Released recently, Skills For Care has released a free “Safe and fair recruitment guide”. You can download this guide right now.

The not-for-profit organisation makes sure that England’s adult social care workforce has the appropriately skilled people in the right places working to deliver high-quality social care.

This guide specifically assists social care and health employers on hiring safely and fairly. It helps them to understand their legal right and responsibility when carrying out criminal record (DBS) checks. The guide supports employers to make a suitable, safe, and fair recruiting decision, whilst allowing them to access risks and applicant suitability during the recruiting process.

According to the Skills For Care website, “It’s important to have effective recruitment processes in place, however, many recruitment practices unintentionally exclude people with criminal records from employment. This results in employers missing out on a huge pool of potential recruits who have the right values to make a positive contribution to a role in adult social care.”

They go on to explain that, “The guide helps employers understand that having a criminal record doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is unsuitable. It provides information and practical examples to help employers confidently implement safe and fair recruitment policies and procedures.”

Included in the guide is:

  • Information on legal rights and responsibilities regarding criminal record checks (DBS).
  • DBS eligibility criteria and appropriate level checks for different roles.
  • Help in addressing any existing barriers to recruitment.
  • Support to make recruitment processes more open.
  • Information on risk assessments for applicants with criminal records.
  • Guidance for making informed decisions about applicant suitability.

In the guide, they state that, “There are more than 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record which is more than 20% of the working-age population.”

Major changes in law requiring people to disclose criminal records to employers happened after many young people, who had made minor mistakes in their past, could be given a chance they deserve. The example that is included in the introduction, is below.

Jane was aged 14 when her father committed suicide. Several months later her uncle also died. Whilst she was in a state of grief she ended up falling in with the wrong crowd and received a youth caution for shoplifting – stealing lipstick from a supermarket.
After receiving counselling and support, Jane was able to rebuild her life successfully. She managed to achieve good grades at school and her heart was set on working in social care. Her desire to help people was instilled by some of her family (mum, aunts and grandparents) who all worked in the care sector, but Jane faced immense barriers finding a work placement due to having the caution for shoplifting.

There’s plenty of useful information in this guide released by Skills For Care which is available to download for free, right now.