Safeguarding – How To Stay Compliant With The Latest Child Protection and Adult Legislative Changes

If you are an organisation based in the United Kingdom, chances are good that the latest changes to safeguarding legislation may have a direct impact on your recruitment plans moving forward.Navigating the evolving safeguarding landscape can prove challenging for companies whose core competency lies elsewhere, hence this article – a quick guide for company directors and HR managers to check whether they are compliant with the latest safeguarding legislation?This article covers the entire spectrum of companies from those employing a handful of employees or volunteers, to large corporations employing tens of thousands of personnel. In addition to the impact on recruitment and serving to highlight which job roles require Criminal Records Bureau checks under the new legislation, I will cover the requirements for staff training in both child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults. Finally I touch on best practice safeguarding recommendations.So What does Your Organisation Need to Consider?If your organisation works with any setting that involves children, young people or vulnerable adults, their parents, carers or families, you will need to comply with a variety of government guidance, legislation and best practice recommendations. It is worth highlighting that received perception of what constitutes a vulnerable adult may need refining. For example, any adult undergoing medical treatment becomes a vulnerable adult. In the dental sector this effectively means that anyone sitting in the dentist’s chair becomes a ‘vulnerable adult’.What Does Your Organisation Need to do About Safeguarding Children & Young People?If anyone in your organisation, whether on a voluntary or employed basis, works regularly with children, their carers, parents or families then your organisation does need to comply with Child Safeguarding legislation and Best Practice recommendations and in order to be compliant you should:• Have a current Child Safeguarding Policy and set of procedures including Rigorous Recruitment procedures.• Have a Lead and Deputy or Designated Professional and Deputy for Child Safeguarding who are not closely related through living arrangements or marriage.Worthy of note is that if you are engaged with both children and vulnerable adults the Lead and Deputy can be the same people for both areas.You should also provide:• Appropriate Child Safeguarding training for all staff who work with children, their carers and their families.• Appropriate Leading on Child Safeguarding training for the designated Lead and Deputy or Designated Professional.• Some, if not all of the staff in your organisation, will need to be checked by the CRB (see later in article for details).What Does Your Organisation Need to do About Adult Safeguarding?If anyone in your organisation, whether on a voluntary or employed basis, works regularly with vulnerable adults, their parents, carers or families then your organisation needs to comply with Adult Safeguarding legislation and Best Practice Recommendations (as mentioned previously it’s worth remembering that the definition of a vulnerable adult includes any adult undergoing medical treatment).Compliance demands that you should have:• A current Adult Safeguarding Policy and set of procedures including Rigorous Recruitment procedures.• A Lead and Deputy for Adult Safeguarding who are not closely related through marriage or living arrangements. Worthy of note is that if you are engaged with both vulnerable adults and children the Lead and Deputy can be the same people for both areas.You should also provide:• Adult Safeguarding training for all staff who work with vulnerable adults, their families and carers.• Leading on Adult Safeguarding training for the Lead and Deputy.• Some, if not all of the staff in your organisation, will need to be checked by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB).Does My Company Need to Carry Out CRB Checks?There are two levels to CRB checks, namely Basic and Enhanced. They differ both in terms of cost and their depth of research.Personnel Requiring CRB Checks at Enhanced LevelIf any of your staff or volunteers work in ‘Regulated’ positions such as teaching, coaching, supervision or treatment and have regular contact (at least 4 times a month) with children, young people or vulnerable adults, these personnel all require CRB checks at an Enhanced level. The Enhanced level CRB includes checks against Police National Computer (PNC) databases for cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions. The check also uses the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) Barred Lists and Police Force Information.Personnel Requiring CRB Checks at the Standard LevelStandard CRB checks are required for posts in security, certain financial work and for those who come into direct contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults, e.g. dental receptionists.Your Quick Guide to CRB ChecksIf you are uncertain which CRB checks apply then the quick reference guide below might help. If the job role (paid or unpaid) you are assessing does not fit this guide then please contact me via the link box at the bottom of this article for further assistance.In all cases refer to Step One and only use Step Two if you need to answer questions one and twoStep OneQuestion OneDoes the job involve working directly and regularly with, or being in sole charge of, children and young people under 18 years of age that are involved in teaching, training, supervision, advice, health care, treatment, specialist transport (such as driving children’s bus), moderating a children’s or vulnerable adults’ website, a trustee of a charity which works directly with children or vulnerable adults or someone working with adults receiving care or health treatment of any kind?ANDQuestion TwoIs the job frequently (4 times a month) intensively and/or overnight: Once a week for most services, but once a month or more for health and social care services involving personal care, takes place on 4 days in one month or more or between 2am – 6am?If you answered YES to both questions One and Two, you can ask for a CRB check at the Enhanced level, as the employer may ask an “exempted question” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974If you answered NO, the employer would be breaking the law by requesting a CRB checkSTEP TWOQuestion OneIs the job in a school or FE college, living in the same household where the work with children takes place e.g. host families, child or vulnerable adult specific care home or hospital?ANDQuestion TwoIs the job frequently (4 times a month) intensively and/or overnight (and for contractors in the same place)?ANDQuestion 3Does the work give opportunity for contact with children or vulnerable adults?If you answered YES to all 3 questions in Step Two, you can request a CRB check at the Enhanced level, as the employer may ask an “exempted question” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974If you answered NO, the employer will be breaking the law if a CRB check is requested.If the job can be assessed as YES in either step then it comes under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 ( Part 1 of Schedule 4 for children & young people, Part 2 of Schedule 4 for vulnerable adults)NB: Standard CRB checks only check the Police National Computer (PNC) and can be used for specific jobs in security, health, law and financeWhat About CRB Checks For The Self Employed?Self employed people cannot CRB check themselves. If you are self employed and believe you need a CRB check, please contact me for advice.Hopefully this will help you remain compliant with the latest legislation.