AimInterviewer GuidanceGuide for applicantsTraining

We all have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of everyone, whether they worship in our Church or join us for activities. Everyone should be treated with respect and consideration and particularly by taking care of those who may be vulnerable.

What is Safe Recruitment?

Safe recruitment processes help to create a solid foundation for ensuring that those in safeguarding ministry, be they staff or volunteers working with children, young people and vulnerable adults are comfortable in those roles and have access to support and training. They also help to ensure that no one who is unsuitable for work with those who are vulnerable is in role and to demonstrate publicly that the institution of the church is committed to safe practice. All will be selected and expected to work in accordance with current National and Diocesan Policies and Procedures and in line with the Guidelines on Equality and Diversity (CBCEW, 2004).

To get information about Safe Recruitment processes you can:

• Talk to your Local Safeguarding Rep, Designated Link Person or manager – please find their details on the Meet the Team page

• Contact the Safeguarding Administrator Jo Pearson by phone on 0114 2566453 or by e-mail at or the Safeguarding Coordinator Marie O’Donnelly by phone on 0114 256 6454 (office) or 07909 117964 (mobile) or by e-mail at

• Attend one of our Safe Recruitment training sessions

• Go to the manual.

To do this effectively, the Diocese will ensure that

Safe recruitment processes will be followed

• Within parishes and other communities, safeguarding procedures are promoted to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them.

• Activities will be planned so that they are purposeful, organized and work within Diocesan policies for Health and Safety, including where necessary required risk assessments, insurance and registers.

• Event/activity leaders set and maintain safe, consistent and understandable boundaries

• All premises, equipment and means of transport used are safe, secure and accessible, complying with current Diocesan Health & Safety Procedures and the Equality Act 2010

• There is a minimum of two adults linked to every group for all activities or events for children and vulnerable adults; ratios may be greater for particular demographics

• Confidential information is stored, used and destroyed when no longer needed in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

• All financial matters are managed in a prudent and transparent way in order to both protect the vulnerable from abuse and those who work with them from allegations

“All applicants for paid or voluntary work with children, young people and vulnerable adults must be interviewed before being appointed, The interview might be conducted by the Parish Priest, group leader and Local Safeguarding Rep. As to the degree of formality, the interviewers should bear in mind the nature of the post/role, level of responsibility it carries, and the maturity and experience of the applicant.” (Parish Pack p.32 and 33)

Interview-Guidance Document.

A Simple “Safe Recruitment” Guide for Applicants

You may get into volunteering because your priest asks you, you see an advertisement in your Parish or organisation newsletter, on the website or you hear an announcement at mass. If your priest asks you to be involved in a project, it is good practice to remind him that there is a process to follow and that you may need a DBS check.

For a document about the roles requiring a DBS, click here.

Regarding your role

The leader of the activity/role that you want to be involved in or the LSR should meet with you. This does not need to be a formal interview but they have simple questions to ask of you and information to give you, including a role description. This is an important part of the process because safe practice requires that you   know what is expected of you. The role description is also important for the office as different roles require different levels of checks.

Attached is a summary of available volunteer role descriptions.

Required documents

The Local Safeguarding Representatives, Designated Link Person or person responsible for recruiting will ask you to complete a number of forms. It is her/his responsibility to obtain those forms. We are trying to model best practice in recruiting and the pack can sometimes look daunting.

Documents List

• A Purple Disclosure and Barring Application Form

• An envelope to return your DBS certificate to the office

• A leaflet explaining the forms used within the safer recruitment process

• Safeguarding Self declaration (DBS 4) form

• Volunteer Application form

• Confirmation of Identity ID Form (DBS 3)

• Catholic Church guidance for disclosure applicants

• Catholic Church guide for the online update service

• Training questionnaire

Each document that you have to complete has a different and important function. The Diocese has worked hard with the national office (CSAS) to ensure that the paperwork is as simple as possible but there are some questions that we are obliged to ask, and there are reasons for repeating some information.

References for new applicants are taken up through the Safeguarding Office.

3-year renewal period

In this Diocese, all volunteers in ministry and employees with safeguarding responsibilities have a DBS renewal every three years. At each renewal you will also need to complete a self declaration form. If you have been doing one role for a couple of years and have an up to date DBS certificate, your suitability for a new role will need to be established and the safeguarding office will advise as to whether you need a new check. This depends, for example, on whether or not the new role has different responsibilities and whether or not the original check is at the right level. In addition people in roles such as Lourdes volunteers, will need to complete a self declaration every time they go to Lourdes.

For information about what happens to self declarations, which are confidential documents, click here.

Service of documents

It is the responsibility of Parish Safeguarding Representatives and Designated Link Persons to ensure that all paperwork is returned securely to the Safeguarding Office where it will be processed by Amanda or Jo and submitted to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

When you receive your certificate, you also have an option to register your certificate online. For information about the online registration service, see Registration is not a Diocesan requirement but it may remove the need for multiple checks in the long term. If you choose to use this service, you do need to do that within 14 days of the certificate being issued. You do not need to send in your certificate to the Safeguarding office unless you are requested to do so by either Jo or Marie.

Receiving Clearance

If you are an existing volunteer or post holder, you will not be required to stand down whilst we are processing the application. However, no new volunteer should start in role without completion of the recruitment process. So you are asked to be patient and accept that the process will be completed as quickly as possible, but that some things may be beyond control of the safeguarding office.

The DBS certificate on its own is not a guarantee that you are clear to start.
Although this happens rarely, we want to avoid situations where information comes out though references or any other matters are declared which make it inappropriate for you to be in the role and require you to stand down after you have started.
It is important therefore that you do not start in role without having received confirmation from the Safeguarding Office.

When you receive that confirmation, the Local Safeguarding Representative and Designated Link Person will advise the Parish Priest or manager and will ask you to sign the volunteer declaration found hereNew Volunteer Agreement Form.

We hope that you will sign up to some of the training sessions which are available. If you feel that the group you have joined needs some bespoke updated information or greater safeguarding awareness, please ask the safeguarding office  (see training page).

Please note that by September 2014, all volunteers and paid workers should have access to an e-learning safeguarding training package designed with the Catholic Church context in mind.