Instructors - Safe Recruitment and Selection Procedures

The majority of people who want to work or volunteer with children within sport are well motivated, and without them sports clubs and organisations could not operate.

Unfortunately some individuals will try to use voluntary and community organisations to gain access to children for inappropriate motives. Therefore it is essential that you have effective recruitment and selection procedures to help screen out and discourage those who are not suitable from joining your club/organisation. Having safe recruitment and selection procedures in place will help deter and screen out unsuitable individuals from your club/organisation or event.

Effective recruitment and selection procedures benefit everyone. They ensure that staff and volunteers will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, which will have a positive impact on children. Parents will be assured that all possible measures are being taken to ensure only suitable people will be recruited to work with children and organisations will reduce the risk to their reputation.

The same procedures should be adopted whether staff are paid or unpaid, full or part-time.

The organisation should ensure effective recruitment and selection procedures by:

  • providing a clear job/role description for each post that describes the full range of duties the role will involve, and a person specification that describes the type of skills and attributes you require the post-holder to have (e.g. their experience, qualifications and other requirements, such as an ability to communicate effectively with children). This helps all staff, volunteers and others in the club/organisation or at the event to understand the extent and nature of their role
  • advertising paid jobs/volunteer roles through the club or sport's newsletters or notice boards (including online), in local papers, local newsagents, church bulletins etc. Include an indication that the post involves working with children, and (if appropriate) that a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check will be undertaken
  • ensuring that any person applying for a post within the club/organisation or for the event completes that organisation's own application form which should include a section allowing the individual to self declare any convictions or relevant information and their consent for a DBS check to be undertaken (where this is appropriate for the post). The form should state that failure to disclose information may result in their exclusion from the club, organisation or event. The application form should capture relevant information about the person's experience, qualifications and employment history (paid and voluntary). Affiliated clubs should contact their relevant national governing body (NGB) for sport specific pro-forma
  • obtaining two written references. These should preferably include their last employer or person who deployed them, and someone who can comment on their previous work with children. Ideally, references should be sought on all short-listed candidates and should be obtained before interview. It may not be possible in all circumstances to obtain references prior to interview, either because of limited resources, delay on the part of the referee or because a candidate strongly objects to their current employer being approached at this stage, but it should be the aim wherever possible. Ideally referees should be contacted directly
  • NGB/organisation having a case management group in place to risk assess information returned from any of the above sources and not employing or deploying the individual until this is done. Where no case management group arrangements are in place, the task of risk assessing any concerning information arising during the recruitment process should be allocated to an appropriately experienced/trained individual, for example the person with lead safeguarding responsibilities
  • ensuring staff or volunteers undertake an interview or have a meeting with at least two
    representatives of the organisation. You should check out any gaps in the application form
    and ensure the applicant has the ability and commitment to meet the standards required to
    put the child protection policy into practice. For example, you may want to explore the
    applicant's attitude to power, authority and discipline and ask for a response to a problem
    faced in your club/organisation to assess their commitment to promoting good practice and
    their ability to communicate with children and young people
  • verifying qualifications, experience and clarify any apparent gaps in employment
  • setting a probationary/trial period (usually 6 months). Every new post should be reviewed
    within an agreed period of time. The length of time will vary depending on the nature of the
    post. It is good practice to have a review at conclusion of the probationary/trial period
  • ensuring all appointments are made by the Executive Committee and not by any individual
    member/s of the organisation/club.

Induction

  • ensuring all new recruits go through an induction process as soon as possible so that they
    are familiar with the club/organisation or event's safeguarding policies and procedures and
    the responsibilities of the post
  • ensuring all new recruits are familiar with and sign up to the Club/Organisation's
    Constitution and Rules and any guidelines, codes of behaviour, regulations and policies of
    that club, sport or event
  • ensuring all new recruits register as a member of the club if not already a member
  • ensuring all new recruits have either recently undertaken adequate training in safeguarding
    (if appropriate in line with any relevant NGB requirements) or now do so as soon as
    possible and no later than six months after taking up their post.

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