Volunteers and Safer Recruitment

Difficult times often bring out the best in people and there has been a surge in community volunteering initiatives since the pandemic. However, keeping people safe and ensuring that robust safer recruitment procedures are implemented must always be a priority and churches should apply the same standard of safeguarding in this area.

What does safer recruitment involve?

  • providing a job description and a person specification
  • completing an application form (informal if preferred)
  • completing a self-declaration of criminal history
  • a face-to-face interview (or informal interview)
  • checking references
  • completing a DBS check
  • having a trial period.

Which roles are eligible for DBS checks?

Please see the General Assembly Paper T6 for information on URC roles eligible for a criminal record check.

Your church should also:

  • Take advice from DDC (our DBS checking provider) or Belinda Herbert if unsure about DBS checks.
  • Revisit your volunteer role descriptions and risk assess volunteering activities for potential for harm.
  • Continue to apply for DBS checks on roles that require them and ensure that Workers do not start until a satisfactory clearance is received.
  • Review your lone working policy and ensure protections are in place for volunteers if they are in the building alone or supporting people in the community on their own.
  • Consider enrolling new Workers on the online safeguarding training for anyone undertaking a new role.
  • Remember that Safer Recruitment is more than a DBS check!

Please ensure that you keep all records related to a person’s safer recruitment and store them confidentially.