Safe recruitment and management
Every congregation must have a formally recruited Safeguarding Coordinator. Some congregations may choose to have more than one to share the work and responsibility.
All paid staff and volunteers working with children or protected adults, as defined in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 or the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, must be formally and safely recruited. This means:
- Every post must have a written job description
- Applicants must be interviewed, provide two references (which must be followed up) and also have a PVG Scheme Record (Scotland) or DBS Certificate (England, Channel Islands and Wales) and have been cleared by the Safeguarding Service to take up regulated work or regulated activities
It is an offence for organisations to employ individuals whose name appears on a barred list.
When recruiting individuals who were born outside the UK or who have lived outside the UK to undertake regulated work with children or protected adults, there are two issues to consider:
- The first is confirming someone's identity by ensuring robust recruitment practices are in place and that suitable references are pursued
- The second is ensuring that appropriate police checks have been undertaken in the country they were born and/or resided.
The onus is on the individual to provide details of their criminal conviction history from their home country or countries of previous residence.
All volunteers should receive one-to-one supervision with the person to whom they are responsible.
All volunteers and paid staff should attend Church of Scotland safeguarding training as meets the needs of the post holder. Training is mandatory for those undertaking regulated work. More information about training courses can be found on our training page.
All paid staff and volunteers, with suitable training and support, must be able to recognise harm and abuse and be confident enough to report it to their Safeguarding Coordinator or, for CrossReach services, their line manager.
If allegations of harm against a paid member of staff are found to be unsubstantiated but there are good grounds for believing that the person continues to pose a risk, ‘compromise agreements' should not be used to end the person's employment. A compromise agreement is where a person agrees to resign, the employer agrees not to pursue disciplinary action and both parties agree a form of words to be used in any future reference.
A referral may need to be made to Disclosure Scotland in respect of the individual.
Paid and volunteer posts should have a Code of Conduct so that workers are clear about expected behaviour (what is said and done and to ensure appropriate boundaries between themselves and children and adults at risk).