Recruitment Policy

Safer Recruitment Policy – Version 3



This policy was agreed by the Trustees at their August 2023 meeting, and was accepted by the Church Members at their September 2023 meeting.

Safer Recruitment Leads at Martin Top are the Pastor and Chair of the Trustees. 

The policy is intended for use in tandem with the Church’s Safeguarding Policy, particularly when considering the selection and appointment of an individual for a role in the Church which may include direct involvement with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.

An example, from the Safeguarding Policy, is the requirement that Leaders of Church Groups are required to notify the relevant (Elders’ or Deacons’) Meeting each time they wish to appoint an assistant leader, so that the Church can assure itself that the necessary recruitment steps are taken.

A copy of the policy will be maintained on the Church website. A hard copy may be requested via the Church Secretary.

Safer recruitment and levels of checking


Safer Recruitment processes are used when interviewing a person who is not known by the Church (ie has not been a regular attender in the last 12 months);


  • As an employee of the Church who may be involved, unsupervised, with vulnerable adults, young people, or children
  • As a leader of the Church who may be involved, unsupervised, with vulnerable adults, young people, or children


All Safer Recruitment documents with personal data are kept securely and destroyed safely after six months e.g. references, permission forms etc.


It is possible that a person may be registered on the DBS Update scheme, which allows DBSs to be used at a different organisation to that for which the DBS was gained. Otherwise, DBSs are NOT portable.


All Church leaders having direct contact with children and adults who are in vulnerable circumstances are asked to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service check.


The list of checks (see below) has been adapted to take into account the introduction of vetting and barring schemes detailed in the Protection of Freedom Act 2012.


A Local Workers Form (LWF) is required to be completed by everyone being interviewed as described at the beginning of this section.


Enhanced DBS/PVG certificates are required for all relevant roles.


The DBS/PVG certificate is the property of the applicant; however they are required to show the Church’s appointed Protection Verifier their certificate on its receipt. Details that may affect the role to which they wish to be appointed are noted and acted upon. This may mean that they are unable to take up the role applied for. The date for renewal is noted for Church records. Copies should not be taken or kept by the Church.


As well as the Protection Verifier, the Pastor and Church Secretary both hold details of current DBS-checked persons.


Enhanced Check with Barred Lists

    • Any Minister, Pastor or Church Ministry leader
    • Any retired Minister or Pastor still engaged in Church work
    • Leaders/Supervisors of people regularly working with Children
    • People transporting children on behalf of the Church


Enhanced Check

    • Leaders/Supervisors of people working with Adults
    • People transporting adults on behalf of the Church
    • Visitors authorised by the Church who undertake assistance with shopping, bills etc. The Leaders of groups or activities which involve children or young people under 18 on a regular basis.


Standard Check

    • The Leaders of groups or activities which involve adults on the Church premises.



    • Applicants requiring self-disclosure only (completion of LWF (Local Workers form and references sought)
  • Helpers in any group who are supervised at all times.
  • Protection Verifiers.


DBS certificate requirement for a third party

Regular visiting worship leaders from other churches undertaking no pastoral duties can be asked for evidence of a Disclosure certificate. The decision to make this request lies with the person(s) responsible for booking a visiting worship leader (usually the Church Secretary and Pastor).


Protection Verifier


The Church has appointed Andrew Kay as its Protection Verifier, with assistance from Gemma Bond.


In most circumstances checks are to be carried out using  the DDC (Due Diligence Checking) which is the Registered Body acting on behalf of the Congregational Federation for England and Wales.


When there is a Blemished Disclosure


In situations where there is a Blemished Disclosure (containing a criminal record), the fact will be made known to the Protection Verifier and to the Congregational Federation’s Safeguarding Officer, who will then liaise in addressing the situation.


It is important that it is recognised that the DBS is the applicant’s property and personal information, so it is important that they agree to the following Panel process taking place, and that confidentiality will be maintained throughout.


The Protection Verifier will contact the applicant to seek their approval to proceed.


If the applicant refuses to provide that approval, but still wishes to be considered for the appointment, the Protection Verifier will take up the issue with the Church’s Safeguarding Leads. It would normally be expected that the applicant’s refusal to proceed indicates an unwillingness to comply with best Safeguarding practices, and so the application should be refused.


If approval is given, the Safeguarding Officer will then have the responsibility of completing a report form relating to the blemish details. That report form will then be passed on to a Congregational Federation Panel, who will discuss the ramifications of the blemish.


The Protection Verifier will act as a go-between between the Safeguarding Officer and the applicant, adopting the view that the applicant will know him/her better.


As well as providing details, the applicant is given an opportunity to make a statement on the matter for the Panel to take into consideration.


The Safeguarding Officer will then arrange the meeting of the Panel, but will not take part in the Panel’s discussions.


An important factor of this process is that the Panel may only provide advice, and not instruction.


The Safeguarding Officer will then inform the Protection Verifier what the advice is.


If the advice is not to employ, it will usually be because it would be illegal to employ that person.  


There are, however, other reasons why the Panel may advise against appointment, an example being when the criminal record was recent and involved some degree of violence.


Where the advice is not to employ, the Protection Verifier will call a meeting of the Church’s Safeguarding Leads, at which the facts will be placed before them for a decision to be made. It may be that a risk assessment may be a useful tool in this process.


It is suggested that, as a Christian church, forgiveness and understanding along with pastoral support is important.


Where the Panel’s advice is that the appointment may proceed, the Church will proceed with the ‘normal’ process of bringing the appointment before the Church Members’ Meeting.




Local Worker’s Form (CF15)


This Congregational Church greatly values the service of those called to work with young people or vulnerable adults.  As part of our overall Safeguarding policy, we need to place on record that appropriate information has been asked of anyone wishing to serve in this way.


Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 this includes the disclosure of any criminal convictions.  The Church seeks to treat all applicants fairly, so declaring a conviction will not necessarily preclude someone from being appointed to this work. 


Completed forms should be returned to the appointed Church officer, who undertakes to keep them securely.


This section to be completed by an appointed person on behalf of the Church before completion by the applicant.






Barred List Check and Enhanced   /   Enhanced only   /   None at this time












First Names:


Date of Birth:















1)    What experience and skills do you have for work with young people / vulnerable adults?



2)    Please give details of any relevant training or qualifications.



3)    Are you prepared to undertake appropriate training?                           YES / NO




Please give contact details of two people who can advise us of your suitability for this work.
























1)    Have you any criminal convictions, cautions or bind-overs*?              YES / NO



2)    Are you at present the subject of criminal investigations?                   YES / NO



3)    Is there any other information you should declare affecting your suitability for this work?




If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, then please attach details to this form


* Please note that ‘spent’ convictions must still be declared. The amendments to the Exceptions Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are 'protected' and are not subject to disclosure to employers , and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.



I declare that the information in this application is true and complete.  I agree to provide such further information as may be required for this post, such as proof of identity and an appropriate certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service or Central Registered Body in Scotland. I understand that an interview and a probationary period may also be required






Thank you for your help.