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Safer Recruitment

Understand our commitment to safer recruitment and the policies and practices reinforcing this.


Sarah Sutton, Head of Talent Acquisition, Human Resources (HR)
Approval date
29 Apr 2024
Approved by
Staff Experience Advisory Board
Date of last review
29 Apr 2024
Date of next review
29 Apr 2025

What is safer recruitment

Safer recruitment is crucial for maintaining a safe and secure environment within our university. It ensures that individuals recruited for various roles, especially those involving contact with children or vulnerable adults, are reliable, trustworthy and don’t present potential risks.

Our principles

  • Deter: We aim to dissuade individuals with inappropriate intentions from applying by clearly communicating that we prioritise safeguarding in application processes or job adverts.

  • Reject: We will identify and reject unsuitable candidates during our recruitment and selection process, who don’t demonstrate the necessary qualifications, skills, experience, or personal attributes required to effectively perform the required job.

  • Prevent: We have designated safeguarding officers and clear policies, processes, and behavioural standards to ensure a safe work environment and we encourage this to be communicated as part of induction and probation. 

  • Detect: We encourage people to report inappropriate behaviour and abuse. We respond effectively to foster a safe working culture.

Our safer recruitment commitment

We are committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for our students, staff, and community. We foster inclusivity, celebrating and respecting differences. We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all backgrounds and genders. We consider our recruitment practices to be comprehensive and unbiased; ensuring fairness, transparency, and equal opportunity for all.

Policies and procedures

We use the following policies and procedures to guide our safer recruitment practices. However, not all of them apply to every recruitment exercise. The applicability depends on the specific role; for instance, not all roles require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.


Staff procedures

Guidelines for staff supervising and working with those undertaking work experience

Code of practice

Training and awareness

  • All chairs of interview panels and anyone involved in shortlisting or interviewing for academic appointments are required to complete Recruitment and Selection training before a recruitment exercise takes place.
  • All managers are required to complete online training on diversity and inclusion and unconscious bias to enable fair assessment of candidates based on qualifications rather than biases, fostering an inclusive environment and contributing to a safer and more diverse community.
  • All staff are required to complete mandatory online Safeguarding training. This statutory safeguarding training module provides an overview of safeguarding for under 18s and adults who may be at risk of harm.

Recruitment and selection

Job descriptions and person specifications:


  • For identified positions where a disclosure is required, adverts will state our commitment to safer recruitment.
  • For identified positions where a disclosure is required, job adverts and recruitment documentation will contain a statement that a disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
  • We advertise vacant posts to encourage a wide and diverse field of applicants as possible. Normally this entails internal and external advertisement in relevant publications or websites, including our own website and social media channels.
  • On occasions, a post may not be advertised externally. We provide published guidance to highlight in circumstances it may be appropriate to recruit without advertising, and what steps need to be taken in such instances.
  • Candidates are advised when they apply that their application and personal information will be treated confidentially and in accordance with GDPR.

Application and shortlisting process

  • We use a structured application process that ensures a thorough, consistent, and fair process of obtaining, analysing, and evaluating information from and about applicants.
  • At least two individuals are involved in shortlisting and applications are anonymised with name and personal information removed.
  • Recruiting staff use objective criteria to shortlist candidates for interviews in line with our shortlisting guidance
  • Applicants for posts which will require either a Standard or Enhanced DBS disclosure are asked to declare any spent or unspent criminal convictions or other relevant information at the point of application.
  • We assess any disclosed convictions as part of our recruitment process as detailed in the guidance for managers: employing ex-offenders as members of staff.
  • We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, and experience.

Interviewing Process

  • We encourage selection panels to prepare Interview questions in advance.
  • Recruiting staff conduct thorough and consistent interviews, ensuring that questions relate directly to the role's requirements.
  • Where relevant this will include specific questions that explore attitudes and values in relation to safeguarding children and/or adults at risk. E.g. Is there anything we should know that could affect your suitability to work with children or those at risk?
  • Interview guidance is available for recruiting managers that outlines our expectations and aims to reduce biases.
  • We require a minimum interview panel of two to reduce biases and enhance the accuracy of evaluations.

Recruitment Decisions

  • A panel meeting is held as soon as possible after all interviews have taken place. This meeting involves all those involved in the selection/interview process.
  • A record of decision making to appoint an individual ahead of others is made on our e-recruitment system to ensure that there is a record to provide clear honest feedback to the unsuccessful candidate/s if required.
  • The final selection is always made by the panel to appoint the best candidate who meets the criteria for the role.
  • We keep clear and detailed records of the recruitment process, including applications, interview notes, reference checks, and any other relevant documentation. This ensures transparency and accountability. We do this in line with our applicant privacy notice.
  • Application for Disclosure (DBS criminal and other record check) will only be made once the recruiting panel has identified the successful applicant(s).


Pre-Employment Checks

  • We ensure prospective staff have the right to work in the UK and carry out thorough right to work checks on or before the first day of employment.
  • We ask for evidence of highest qualification appropriate to the role.
  • We ensure that only individuals who meet the required standards are recruited.

References and Background Checks

  • We obtain references from previous employers for external candidates, checking their suitability for the role.
  • References must be received before an individual begins employment.
  • We provide guidance for managers on employing ex-offenders as members of the University
  • If the position requires a DBS disclosure, this will be made after the successful candidate has been identified. ABC an Umbrella Body, administer the criminal records checking process on behalf of the University.
  • Any matter revealed in a Disclosure will be discussed with the applicant, before withdrawing a conditional offer of appointment.
  • The fact that an applicant has a criminal conviction will not necessarily bar that person from working with us. This will depend upon the nature of the position and the circumstances and the background of the offences.


  • We provide guidance for recruiting managers on how to plan an effective induction.

Probation and Trial periods

  • Newly recruited staff complete a probationary period, during which their performance, behaviour, and suitability is monitored and evaluated.
  • A four-week trial period is offered to anyone coming through redeployment.
  • If the applicant or an existing University Member who has not previously been required to work with children in their position has no experience of working with children, the line manager / supervisor will agree specific training requirements with them on appointment.

Consistency and Fairness

  • We adhere to our recruitment and selection code of practice to ensure fairness and transparency.
  • We treat all candidates fairly and equitably throughout the recruitment process. We avoid any form of discrimination, bias, or favouritism.
  • Staff, students, and visitors can report any form of discrimination, misconduct, harassment, or assault by using our support and report tool.
  • We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skill, and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications, and experience

Ongoing Monitoring and Review

  • HR (Human Resources) will ensure the recruitment and selection process is clear and up to date with regards to all elements of legislation. We aim to continuously improve the recruitment process based on feedback and experience.

Contact us

If you have any questions relating to safer recruitment please get in touch.

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