Safeguarding children - safer recruitment course

Why is safer recruitment important?

Experience over many years shows that it is important for organisations that provide services to children to incorporate into their recruitment and selection procedures, measures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children, or who are otherwise unsuited to work with them. Making safeguarding and promotion of the welfare of children an integral part of HR management in organisations that work with children is an essential part of creating safe environments for children.

The need for this was illustrated by the Soham case and the findings and recommendations contained in Sir Michael Bichard's report into that case (2004). The report highlighted flaws and shortcomings in the recruitment process, that allowed Ian Huntley to be employed as a caretaker at Soham Community School. However, the principles are not new. Much the same issues were addressed in Sir Norman Warner's 1992 report Choosing with Care. This examined recruitment and selection in residential children's homes and in a Department of Health programme launched in 1999 called Towards Safer Care which covered similar issues in the context of social care.

The school staffing regulations require governing bodies of schools to ensure that at least one person on any appointment panel has undertaken safer recruitment training and the two courses listed below are recognised by the DfE.

The Safer Recruitment Consortium training course

This face to face training course is based on the original course detail that was developed by the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services (formerly NCSL).

In December 2013, following a series of meetings between the DfE and interested parties, the Safer Recruitment Consortium was created to update the face-to-face and online training materials and create a vehicle to ensure that good quality training continues to be available to schools, colleges and other education services.  Salford Governor Services have retained their accredited trainer status that enables them to deliver this training and the course is delivered by Salford City Council officers from the following teams:

  • Human Resources
  • Managing Allegations Safeguarding Unit
  • Governor Services

The content is based on an understanding of offender behaviour to:

  • identify the key features of staff recruitment that help deter or prevent the appointment of unsuitable people
  • consider policies and practices that minimise opportunities for abuse or ensure its prompt reporting
  • help participants begin to review their own and their organisations policies and practices in recruitment with a view to making them safer

The on-line training course

The on-line course can be accessed via the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) website.  Developed in line with the Department for Education's Keeping children safe in education guidance (2014), this training course follows the safeguarding framework for England.

Working at your own pace, you'll learn about:

  • preparing to recruit
  • selecting the right people
  • assessing the risk
  • how to remain vigilant
  • recognising different types of abuse
  • inappropriate behaviour and unsafe practice
  • how to develop appropriate policies and procedures for your organisation.

Once you've successfully completed this course you can download a personalised certificate of achievement.

Booking a place on the face to face training course

You can apply for the face to face training course in the following ways:

You will receive a confirmation of your booking approximately seven days before the course is due to take place. Please telephone us if you have not received anything within that time.

For further help please telephone the Governor Services Helpline on 0161 778 0265.

This page was last updated on 10 July 2015

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