It is essential that only appropriate people are chosen to support children’s participation in angling. Not only is it important that they have a relevant qualification but also that other key checks are made.
Safe recruitment of staff and volunteers
It is essential when recruitment for new posts is planned, all appropriate measures are taken to ensure safeguarding standards are maintained. All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with young people in angling. Whilst there may be some reservations that volunteers could be put off by having to go through a recruitment process, it is important to ensure reasonable steps have been taken to ensure people applying for roles are suitable for that role as well as to identify unsuitable individuals. The guide below offers advice on the elements that an ideal safe recruitment practice would follow.
The following steps should be carried out:
- Application Form and Self Disclosure
- DBS disclosure where appropriate
- Monitoring and Appraisal
Pre-application information should be written before the role is advertised and should contain:
- a job description, including roles and responsibilities;
- a person specification (e.g. stating qualifications or experience required);
- a self-disclosure form (for applicants to declare prior convictions or other potentially relevant information).
Advertising should reflect the:
- aims of the particular programme involved;
- key responsibilities of the role;
- level of experience or qualifications required (e.g. experience of working with young people, Level 2 Coach qualification required);
- the club’s open and positive stance on child protection and equal opportunities;
- need for a satisfactory reference/background checks (e.g. enhanced DBS disclosure).
All applicants who will work with young people, whether for paid or voluntary, should complete a self-declaration form. If the role meets the eligibility criteria for ‘regulated activity’, then the form should ask if they are barred from working (including volunteering) with children.
Interview, references and disclosure
An interview should take place for positions involving working with young people. This also provides an ideal opportunity to view certificates to confirm qualifications held.
Once a successful candidate is chosen, they should be asked to complete a self-disclosure form and offered the role subject to satisfactory references and vetting checks. A minimum of two references should be requested; ideally at least one should be associated with former work with young people.
If the role is in ‘regulated activity’ then an enhanced DBS disclosure with barring check must be completed. See Disclosure and Barring Service Guidance on page 4.
The same emphasis should be placed on ensuring that volunteers are vetted as for paid employees.
DBS checks form part of any best practice recruitment process. However it is essential to understand that although the AT support this best practice, it is also bound to abide by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and as such is only allowed to support checks on those eligible. A DBS check will provide information on a person’s history and any offences committed and may provide information leading to a decision being made that a person is unsuitable to work with children. It may also lead to more information being requested to ensure an accurate suitability decision can be made.
The AT will not inform any club of any exact offences committed but will inform clubs whether or not applicants are deemed suitable to work with children.
Further information relating to the eligibility of roles for a DBS check can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-check-eligible-positions-...
The AT will only accept third party disclosures through the DBS online update service and when they meet the application criteria applied for with the AT
All staff and volunteers should undergo an induction that should include:
- Information about the safeguarding policy and procedures;
- That their qualifications are substantiated (if not already completed);
- That they complete a profile to identify training needs/aspirations;
- That they are reminded that they have agreed to abide by all Angling Trust policies and procedures and they may face disciplinary action if they are broken;
- The expectations, roles and responsibilities of the job are clarified
- Mentoring where appropriate.
Checks are only part of the process to protect young people from possible abuse. Appropriate training will enable individuals to recognise their responsibilities with regard to their own good practice and the reporting of suspected poor practice/concerns of possible abuse.
There can be different cultural practices and behaviours around coaching in different countries. It is imperative that International coaches are given a full induction into the behaviour and conduct expected of coaches within the AT. They should also sign a Coaches Code of Conduct.
Monitoring and appraisal
At regular intervals (or following a particular programme), employees/volunteers working with young people should be given the opportunity to receive feedback or an appraisal to identify training needs and set new goals.