SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT

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1 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT Guidance in relation to staff working in social care and social work settings Safer Recruitment Group

2 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT Guidance in relation to staff working in social care and social work settings Scottish Executive, Edinburgh 2007

3 Crown copyright 2007 ISBN Scottish Executive St Andrew s House Edinburgh EH1 3DG Produced for the Scottish Executive by RR Donnelley B /07 Published by the Scottish Executive, March, 2007 Further copies are available from Blackwell s Bookshop 53 South Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1YS The text pages of this document are printed on recycled paper and are 100% recyclable

4 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT GUIDANCE IN RELATION TO STAFF WORKING IN SOCIAL CARE AND SOCIAL WORK SETTINGS MINISTERIAL FOREWORD Working with vulnerable people in our society can bring great rewards, both to the service user and to those people providing the service. It also places a great responsibility on employers to ensure that the people providing these vital services are suited to the task. Scottish Ministers have set out the high-level vision for children and young people in Scotland. A key pillar of this is ensuring that children are safe from harm. Ministers are also committed to affording appropriate protection for Scotland s adult population. Through legislation to protect vulnerable groups, the Scottish Executive is already showing its commitment to helping employers ensure that unsuitable staff do not gain access to children or protected adults. The vetting and barring scheme, which the Executive aims to introduce, will be one additional way of supporting effective safer recruitment practice. However, we are clear that safer recruitment should not stop at this. Safer recruitment is also about employers properly examining the competency, experience, qualifications and attitudes of potential staff in relation to work with vulnerable people. It is therefore incumbent upon employers to have a range of safer recruitment and selection practices in place. Experience is showing that this can not only produce benefits in terms of safety but also in terms of the quality of staff. The Scottish Social Services Council Code of Practice for Employers and the National Care Standards set out what is expected of social work and social care employers in terms of safer recruitment. However, we expect that employers will not only work towards these requirements but under the principles of continuous improvement, work over time to raise standards further in relation to those working with the most vulnerable people. This document will help employers, not only to meet existing standards, but to move beyond them over time. Though this document has been designed for the social care and social work sectors in particular, employers in all sectors who take on people to work with vulnerable people should consider their safer recruitment practice and may find this document useful in this process. The Executive will therefore consider how we can support employers across all sectors in this regard. Although safe recruitment can never be an exact science, it is only through a rigorous and consistent use of the kinds of methods set out in this document that we can afford the level of protection which vulnerable people deserve. I would therefore commend it to you. Robert Brown MSP Deputy Minister for Education and Young People iii

5 CONTENTS 2 5 Introduction 6 11 Safer Recruitment Practice Higher Level of Safer Recruitment Practice 26 Other Considerations Annex A: Summary of Safer Recruitment Outcomes and Practices Annex B: Safer Recruitment Group Membership and References 35 Annex C: Flow Chart Summary of Safer Recruitment Through Better Recruitment Guidance This document is also available online at: 1

6 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 01 INTRODUCTION 1. This document is intended to help employers, especially in the social care and social work sectors, to meet existing requirements in relation to the safer recruitment and selection of people who work with service users in these sectors. It also sets out Scottish Ministers expectation that employers will work towards continuous improvement of their safer recruitment practice in relation to those who will work with the most vulnerable people. 2. This guidance was developed by the Safer Recruitment Group (see membership at Annex B) with representation including employers from both the statutory and independent sectors and professionals from social work services and human resources. STATUS Helping to Meet Existing Standards 3. This guidance will help social care and social work employers to meet existing safer recruitment requirements in the Scottish Social Services Council Code of Practice for Employers. It will also allow employers to achieve the outcomes for users set out in the relevant National Care Standards, issued in accordance with the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 and its associated Statutory Instruments. Continuous Improvement in Recruitment of Staff Working With the Most Vulnerable People 4. Scottish Ministers also expect employers to work under the principle of continuous improvement to enhance safer recruitment practice over time in relation to those who will work with the most vulnerable people. This guidance will provide one framework to help employers to achieve this. More detail around this expectation is set out below. Employers should also give consideration to recruitment arrangements in relation to services carried out on their behalf. THE GUIDANCE 5. This guidance contains: > A Foundation Level of safer recruitment practice: which will help employers to meet existing requirements. > A Higher Level of safer recruitment practice: which provides a best practice model to assist employers achieve continuous improvement in their recruitment practice. Though Ministers would encourage employers to make use of as many elements of the Higher Level as possible, or other means which achieve the same outcomes, they are not obliged to do so as a result of this guidance. 2

7 > A list of Safer Recruitment Outcomes: which may be used as guiding principles in designing a recruitment and selection process. The suggested outcomes are as follows: > Legal and regulatory requirements are met > Potential applicants are aware of the employer s commitment to the welfare of vulnerable people > Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post > Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice > Employers are satisfied at each stage of the recruitment and selection process that the best candidate(s) have been selected to progress to the next stage > Employers are satisfied of the candidate s identity, qualifications and registration status 6. However, this document is not a comprehensive guide to recruitment and selection or employment issues. It does not cover all the issues relevant to that subject. Neither is it a substitute for training in those areas, or in interviewing and assessment techniques. Continuous Improvement 7. In relation to the safer recruitment of some of those who will work with the most vulnerable people, Scottish Ministers also expect employers to work under the principle of continuous improvement. The onus is on employers to make an assessment in relation to their own service provision as to which service users constitute the most vulnerable and for which particular staff this expectation should apply: As a general guide, this expectation would apply to the recruitment of some of those working with the most vulnerable people in the following settings or who fall into the following categories (though not excluding other categories or settings): (as defined in the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 and in the National Care Standards): > Adult Placement Services > Care At Home > Care Homes For Children and Young People > Care Homes for Older People > Care Homes for People with Learning Disabilities > Care Homes for People with Mental Health Problems > Care Homes for People with Physical and Sensory Impairment > Housing Support Services 3

8 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT Also: > School Care Accommodation Services > Support Services (as appropriate) (Note: this guidance has not been designed specifically for the early years and childcare sector, though employers in that sector may find it useful) > Local authority social workers and social care staff who work with the most vulnerable people. 8. However, the setting or category of worker providing a service to the most vulnerable people should not be the only consideration. Another key factor should be the type of duties undertaken and level of contact with service users. 4 LINKS TO INSPECTION AND REGULATION Social Work Inspection Agency 9. The Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) takes account of this guidance within the terms of their Performance Inspection Model (PIM). Local authorities are asked to report how recruitment and selection practices ensure that staff are suitable to work with vulnerable people. In relation to the expectations contained in this document, local authorities should provide evidence that: > they have assessed who the most vulnerable groups are in relation to their own service provision; > are working on the basis of continuous improvement in relation to the safer recruitment of staff who work with such service users. They may also wish to comment on how services provided on their behalf have been taken into account in relation to continuous improvement in safer recruitment of staff who work with the most vulnerable groups. 10. The assessment of the authority s position in relation to safer recruitment will also act as a benchmark to assess future progress in relation to continuous improvement. 11. The Social Work Inspection Agency operate within the statutory powers of inspection under the Joint Inspection of Children s Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Act 2006 and the Social Work Inspections (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (S.S.I. 2006/531). Their inspections extend to the majority of social work services provided by a local authority (or another person under arrangements made by a local authority) listed by section 7(2) of that Act. Some of the services they inspect are also inspected by other regulators, such as the Care Commission. When that is the case, SWIA take the other regulator s findings into account and do not duplicate the work. Further information on SWIA is available at:

9 The Care Commission 12. The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (the Care Commission) was established in April 2002 as the new, independent regulator set up under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 to regulate care services in Scotland. 13. Safer recruitment will occasionally be an Inspection Focus Area for the Care Commission during their inspection year. These inspections will take account of requirements set down in the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Code of Practice for Employers and in the relevant National Care Standards. In addition, the Care Commission will always follow up on recommendations/requirements made in the preceding report(s) relating to safer recruitment or where issues have been raised as a result of other regulatory work, e.g. complaints. 14. The Care Commission will not inspect specifically on the implementation of this guidance. This guidance can, however, provide one basis for a provider to demonstrate to the Care Commission how they have delivered the safer recruitment outcomes in the relevant National Care Standards and the requirements of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Code of Practice for Employers. Further information on the Care Commission and the National Care Standards is available at: The SSSC Codes of Practice are available at: PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE GROUPS (SCOTLAND) BILL 15. The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in September 2006 aims to stop people who are unsuitable from gaining access through work to children or protected adults (as defined in the Bill), through the introduction of a new vetting and barring scheme. However, such a scheme is only one part of a rigorous safer recruitment and selection process. This document will help employers to take a holistic approach. 5

10 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 02 SAFER RECRUITMENT PRACTICE 16. The following section sets out the content of the Foundation and Higher Levels. FOUNDATION LEVEL OF SAFER RECRUITMENT PRACTICE 17. The Foundation Level of recruitment practice will help employers to meet requirements contained in existing regulatory and legal frameworks. 18. For social care and social work employers, the most relevant of these will be the: > Scottish Social Services Council Code (SSSC) of Practice for Employers > National Care Standards > Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 (provisions in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill repeal this Act 1 ) > Duties arising from the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill 19. The Scottish Social Services Council Code of Practice for Employers and the National Care Standards are issued in accordance with the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act Both set out the basics of safer recruitment which are focused on ensuring that only suitable people may enter the workforce. This may include (although this is not an exhaustive list): > checking criminal records > checks with previous employers > seeking reliable references > checking relevant registers and indexes, such as the SSSC register 20. The Foundation Level contained in this section sets out some good practice in relation to how employers might apply some of these recruitment and selection practices. This guidance does not oblige employers to follow every detail described in this section, e.g. in relation to requesting and following up references. 21. Employers who provide services which are regulated by the Care Commission should consult the relevant National Care Standards. The Care Commission must take the National Care Standards into account when regulating care services under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act Scottish Ministers also expect employers to work on the basis of continuous improvement in relation to those who will work with the most vulnerable groups. Making use of elements of the Higher Level contained later in this document or other methods which achieve the same outcomes will help employers to achieve this. 6 1 All but ss13 and 16 will be repealed.

11 DISCLOSURE CHECKS 23. Information in relation to a person s criminal record can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland. Further information on how to obtain a Disclosure is available from the Disclosure Scotland website (www.disclosurescotland.co.uk). Scottish Ministers have agreed to pay the fees for volunteers in the voluntary sector working with adults at risk and children. Voluntary organisations wanting to access checks under this arrangement can do so either by paying to register directly with Disclosure Scotland or by enrolling with the Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS) which does not have a cost. More information about this service can be obtained on the Disclosure Scotland website or the CRBS website (www.crbs.org.uk). 24. The Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 allows Scottish Ministers to hold a list of individuals disqualified from working with children. It also introduced offences, including one for organisations offering work in a child care position to a person who is disqualified from working with children. To find out if a person s name is included in the list held by Scottish Ministers or the equivalent lists held elsewhere in the UK, organisations should obtain a Disclosure as described above. Further information on the 2003 Act is available via the Disclosure Scotland website. 25. The present arrangements regarding criminal record checks for people working with children and vulnerable adults are changed by the provisions contained in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill. These provisions include the introduction of a list of people disqualified from working with protected adults, as well as continuing a separate list for those disqualified from working with children. 7

12 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT CHECKS OF APPROPRIATE REGISTERS AND LISTS INCLUDING VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY AND QUALIFICATIONS 26. Social work and social care employers should use established processes to gain enhanced access to the register held by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) rather than just checking the applicant s registration on the SSSC s website. The Statutory Regulations governing the maintenance of the Register limit the information provided on the public website to the names, postal address of workplace and registration number of registered workers. The Regulations allow employers of social service workers enhanced access to the Register. The SSSC is able to provide employers seeking information about applicants for jobs information about the professional qualifications held by the applicant, whether the applicant s registration is subject to any condition and whether the applicant is currently the subject of investigation by the SSSC or in the midst of conduct procedures. Requesting applicants registered with the SSSC to bring their certificate of registration to interview can provide more reassurance as to the identity of the candidate, his/her qualifications and as to whether conditions have been applied to registration (asking about the last point on the application form is also advised). 27. However, in relation to the SSSC Code of Practice for Employers, employers should make whatever checks they consider appropriate to confirm the suitability of a person for employment with them, e.g. in relation to a candidate s identity and qualifications (see paragraphs 65-69). Social workers who have not registered with the SSSC would require particular consideration in this regard and should be expected to apply for registration prior to commencement of employment. Where applicants are newly qualified social workers and have not yet received their certificate of qualification, they should still be required to apply as the SSSC can check and confirm they hold a social work qualification. Other social service workers in posts subject to registration who hold the relevant qualifications for registration should be required to submit their application for registration within their first week of employment. 28. The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill contains provisions for the introduction of a new vetting and barring scheme for the children s and protected adults workforces. Should this Bill become law, it will be an offence for an employer to permit someone who is barred from the relevant workforce to undertake regulated work with children and/or protected adults. They would only be able to establish if someone is not barred by ensuring the relevant person is a scheme member. 8

13 REQUEST AND FOLLOW UP REFERENCES 29. Requesting and properly following up references is one of the most vital safer recruitment tools. As well as providing a valuable source of information on candidates, their histories and performance in previous roles, they can also give an indication of personal qualities and characteristics. A robust approach to these on the part of recruiting organisations is therefore important. 30. The purpose of seeking references is to obtain objective and factual information to support appointment decisions. They should always be sought and obtained directly from the referee. Do not rely on references or testimonials provided by the candidate, or on open references and testimonials, i.e. To Whom It May Concern. There have been instances of candidates forging references, also open references/testimonials might be the result of a compromise agreement and are unlikely to include any adverse comments. 31. Ideally, references should be sought on all short listed candidates, including internal ones, and should be obtained before interview so that any issues of concern they raise can be explored further with the referee, and taken up with the candidate at interview. In some circumstances it might not be possible to obtain references prior to interview, either because of delay on the part of the referee, or because a candidate objects to their current employer being approached at that stage, but that should be the aim. 32. However, if an employer believes that requesting references in advance of interviews will have a significantly detrimental effect on generating a sufficient pool of applicants, alternative arrangements may be considered. 33. In any case where a reference has not been obtained on the preferred candidate before interview, the prospective employer must ensure that it is received and scrutinised, and any concerns are resolved satisfactorily, before the person s appointment is confirmed. 34. All requests for references should seek objective verifiable information as far as possible and not only subjective opinion. The use of reference pro formas can help achieve that. A copy of the job description and person specification for the post for which the person is applying should be included with all requests, and every request should ask: > about the referee s relationship with the candidate, e.g. did they have a working relationship: if so what; how long has the referee known the candidate, and in what capacity: > employers should satisfy themselves that the reference from the current or most recent employer is from an appropriately senior member of the relevant organisation, ie. not a former peer; > organisations should have clear policies about what level of staff can draft and sign off references on behalf of the organisation. 9

14 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT > whether the referee is satisfied that the person has the ability and is suitable to undertake the job in question, and for specific comments about the applicant s suitability for the post, and how s/he has demonstrated that s/he meets the person specification; > whether the referee is completely satisfied that the candidate is suitable to work with vulnerable people, and, if not, for specific details of the referee s concerns and the reasons why the referee believes the person might be unsuitable; > and should remind the referee that: > they have a responsibility to ensure that the reference is accurate, dependable and does not contain any material misstatement or omission; > relevant factual content of the reference may be discussed with the applicant. 35. In addition to the above, requests addressed to a candidate s current employer, or a previous employer in work with vulnerable people, should also seek relevant information including: > confirmation of details of the applicant s current post and recent sick record; > specific verifiable and relevant comments about the applicant s performance history and conduct; > details of any disciplinary procedures the applicant has been subject to in which the disciplinary sanction is current; > details of any disciplinary procedures the applicant has been subject to involving issues related to the safety and welfare of service users, including any in which the disciplinary sanction has expired, and the outcome of those; > details of any allegations or concerns that have been raised about the applicant that relate to the safety and welfare of service users or behaviour towards service users, and the outcome of those concerns e.g. whether the allegations or concern was investigated, the conclusion reached, and how the matter was resolved. 36. On receipt, references should be checked to ensure that all specific questions have been answered satisfactorily. If all questions have not been answered or the reference is vague or unspecific, the referee should be telephoned and asked to provide written answers or amplification as appropriate. The information given should also be compared with the application form to ensure that the information provided about the candidate and his/her previous employment by the referee is consistent with the information provided by the applicant on the form. Any discrepancy in the information should be taken up with the applicant. 10

15 37. Any information about past disciplinary action or allegations should be considered in the circumstances of the individual case. Cases in which an issue was satisfactorily resolved some time ago, or an allegation was determined to be unfounded or did not require formal disciplinary sanctions, and in which no further issues have been raised, are less likely to cause concern than more serious or recent concerns, or issues that were not resolved satisfactorily. A history of repeated concerns or allegations over time may be more likely to give cause for concern. 38. Additional references may be sought if, for example: > there are concerns about a candidate who suggests s/he has found her/himself in the wrong job; > s/he has had difficulties with a former manager; > the candidate gives an unusual or inconsistent reason for leaving a job; > s/he has no recent work record; > an earlier job is particularly relevant to the current application; > one referee is unavailable or refuses to provide a reference 11

16 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 03 HIGHER LEVEL OF SAFER RECRUITMENT PRACTICE 39. If employers wish to be as assured as they can be that they have recruitment and selection procedures in place which will more effectively help to deter, reject and identify people who might abuse vulnerable people or are otherwise unsuitable to work with them, this entails making use of more rigorous techniques. Many people who are unsuitable to work with vulnerable people may not have any criminal conviction and it is therefore incumbent upon employers to do their utmost to stop such people gaining access to vulnerable people. 40. One model which could allow employers to gain this level of reassurance is set out in the Higher Level of safer recruitment practice. This largely reflects the content of the Safer Recruitment Toolkit for staff working in child care, published in It is recognised that not every recruitment and selection practice set out here may be appropriate for every sector or setting, that there may be alternative means to achieve the same ends, or that employing such practices may involve different employers working in collaboration to minimise resource implications. 42. The Higher Level of safer recruitment practice therefore provides one best practice model and will assist employers achieve continuous improvement in their recruitment practice for those working with the most vulnerable groups. Though Ministers would encourage employers to make use of as many elements of the Higher Level as possible, or other means which achieve the same outcomes, they are not obliged to do so as a result of this guidance. 43. Many of the recruitment and selection processes described in this section may be considered as basic techniques which employers can readily apply. Others, such as screening interviews, personal interviews and assessment centres, may require more dedicated time and resources or collaboration with other employers. 12 PLANNING 44. Planning is vital to successful recruitment. It is therefore crucial to give consideration to the three key stages in the process of staff selection: > Clear and precise definition of the role > The generation of a pool of suitably qualified candidates > An objective, standardised and rigorous process 45. It is important to consider each of these stages in advance: from the consideration of the requirements of the job, advertising, planning the administrative and staff requirements of the recruitment process and making sure at each stage that the key aspects of safer recruitment and selection of staff are not overlooked.

17 46. The time and effort spent in this stage of the process should help minimise the risk of making an unsuitable appointment. RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION POLICY STATEMENT 47. Having an explicit written recruitment and selection policy statement and procedures which incorporate an explicit statement about the organisation s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people are clear ways for an organisation to underline their approach to safeguarding their clients welfare. 48. The statement may be included in: > Publicity materials > Recruitment websites > Advertisements > Candidate information packs > Person specifications > Job descriptions > Competency frameworks > Induction training COMPETENCIES 49. In terms of safer recruitment, as well as employers being clear about the requirements of a particular post, it is important that candidates have the ability to assess their own suitability for the job. The development of accurate job descriptions and person specifications is therefore important. This will often be based on the development of specific competencies for the job. 50. In developing competencies, employers may wish to take account of the National Occupational Standards which have been developed in many sectors. In the social work and social care sector, they have been developed by the Scottish Social Services Council and are available on their website. JOB DESCRIPTION 51. The job description should clearly state: > the main duties and responsibilities of the post, including: > the individual s responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of service users s/he is responsible for, or comes into contact with. 13

18 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT PERSON SPECIFICATION 52. A person specification sets out a profile of the job and of the ideal person to fill it. 53. This should: > include the qualifications and experience, registration requirements and any other requirements needed to perform the role in relation to working with service users; > include the competences and qualities that the successful candidate should be able to demonstrate or show the potential to develop; > explain how these requirements will be tested and assessed during the selection process: For example: In addition to candidates ability to perform the duties of the post, the interview may also explore issues relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people including (see section on the personal interview ): > Motivation to work with vulnerable people; > Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with vulnerable people; > Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours; > Attitudes to use of authority and maintaining discipline. Explain that if the applicant is short-listed, any relevant issues arising, for example, from his/her references, if received in advance, will be taken up at interview. APPLICATION FORM 54. As one of the early stages in the relationship between the employer and the new employee, the application form provides an employer with an opportunity to emphasise its commitment to safer care and selection. A focused and full application form can make a strong statement about rigour and commitment to safety and can deter those who know their practice is unsafe and encourage those who wish to work in a high quality organisation. 55. Where organisations make use of corporate application forms, serious consideration should be given to developing job specific application forms for posts where contact with vulnerable people is important. At the very least, the additional information sought in relation to such posts should be sought in an addendum to the corporate form. 14

19 56. Employers should use an application form to obtain a common set of core data from all applicants. It is not good practice to accept curriculum vitae drawn up by applicants in place of an application form because these will only contain the information the applicant wishes to present and may omit relevant details. 57. For applicants for all types of post the form will often obtain: > full identifying details of the applicant including current and former names, current address (details such as date of birth and National Insurance number may be collected at the appointment stage); > a statement of any academic and/or vocational qualifications the applicant has obtained that are relevant to the position for which s/he is applying, with details of the awarding body and date of award; > details of current or former registration with SSSC or any other relevant regulatory body including registration number(s), declaration of any conditions that apply to current registration and/or applied to former registration and if relevant, reason for ceasing to be registered with previous body; > a full history in chronological order since leaving secondary education, including periods of any post-secondary education/training, and part-time and voluntary work as well as full time employment, with start and end dates, explanations for periods not in employment or education/training, and reasons for leaving employment; > a declaration of any family or close relationship to existing employees or employers (including councillors for example); > details of referees. One referee should be the applicant s current or most recent employer, and normally two or three referees should be sufficient. N.B. where an applicant who is not currently working with vulnerable people has done so in the past it is important that a reference is also obtained from the employer by whom the person was most recently employed in work with vulnerable people. > The form should make it clear that references will not be accepted from relatives or from people writing solely in the capacity of friends. > A statement of the personal qualities and experience that the applicant believes are relevant to his/her suitability for the post advertised and how s/he meets the person specification. > It should include, where appropriate, an explanation that the post is excluded or excepted from provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore that questions may be asked about all convictions, including those regarded as spent. 15

20 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 58. And it may require a signed statement that the person: > is not on the Disqualified from Working with Children List established under the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003; > is not on any equivalent list in another UK jurisdiction; > is not subject to sanctions imposed by a regulatory body, e.g. the SSSC; > either has no convictions or cautions, or has attached details of their record in a sealed envelope marked confidential. 59. It should record where appropriate that: > the prospective employer will wish to seek references on shortlisted candidates, and permission is being sought to approach previous employers for information to verify particular experience or qualifications, before interview; > if the applicant is currently working with vulnerable people, on either a paid or voluntary basis, his/her current employer will be asked about disciplinary offences relating to vulnerable people, including any in which the penalty is time expired (that is where a warning could no longer be taken into account in any new disciplinary hearing for example) and whether the applicant has been the subject of any vulnerable person protection concerns, and if so, the outcome of any enquiry or disciplinary procedure. If the applicant is not currently working with vulnerable people but has done so in the past, that previous employer will be asked about those issues; > providing false information could result in the application being rejected, or summary dismissal if the applicant has been selected; > If the applicant is a registered worker then the relevant regulatory body should be informed about the provision of false information; > that personnel records will be checked; > that a screening and/or personal interview will be carried out; > that agreement to a client/service user record check is being sought (see para. 86); > the successful applicant will be required to provide a Disclosure Scotland certificate at the appropriate level for the post. 60. Explanatory notes and/or instructions for completing the form should be included in the candidate s information pack. 16

21 INFORMATION PACK TO CANDIDATES 61. The pack should include a copy of: > the application form and explanatory notes about completing the form; > the job description and person specification; > any relevant information about the employing organisation and the recruitment process; and statements of relevant policies such as the employer s policy about equal opportunities, the recruitment of ex-offenders, etc.; > the employing organisation s Child/Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy Statement; > a statement of the terms and conditions relating to the post; > an explicit statement about the employing organisation s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people. SCRUTINISING AND SHORT LISTING 62. All applications should be scrutinised to ensure that they are fully and properly completed; that the information provided is consistent and does not contain any discrepancies, and to identify any gaps in employment. Incomplete applications should not be accepted and should be returned for completion. Any anomalies or discrepancies or gaps in employment identified by the scrutiny should be noted so that they can be taken up as part of the consideration of whether to short list the applicant. As well as reasons for obvious gaps in employment, the reasons for a history of repeated changes of employment without any clear career or salary progression need to be explored and verified. 63. All candidates should be assessed equally against the criteria contained in the person specification without exception or variation. Ideally, this should be carried out by managers who are members of the interview panel. SCREENING INTERVIEW 64. The purpose of a screening interview is to check the information on the application form. Discrepancies or gaps in employment and the reasons for them are obvious matters to cover. Some employers have found obtaining such information in separate interviews (as opposed to addressing such issues within a panel interview) to be worthwhile and believe that they may act as a deterrent to applicants with something to hide. One point at which they may be carried out is after the short-list has been drawn up and before the panel interview/selection centre begins. 17

22 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT INVITATION TO INTERVIEW 65. In addition to the arrangements for interviews - time and place, directions to the venue, membership of the interview panel (where this is available) - the invitation should remind candidates about how the interview will be conducted and the areas it will explore, including suitability to work with vulnerable people. Enclosing a copy of the person specification can usefully draw attention to the relevant information. 66. The invitation should also stress that the identity of the successful candidate will need to be checked thoroughly to ensure the person is who he or she claims to be. Candidates who have registered with the SSSC will have a certificate of registration which may help to confirm identity, qualifications and any conditions attached to registration (see section on Checking Appropriate Registers ). However, in relation to the SSSC Code of Practice for Employers, employers should make whatever checks they consider appropriate to confirm the suitability of a person for employment with them e.g. in relation to a candidate s identity and qualifications. 67. Consequently, all candidates may be instructed to bring with them documentary evidence of their identity, e.g. either a current driving licence or passport including a photograph, or a full birth certificate, plus a document such as a utility bill or financial statement that shows the candidate s current name and address, and where appropriate change of name documentation. 68. Candidates may also be asked to bring documents confirming any educational and professional qualifications that are necessary or relevant for the post, e.g. the original or a certified copy of a certificate, or diploma, or a letter of confirmation from the awarding body. N.B. if the successful candidate cannot produce original documents or certified copies, written confirmation of his/her relevant qualifications must be obtained from the awarding body. 69. A copy of any documents used to verify the successful candidate s identity and qualifications should be kept for the personnel file (where financial statements are presented and employers consider that applicants may be sensitive about the retention of copies of such documentation, one option may be to simply record that such information has been seen). Such documentation should eventually be destroyed in relation to unsuccessful candidates. 18

23 INTERVIEW PANEL 70. Research has shown that panel interviews are not always the most reliable predictor of performance within a job. It is therefore vital that proper training is provided to interviewers and that the interview itself is prepared for and carried out in a thorough and structured manner. 71. Although it is possible for interviews to be conducted by a single person it is not recommended. It is better to have a minimum of two interviewers, and in some cases, e.g. for senior or specialist posts, a larger panel might be appropriate. A panel of at least two people allows one member to observe and assess the candidate, and make notes, while the candidate is talking to the other. It also reduces the possibility of any dispute about what was said or asked during the interview. 72. The members of the panel should: > have the necessary authority to make decisions about appointment (or effective authority where ultimate authority rests with head of organisation or HR); > be appropriately trained, including for example, in interviewing skills and in relation to the requirements of the Data Protection Act; > meet before the interviews to: > reach a consensus about the required standard for the job to which they are appointing; > consider the issues to be explored with each candidate and who on the panel will ask about each of those; > agree their assessment criteria in accordance with the person specification. 73. The panel cannot agree in advance a list of questions for each candidate that they will not deviate from, but they can agree a set of questions they will ask all candidates relating to the requirements of the post, and the issues they will explore with each candidate based on the information provided in the candidate s application and references (if available). A candidate s response to a question about an issue will determine whether and how that is followed up. Where possible it is best to avoid hypothetical questions because they allow theoretical answers. It is better to ask competency based questions that ask a candidate to relate how s/he has responded to, or dealt with, an actual situation, or questions that test a candidate s attitudes and understanding of issues. Past behaviour is often the best predictor of future behaviour. 19

24 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT SCOPE OF THE INTERVIEW 74. In addition to assessing and evaluating the applicant s suitability for the particular post, the interview panel should also explore other areas, where they will not be covered in separate interviews (see sections on screening and personal interviews), e.g. > the candidate s attitude towards vulnerable people; > his/her ability to support the authority/establishment s agenda for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people; > gaps in the candidate s employment history; > concerns or discrepancies arising from the information provided by the candidate and/or a referee; > ask the candidate if they wish to declare anything in light of the requirement for a Disclosure Scotland check. 75. If, for whatever reason, references are not obtained before the interview, the candidate should also be asked at interview if there is anything s/he wishes to declare/discuss in light of the questions that have been (or will be) put to his/her referees. (And it is vital that the references are obtained and scrutinised before a person s appointment is confirmed and before s/he starts work.) 76. During the decision phase, account must be taken of all the available evidence, including those from application forms, references, interviews and screening/ personal interviews and selection centres where they have been carried out. It should be borne in mind at all times that the assessment is being made against the criteria for the job. PERSONAL INTERVIEW 77. The personal interview provides a means to probe the attitudes and behaviour of potential staff who will work with vulnerable people. Its purpose is to identify: > the ability to promote the physical and emotional well-being of vulnerable people > the awareness of the need for safe care 78. Areas for inclusion in personal interviews might cover: > Motivation to work with vulnerable people; > Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with vulnerable people; > Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours; > Attitudes to use of authority and maintaining discipline; > Attitudes towards physical and sexual abuse of vulnerable people; > Attitudes towards sex and sexuality 20

25 79. As the issues raised in personal interviews involve more probing than those typically covered in panel interviews, it is recommended that they should be conducted by staff who have received special training (more than one member of staff should be present). Employers may choose to raise these issues in panel interviews, though this may be considered less effective than a separate interview conducted by a trained member of staff. Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Considerations 80. Some employers may have concerns about the use of certain practices and strategies in relation to potential conflicts with equal opportunities or human rights legislation. In the past, such legislation has been seen as a barrier to rigorous selection and has led to a reluctance to seek important information. However, such legislation need not conflict with the desire to probe for particular kinds of information, provided all candidates are treated fairly. 81. A tool such as the personal interview has raised particular concerns but providing certain conditions apply, this need not be the case, i.e. > candidates are made aware at an early stage that this kind of interview is a requirement and that by signing and submitting their application form they are accepting this condition; > candidates should also be made aware that if they find this kind of probing difficult, they may take the opportunity to withdraw; > all candidates are asked to address the same issues (though information revealed by individuals may of course take the discussion in varying directions); > the areas explored must be those which relate to the job CONDITIONAL OFFER OF APPOINTMENT: PRE-APPOINTMENT CHECKS 82. An offer of appointment to the successful candidate should be conditional upon: > the receipt of at least two satisfactory references (if those have not already been received - see paras 29-38); > verification of the candidate s identity (if that could not be verified straight after the interview: see paras ); > verification of qualifications (if not verified at an interview); > a Disclosure Scotland check (that will include where appropriate information about whether or not the person s name is included in the lists held in the UK restricting a person from working, for example, with children. It should be noted that there are children s lists across the UK. There are adult lists in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. There is not an adults list in Scotland. A proposal to introduce one is included in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill). 21

26 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 83. All checks should be: > confirmed in writing; > documented and retained on the personnel file (subject to any legal restrictions); > followed up where they are unsatisfactory or there are discrepancies in the information provided. 84. If the Disclosure Scotland certificate reveals information that the applicant did not provide on his or her application form, then the discrepancies should be raised with the person concerned. The fact that a person has not revealed a conviction might suggest a misunderstanding about the impact of Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation. 85. If the content of the certificate is accurate and an employer considers that a third party with an interest in the person concerned should be advised, then they should seek their own legal advice about passing the Disclosure information to that third party without the consent of the applicant as they might be committing an offence if they do so. If, however, the criminal record check was: (a) sought for a post that involved paid or unpaid employment with children, and (b) the certificate shows that the applicant s name is included on a list of people disqualified from working with children and (c) the applicant knows that their name is on such a list, then the applicant has committed an offence and the police should be advised. CLIENT/SERVICE USER RECORDS CHECK 86. Employers may wish to check job applicants names against their own client/service user records to establish whether this may raise any issues of concern in relation to the applicant. Though carrying out such checks may be a difficult area in relation to a client s right to confidentiality, past events have shown that they may be advisable. One solution may be to ask for an applicant s agreement to carry out such checks on the application form. PERSONNEL RECORDS CHECK 87. There have been cases where employees who have been disciplined for poor practice within an organisation, subsequently apply for similar posts within the same organisation. One means of ensuring such information comes to light is for every applicant to be checked against the prospective employer s own personnel records, including details of previous job applications where these are still held on file. 22

27 88. In relation to how long such records should be kept, employers will wish to note the requirements of the Data Protection Act, which states that personal data should not be kept for longer than is necessary. ASSESSMENT/SELECTION CENTRE PROCESS 89. Some research has pointed to the limited effectiveness of the panel interview in predicting good performance in the job. A key reason for this is that no two interviewers will interpret and evaluate information in the same way. Assessment Centres (or Selection Centres as they are referred to in the Safer Recruitment and Selection Toolkit) offer the opportunity to simulate aspects of a job in order that applicants can demonstrate their ability to respond effectively to them. 90. As well as providing trained assessors for the exercise, the administration of it must be well planned and the candidates advised in advance of what to expect. The activities in an assessment centre usually span a whole day (or more), are carefully designed to be appropriate to the roles to which they are applied and include assessment by managers or other experts. The observations and judgements of the assessors are recorded and brought together into a decision-making forum, often called a wash-up. 91. Some employers who choose to use the assessment centre approach may wish to use them as a means to selecting those who will proceed to a panel interview. Some may opt to use a panel interview to select those who will proceed to an assessment centre. This is a matter of preference. 92. The most important feature of exercises used in the selection of staff is that they must be appropriate for the role being filled. The sort of exercises carried out may include: Psychometric or Occupational Testing > these bring a standardised and objective perspective to the selection process > they will give an indication as to a person s capacity or propensity to think or act in a particular way > the most common types are ability and personality tests > Ability Tests: test aptitude and are designed to predict potential to meet job requirements. The aptitudes tested are usually verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning > Personality Tests: generate a profile of the candidate s personality, giving an indication of how they will think, feel and act. Specific indications may be given across a range of dimensions, including interpersonal style, thinking style, leadership style, patterns of coping with stress and team role characteristics. 23

28 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT Other Exercises > Assessed group exercises: candidates discussing a presented scenario, these groups can be facilitated or not > Written exercises: candidates providing a written assessment of a presented scenario or an account of a group discussion > Role play: candidates being assessed in a simulated interaction with someone playing a vulnerable person, this can assess both their initial actions and how they reflect on this afterwards > Unit visits: candidates visiting units before the assessment centre and using their observations and reflections in a group or individual exercise. Assessment/Wash-up 93. This is the meeting where all the selectors meet to discuss the scores and make decisions about who goes forward to the next stage of the process. Though the assessment centre offers a rigorous, objective and systematic approach, it is not perfect and judgement will still have to be exercised. However, the volume of focused and relevant material gained from the process will reduce the scope for error or bias. Up-To-Date Practice 94. Experience of using assessment/selection centres has shown that it is also important to keep up to date with current best practice. Benefits of Assessment Centre Approach 95. As well as ultimately making a positive contribution to the care experienced by service users through an enhanced and safer recruitment process, the assessment/selection centre approach can prove to have other benefits, such as raising the standard and quality of decision making in the recruitment and selection process, which would include enhanced objectivity and more effective working between operational and HR managers. 96. Whilst initially the cost of running an assessment centre would appear to be greater than conventional approaches using limited interviewing, this needs to be set against the potential impact of improving the skills, knowledge and abilities base within the workforce and reducing attrition rates. 97. If assessment centres are used to recruit employees on a pooled basis, there is a very real opportunity to make economies of scale. In the case of larger authorities/organisations it is possible to use assessment centres to recruit on this pooled basis, and thus recruitment could be limited to specific times in the year, which in turn can have an impact on the costs, e.g. savings arising from the reduction in the number of individual interviews required. In the case of smaller 24

29 employers it could be possible to enter into partnership arrangements with neighbouring employers to consider the appropriateness of a pooled approach. 98. Apart from the obvious improvements to be achieved in terms of the selection process and potential economies of scale, an assessment centre approach is only part of what is needed to ensure safer recruitment. It is essential that when recruiting, full use is made of other tools highlighted in this document. Practice Illustration City of Edinburgh Council s Use of recruitment and development centre process for recruitment to residential child care units: Impact on Practice 99. When asked to assess the impact on practice that the recruitment and development centre process has had in residential units the views of managers were largely positive. They felt the new workers had brought a greater professionalism and focus to their task, the new recruits being characterised by a very child centred focus and a clear desire to work alongside residents. The fact that no workers recruited through this process had subsequently been involved in disciplinary proceedings was also felt to be proof of positive impact, as no workers were being recruited who were proving to be problematic or worrying in their practice. INVOLVING SERVICE USERS IN RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION 100. Involving services users in aspects of the recruitment and selection process can send a powerful signal to potential applicants about the philosophy of the organisation. It is likely to encourage applicants who are comfortable with and committed to listening to service users and respecting their rights and wishes. Experience has shown that service users can be more adept than professionals at drawing out a candidate s attitudes and values There are several ways in which service users can be involved in the process e.g. visits by candidates to the facilities which service users use, such as children s units. Where such visits take place, they must be undertaken and managed carefully so as to take the needs of service users into account Other methods of involving service users include groups of service users meeting candidates individually where a set of agreed questions is put to the candidates; a group of service users meeting a group of candidates in order to undertake a group exercise; or including a service user as a member of a panel interview. Service users will need appropriate support and preparation for participation in any such activity. More detail on service user involvement is contained in Safer Recruitment and Selection for Staff Working in Child Care (see References section in Annex B). 25

30 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT 04 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS DATA PROTECTION 103. Employers should also give regard to the requirements of the Data Protection Act. Guidance, including an Employment Practices Code is available from the Information Commissioner s Office: This covers relevant considerations including the need to retain records securely, the principle that personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed and that an applicant s permission is needed before his/her personal data is disclosed to a third party. POST-SELECTION CONSIDERATIONS 104. Safer recruitment and selection is not of course the only element of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable people. Induction, training and ongoing discussions, for example, offer opportunities to make staff aware of various matters including: > Policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding and promoting welfare, e.g. child/vulnerable adult protection, physical intervention/restraint, intimate care > Safe practice and the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of staff > How and with whom any concerns about those issues should be raised > Other relevant personnel procedures, e.g. disciplinary, whistle-blowing Monitoring of the recruitment process, induction arrangements and staff movement will allow for future recruitment practices to be better informed. It may cover: > staff turnover and reasons for leaving; > exit interviews; > attendance of new recruits at child protection training. 26

31 ANNEX A: SUMMARY OF SAFER RECRUITMENT OUTCOMES AND PRACTICES Suggested Outcomes Sought: > Legal and regulatory requirements are met > Potential applicants are aware of the employer s commitment to the welfare of vulnerable people > Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post > Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice > Employers are satisfied at each stage of the recruitment and selection process that the best candidate(s) have been selected to progress to the next stage > Employers are satisfied of the candidate s identity, qualifications and registration status 27

32 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT ANNEX A: SUMMARY OF SAFER RECRUITMENT OUTCOMES AND PRACTICES The following section summarises the range of recruitment and selection tools described in this document and is split into the Foundation and Higher Levels. It also links each of these tools to the broad outcomes which a recruitment and selection process would seek to achieve. FOUNDATION LEVEL The Foundation Level broadly mirrors the expectations of existing legal and regulatory requirements. Where necessary, the content of the relevant National Care Standard or the Scottish Social Services Council Code of Practice for Employers should be checked. Recruitment Practice Carry out checks of appropriate registers and lists including verification of identity and qualifications Detail Notes Outcome Used Including: Checking with appropriate registration body: e.g. Scottish Social Services Council Disqualified from Working with Children List and other appropriate registers. Identity check Candidate asked to produce birth certificate/driving licence/passport or other photographic ID. Legal and regulatory requirements are met Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice Employers are satisfied of the candidate s identity, qualifications and registration status Verification of qualifications Check with awarding body or registering body that qualification is genuine. Employers are satisfied of the candidate s identity, qualifications and registration status Criminal Records check Should be carried out using agreed procedure and in accordance with appropriate legislation. Reference request Must specifically address the issues of safety and any competencies which may be difficult to address though a selection process (e.g. team working; tenacity) and should definitely include a check with previous employer(s) To note introduction of Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament. Legal and regulatory requirements are met Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post 28

33 HIGHER LEVEL Recruitment Practice Detail Notes Outcome Used Competencies Established through process of Job Analysis. National Occupational Standards may be relevant. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post Job Description May use, for example: Occupational Standards (where available, e.g. SSSC National Occupational Standards). Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post Person Specification Based on Job Description and Competencies, e.g. see SSSC National Occupational Standards. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post Advertisement Safety and rigorous selection should be prominently mentioned. Potential applicants are aware of the employer s commitment to the welfare of vulnerable people Application form Needs to be a dedicated Application Form which seeks a full employment history and information about candidate s sickness record, involvement in disciplinary or grievance procedures. Also requires a signature acknowledging that prospective employer may contact any former employer in addition to the referees nominated by the candidate. Candidates should be warned that failure to disclose important information may lead to dismissal if discovered at a later date. This may need to be negotiated if current formisacorporate one or addendum seeking additional information issued with corporate form. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post 29

34 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT HIGHER LEVEL (CONT D) Recruitment Practice Detail Notes Outcome Used Short-listing Should be carried out using the competencies as criteria, plus length of experience, qualifications, etc. Screening interview Individual interview with candidate to scrutinise application form to identify and establish reasons for breaks in employment. Though less desirable, the elements of a screening interview may be addressed within normal/panel interview. This is a part of the process which managers rightly want to influence directly. Takes minutes and has revealed some significant facts about candidates where implemented. Employers are satisfied at each stage of the recruitment and selection process that the best candidate(s) have been selected to progress to the next stage Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice Panel interview Process should be structured and address the Competencies. Questions should be behavioural and, where possible, focus on what candidates have done, not on what they might do. Panel members should feel able to follow up candidates responses to agreed questions. Reliability and validity of traditional panel interview methods questionable. In order to improve these, specific training in structured interviewing needed for most staff at all levels in employing organisations. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post 30

35 HIGHER LEVEL (CONT D) Recruitment Practice Personal interview Detail Notes Outcome Used This is an individual interview with a skilled interviewer (plus observer) who probes critical areas such as attitudes to punishment, attitudes to sexuality, management of sexualised behaviour, influence of own experience (e.g. of being parented or of parenting) on approach to vulnerable people. (Model discussed in section on Personal Interviews.) This is highly specialised work. Employers should ensure they have access to the appropriate training/resources. Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice Though far less desirable, the elements of a personal interview may be addressed within normal/panel interview. Equal opportunities Equal opportunities principles apply throughout process, however, should not be seen as a barrier to rigour. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post Client/Service User Records check Carried out to ensure important information not being concealed. Should include Child Protection Register where appropriate. Currently these may be carried out for foster carers but generally not for social services staff. Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice Personnel Records check New applications should be checked against old personnel records, e.g. for details of disciplinary issues relating to current/ previous employment. Should also include a check of records of previous job applications where these are still held. In relation to how long personnel records should be kept, this must be in accordance with the Data Protection Act, which states that personal data should not be kept for longer than is necessary. Employers are satisfied as far as possible at each stage of recruitment and selection that the candidate is safe to practice 31

36 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT HIGHER LEVEL (CONT D) Recruitment Practice Assessment/ Selection Centre process Detail Notes Outcome Used Based on competencies for the post, using job simulation exercises and trained assessors. Process is called assessment or selection centre. Could include psychometric tests to measure ability (verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning) and personality profile (to give indication of competencies). Exercises might include: written exercises; group and individual exercises; presentation; in-tray; planning exercise, etc. Longer process than the more usual one. Has implications for the widely-used panel interview. This will need to change to take account of the information gathered elsewhere in the process. Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post Assessment Scoring of candidates is recorded and shared in a Wash-up. Usually a combination of numerical scoring against indicators for each exercise and discussion of implications of candidates scores. Involving Service Users in Recruitment and Selection Various methods possible including visits by candidates to facilities used by service users; groups of service users meeting candidates individually where a set of agreed questions is put to the candidates; a group of service users meeting a group of candidates in order to undertake a group exercise; or including a service user as a member of a panel interview. Agencies need to ensure they have access to a pool of trained assessors for all posts at all levels in the organisation. (Possibly aim to share resources across organisations.) Appropriate preparation, support and protection to be provided to service users. Employers are satisfied at each stage of the recruitment and selection process that the best candidate(s) have been selected to progress to the next stage Potential applicants are aware of the employer s commitment to the welfare of vulnerable people Employers are satisfied that each candidate has demonstrated their suitability for the specific post 32

37 ANNEX B: SAFER RECRUITMENT GROUP MEMBERSHIP AND REFERENCES Safer Recruitment Group Membership Aberdeenshire Council Association of Directors of Social Work Barnardo s Care Commission City of Edinburgh Council Convention of Scottish Local Authorities Perth & Kinross Council Scottish Executive Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care Scottish Social Services Council Society of Personnel Directors Scotland Stirling University Scottish Trades Union Congress 33

38 SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT References Safer Recruitment and Selection for Staff Working in Child Care: Care Commission (including the National Care Standards): or telephone: Central Registered Body in Scotland: or telephone: Disclosure Scotland or telephone: Information Commissioner s Office: or telephone: Information Commissioner s Office Data Protection Information, including the Employment Practice Code: Protection of Vulnerable Groups Legislation Information: Scottish Social Services Council (including the Code of Practice For Employers): or telephone: (Lo call: ) Scottish Executive publications: Social Work Inspection Agency: or telephone:

39 ANNEX C: FLOW CHART SUMMARY OF SAFER RECRUITMENT THROUGH BETTER RECRUITMENT GUIDANCE Does the guidance apply to the people my organisation recruits (or to those recruited by organisations carrying out services on my organisation s behalf)? (see introductory section to the guidance) YES Foundation Level, appropriate parts of Higher Level and Outcomes can be used to design a recruitment and selection process and to comply with appropriate standards e.g. SSSC Code of Practice for Employers/National Care Standards Does my organisation recruit people to work with the most vulnerable people? (see introductory section to the guidance) YES NO Work over time on the basis of continuous improvement in relation to safer recruitment and selection practices for those who will work with the most vulnerable people Keep effectiveness of safer recruitment and selection policies under review (refer to outcomes and latest best practice) Higher Level of recruitment and selection procedures may be used as one reference point to guide improvement Keep effectiveness of recruitment and selection policies under review (refer to outcomes and latest best practice) 35

40 Crown copyright 2007 This document is also available on the Scottish Executive website: RR Donnelley B /07 Further copies are available from Blackwell s Bookshop 53 South Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1YS Telephone orders and enquiries or Fax orders orders w w w. s c o t l a n d. g o v. u k

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