St Mark’s Church (hereafter referred to as ‘The Church’) and in conjunction with the requirements of the Winchester Board of Diocesan Finance hereafter referred to as ‘WBDF’ resolves this policy.

Introduction

  • On the 29 May 2013, legislation came into force that allows certain old and minor cautions and convictions to no longer be subject to disclosure.
  • In addition, employers will no longer be able to take an individual’s old and minor cautions and convictions into account when making decisions.
  • All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specified offences of relevance for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, will remain subject to disclosure. In addition, all convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where an individual has more than one conviction recorded.
  • Applicants can view the guidance and criteria on the DBS website which explains the filtering of old and minor cautions and convictions which are now ‘protected’ so not subject to disclosure to employers.[1]

Policy statement on recruitment of offenders

  1. As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), the Church with the WDBF complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. The Church undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
  2. The Church and WDBF will only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that we are legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended) and where appropriate Police Act
  3. The Church is committed to the fair treatment of its staff including volunteers, potential staff and volunteers or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
  4. This policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders is made available to all DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
  5. The Church actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. The Church will select all candidates for interview and appointment based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
  6. An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that any offer of a position is subject to the result of a DBS check.
  7. The Church will ensure that those involved in the recruitment process have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The Diocesan Safeguarding Panel will be consulted in cases of difficulty.
  8. At interview, or in a separate discussion, the Church will ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
  9. WDBF makes every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the Code of Practice and makes a copy available on request.
  10. The Church undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
  11. For positions involving work with children or vulnerable adults a Confidential Self Declaration will also be required. The information will only be seen by those within the Appointing Body and Safeguarding Registry who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. Failure to disclose information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to the withdrawal of an offer of employment or voluntary position, and may constitute a criminal offence.
  12. It is Diocesan Policy that anyone who has been convicted or has accepted a caution for offences against a child and /or vulnerable adult will not be permitted to work, in a paid or voluntary position, which brings them into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults.
  13. A person for whom there are unresolved allegations outstanding will be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel and only allowed to work with children / vulnerable adults following a recommendation from the Panel and with the express permission of the Bishop.

Appeals and complaints procedure

  1. If an applicant for a disclosure is unhappy about the way the Church has processed the disclosure or how a risk assessment has been made, the appeal or complaint should be made in writing, stating their name, address, the nature of the appeal, the date of the disclosure document concerned, the identity of the person or appointing body responsible for making the appointment, and any other relevant information to:
    The Diocesan Secretary
    Diocesan Office
    Old Alresford Place
    Alresford
    SO24 9DH
  2. The Diocesan Secretary will then instigate an independent assessment of the issues in question. The appeal/complaint will be dealt with within six months. The adjudication will be sent to the applicant and the appointing body.

Review

This policy forms part of the Safeguarding Policy and will be reviewed with it.


[1] See Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013; and Police Act 1997 (Criminal Record Certificates: Relevant Matters)
(Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013.

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