Safer recruitment for parishes and churches

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Safer recruitment refers to the whole recruitment process for volunteers and paid workers which include application forms, confidential declarations, and role descriptions, taking references, interviews and criminal record checks.
The Diocese of Liverpool has now adopted The Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2016 and the Parish Safeguarding Handbook which set out safer recruitment practices for people working or volunteering in a Church of England setting. 

This section takes you through the steps to Safer Recruitment with some helpful templates and guidance for carrying out Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Checks

9 steps to Safer Recruitment

Step 1  
Be clear about who is responsible for appointments
Step 2
Ensure that you have safeguarding policies in place – including a policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders
Step 3 
Ensure that you have an up to date and clear job description (paid staff) / role description (volunteers) for the role – these should specify the individual’s safeguarding responsibilities
Step 4
Ensure that your application form complies with the recommended safer recruitment practice
Step 5
Always ask for and take up references. Ask Referees specifically about an individual’s suitability to work with vulnerable people
Step 6
Ensure each application received is accompanied by a confidential declaration from the applicant
Step 7
Ensure that a face to face interview is conducted for ALL shortlisted candidates based on an objective assessment of the candidate’s ability to meet the person specification and job description

Step 8
Ensure that your preferred candidate is informed that the offer of employment or voluntary work is conditional on receiving satisfactory information from all necessary checks – including DBS Check
Step 9
It is good practice to induct new volunteers and staff, to ensure supervision and support is in place and to conduct a review regularly as the role requires.


Documents to support the Safer Recruitment process

Please use these templates to help make it easier for you to do Safer Recruitment in your church


Disclosure and Barring (DBS) Checks

We now process all DBS applications online using the eBulk system, which is managed by Thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS). All those working in a paid or voluntary capacity with children, young people or vulnerable adults may require a DBS check as part of the safer recruitment process. A new DBS disclosure should be requested every five years.
You should appoint a Lead Recruiter to manage the DBS process and may also choose to appoint an additional recruiter.
Newly appointed Lead Recruiters need to contact St James’ House Central Services on 0151 709 9722 to complete the documentation to register with Thirtyone: eight      
For any queries around how the DBS process works in the Diocese, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. For enquiries about the eBulk system (including login and password queries) or eligibility for DBS checks for specific roles in your parish, please contact Thirtyone:eight on 0303 003 1111, selecting option 1.


Documents to support DBS checks

Eligibility for enhanced criminal records check flow chart –
Church of England roles where the activity is seen to be eligible for a criminal record check


Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. But we do follow strict guidelines and procedures for the recruitment of ex-offenders which we expect all parishes to follow

Read our policy here


DBS checks for PCC members

Churchwardens and PCC members should now be DBS checked.

You do not need to DBS check Readers or Clergy as PCC members as their DBS checks cover both children and adults.

Any other PCC member who already has a current DBS check for the church that covers both children and adults does not need an additional check as a PCC member.

If any other PCC member has a current DBS check for the church which does not cover both children and vulnerable adults they must complete an additional DBS check as a PCC member. 


DBS checks for anyone applying for a new role

in the same diocese/cathedral/team or hubs

In this case, you do not require a second criminal record check
(i.e. their current check will be portable),

This is provided

  • the result of the criminal record check has been seen and does not need renewing and
  • and the new role is: with the same “workforce” (i.e. either working with children or working with adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect); and eligible for the same/lower level of criminal record check as the previous role.

If in doubt then contact the Safeguarding team for advice on 0151 705 2161



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