a consistent contractor whilst self-employed, a reference from the contractor.
Where applicable we will make checks against relevant barred lists to ensure that candidates are not barred from engaging in employment with children and / or vulnerable adults.
For teaching positions, checks will be made via the DfE Secure Access Portal where we are able to view the individual record of any teacher that we employ or are considering employing, employers are able to:
- View a teacher’s personal details
- View initial teacher training qualifications
- Confirm they’ve been awarded QTS
- Check whether they’ve successfully completed their teacher induction period
- View any additional qualifications, including relevant mandatory qualifications and national professional qualifications
- Identify any prohibition, sanction or restriction that may/will affect their ability to carry out certain activities, or work in particular roles, for example, Secretary of State’s teacher prohibition order
As a safer recruitment check our interest is in whether a potential teacher to whom we are offering employment has been prohibited from teaching.
As with presentation of identity documents for DBS and the Right to Live and Work in the United Kingdom, all new starters are asked to make an appointment with Human Resources, prior to a start date being confirmed. As part of this appointment new starters are asked to bring in original copies/evidence of all qualifications relevant to the position they are being offered. The HR team will check qualifications and clarify any discrepancies.
As outlined by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (“the Act”) an organisation may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have the right to carry out the work in question.
All employers’ have a duty to prevent illegal working in the UK by people who are subject to immigration control. If this is not complied with, they may face a financial penalty (civil penalty of up to a maximum of £20,000 per illegal worker) and in some cases, prosecution.
Organisations can avoid becoming liable for a civil penalty and prosecution by carrying out simple specified document checks on people before employing them, to ensure they are allowed to work in the UK. This check needs to be repeated when someone has temporary permission to be in the UK and to work. Conducting these checks in the prescribed manner will provide a statutory excuse against a civil penalty.
In order to comply with Right to Work in the UK legislation specified document checks are carried out by Human Resources on all prospective employees prior to a start date being confirmed. Follow-up checks are also conducted on people who have time-limited permission to be in the UK and work.
How we check Right to Work Documents:
- Human Resources conducts right to work checks in line with the Employers Guide to Acceptable Right to Work Checks and the Employers Guide to Acceptable Right to Work Documents, they:
- OBTAIN original versions of one or more acceptable documents.
- CHECK the documents validity in the presence of the holder.
- Make and retain a clear COPY and record the date the check was made.
- A list detailing acceptable documents will be attached to email correspondence confirming offers of employment, these should then be provided during the same appointment where you are presenting identity documents for your DBS check and evidence of qualifications relevant to the position to which you are being offered.
Offers of employment are subject to completion of a pre-employment health questionnaire, which is managed by Medigold. Based on the organisations risk assessment and the requirements of offered job role, pre-employment assessments will be carried out on the responses you have provided to the questionnaire by Medigold in compliance with the Equality Act
If you have resided outside the UK for 3 consecutive months or more within the past 5 years you will be required to obtain a criminal record check from the country/countries that you resided in. This is commonly referred to as a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ but has many different names including Certificate of Clearance and Certificate of no Criminal Conviction. Certificates of Good Conduct are required in addition to a DBS check, as whilst a DBS check is a check of a candidate’s criminal record in the UK, this cannot currently assess criminal records held overseas.
The application process for criminal records checks or ‘Certificates of Good Conduct’ varies from country to country. Candidates will have to apply in the country or to the relevant embassy in the UK.
For more information the application process for specific countries can be found here.
Gemma’s self-motivation and desire to reach her goals has seen her go on a tremendous journey in just five short years at Bedford College. Having previously worked in hairdressing and retail, Gemma got a job in Student Data for a year and then moved to Brooks Hair & Beauty as a Centre Administrator. However, she always knew she wanted to work in HR.
“It’s that typical interview question,” says Gemma. “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? For me, it was in HR and I actually managed it in only three!”
Gemma studied for her Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Business Administration and then self-funded her HR Level 3 CIPD while she was still working as a Centre Administrator. When the role for Recruitment Coordinator came up, she went for it, got the job and has now been promoted to HR Advisor.
“I’ve taken opportunities as and when they have come up,” explains Gemma. “I’m planning to study for the Level 5 qualification next year. There is so much to learn in this new role as HR Advisor. “This year has been tough with the Covid pandemic moving everything online. It’s been a real learning curve, but I’m the kind of person that just gets on and does it. We’ve all had to adapt but I do miss the knowledge sharing in the office.” It was not only the in-house admin that had to move online, but also the entire external interview process. It was at this time that Gemma showed true commitment to the recruitment service and excellent customer service throughout. Gemma says she is grateful for all the opportunities the College has given her, but it’s also testament to her for seizing them at every step. “I can’t believe it’s been five years since I started; working here has made me the person I am today and I love building up relationships with colleagues.”