The safety of children and young people is paramount, and we are committed to implementing the Disclosure and Barring (DBS) procedures and arrangements. We will comply with the DBS Code of Practice and National Care Standards guidance regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Certificates.
The DBS (formerly the CRB Agency) was set up by the Home Office to improve access to criminal record checks for employment related purposes and to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions; this applies to staff with access to children under 18 years of age, vulnerable adults or other positions of trust that fall within the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The DBS Code of Practice requires the school to have a written policy and procedure on the recruitment of people with a criminal record1 and to ensure anyone applying for a job with us receives a copy.
We are committed to the principle of equal opportunities and, subject to the overriding consideration of protecting children, we will endeavour to prevent unfair discrimination against those with a criminal record. We will always carry out an enhanced DBS check with reference to the children’s barred list (list 99)
There are two different levels of Certificate:
Standard Certificates contain details of all convictions2 on record (including spent convictions3 ) plus details of any cautions, reprimands or warnings. Information obtained on the government lists is of people considered unsuitable to work, or gain access to sensitive information relating to children/young people.
Enhanced Certificates involve an extra level of check with local police force records in addition to checks with the Police National Computer and the government department lists held by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department of Health, where appropriate. The government’s safer recruitment initiative stipulates that all staff in an educational establishment must have an enhanced Certificate.
Recruitment of staff. Job applicants will be asked to state any convictions on a separate monitoring form. They will also be asked to complete a staff disqualification declaration. Those invited to attend an interview will be advised in writing that relevant criminal convictions will be discussed at the interview in order to assess job-related risks. Applicants are encouraged to submit written details, dates and any other relevant information, in confidence, to the Administration Office, who will ensure the security of this sensitive information. To speed up the recruitment process, applicants invited to attend an interview will be asked to complete a DBS form and requested to bring the relevant ID with them to be verified by the interviewing officers. This is outlined in our safer recruitment policy. We will apply for a DBS Certificate only for applicants offered a position. The information obtained will be used to help establish whether that person has a background that might make him/her unsuitable for the job or voluntary position in question. We will not apply to the DBS Certificate to run a check without the knowledge and consent of the person concerned. The forms of unsuccessful applicants will be destroyed after a period of six months.
If a DBS Certificate reveals any convictions, the person concerned will be invited to attend an interview with the Chair of Trustees to discuss the conviction(s) and circumstances. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar applicants from working with us. This will depend on the nature, circumstances and background of the offence, and the time elapsed since the offence. However, failure to reveal information directly relevant to the position sought could lead to the withdrawal of any offer of employment.
Check on staff recruited from abroad. If an applicant has not previously lived in the UK, no purpose will be served by seeking a DBS check on arrival. The person will not have a criminal record in this country, nor will he/she appear on List 994 or the Protection of Children’s Act List. We will insist that that overseas applicants will bring a certificate of good conduct from their police/embassy.
RECRUITMENT DECISIONS BASED ON ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS
Enhanced DBS checks may very rarely result in the local police force disclosing non conviction information to us only and not to the individual (applicant). This may be because the information relates to an ongoing investigation. This information will and must never be disclosed to the individual under any circumstances. If the information is deemed to show that the individual would present a genuine risk if they were to be employed, or were to continue with employment, legal advice will be sought on how to proceed.
SCHEDULE FOUR OFFENDERS AND INDIVIDUALS BANNED FROM WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND/OR VULNERABLE ADULTS
- Under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the VBS 2009, it is an offence punishable by imprisonment to apply for work with young people and/or vulnerable adults if an individual has been:
- Convicted of a Schedule Four Offence and/or;
- Put on the Protection of Children Act List (POCA4) and or;
- Put on the Protection of Vulnerable Adult List POVA5 and/or;
- Considered unsuitable or banned from working with children under section 142 of the Education Act of 2002.
It is also an offence for anyone knowingly to employ such a person in such a capacity, either on a voluntary or a paid basis. If such information is received as a result of a DBS check the individual must be reported to the police immediately. In such circumstances, an existing member of staff would be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal).
All staff are obliged to declare any unspent convictions in the recruitment process regardless of whether or not their position is subject to a DBS check. If it becomes apparent (through a DBS check or otherwise) that an individual has fraudulently misrepresented their conviction history or other relevant information by not disclosing it when given the opportunity to do so on application, the applicant’s job offer will be withdrawn or the member of staff will be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including dismissal). Such action would be proportionate to the nature and significance of the misrepresentation and all circumstances would be taken into account.
Renewal of DBS Certificates The DBS Certificate does not recommend a specific renewal interval for DBS checks. We are in the process of ensuring that all staff are registered with the update service. Once completed we will ensure all staff are up to date with the update service.
Volunteer DBS checks All volunteers who will be assisting in school residential trips will be checked. We also will ask people applying to be volunteers to provide two referees and to fill out a volunteer application form, in addition there will be a Disclosure form.
Storage and Access DBS Certificate information will be kept in a locked cabinet with access strictly limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. It is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.
Protect Duty We will always mark the DBS checks on all staff and volunteers, within box 61, Position Applied for, ‘Child Workforce Independent School’. This will ensure that the DBS will confirm if an s128 direction has been made.
Retention Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we retain DBS Certificate information generally for a period of up to six months, or longer if we feel this is needed. This is to allow time to consider and resolve any disputes or complaints. If, in exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep the information for longer, we will consult the DBS, taking data protection and human rights issues into consideration.
Disposal Once the retention period has elapsed, any Certificate information will be destroyed by secure means, ie by shredding, pulping or burning. We will not keep a copy of the Certificate or record its contents. We will, however, keep a record of the date of issue of a Certificate, the name of the subject, the type of Certificate requested, the position for which it was requested, the unique reference number of the Certificate and the details of the recruitment decision taken.
For New Staff
We will require all staff to register to use the update service. Registration costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only). There’s no charge if you’re a volunteer.
How to register: If this is the first time you have been required to apply for a DBS check, you can register for the update service using your application reference number (the ‘form ref’ on your application form). DBS must receive your application form within 28 days. If you’ve already applied, you can register for the update service using your DBS certificate number. You must do this within 19 days of the certificate being issued. You can use the DBS tracking service to check the progress of your DBS certificate. You’ll be able to take your DBS certificate from one job to the next, unless:
- An employer asks you to get a new certificate
- You need a certificate for a different type of ‘workforce’ (for example, you have an ‘adult workforce’ certificate and need a ‘child workforce’ certificate)
- You need a different level certificate (for example, you have a standard DBS certificate and need an enhanced one)