The safety of children and young people is paramount, and TES Ltd is committed to implementing the Disclosure and Barring (DBS) procedures and arrangements. We will comply with the DBS Code of Practice and National Care Standards guidance regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Certificates.
The DBS (formerly the CRB Agency) was set up by the Home Office to improve access to the criminal record checks for employment related purposes and to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions; this applies to staff with access to children under 18 years of age, vulnerable adults or other positions of trust that fall within the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The DBS and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) both became part of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in December 2012.
The DBS Code of Practice requires all registered bodies to have a written policy and procedure on the recruitment of people with a criminal record (1). The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) requires the agency to have a written policy and procedure on the recruitment of people with a criminal record (1) and to ensure anyone applying for a job at the school receives a copy. TES Ltd are committed to the principal of equal opportunities and, subject to the overriding consideration of protecting children; we will endeavour to prevent unfair discrimination against those with a criminal record.
There are two different levels of Certificate:
Recruitment of Staff
TES Ltd are an equal opportunities employer. It is our aim to request applicants to disclose certain information regarding any previous criminal records they may hold. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar applicants from working in schools. All information declared will only be considered in the light of its relevance to the post for which they are applying. It will depend on the circumstances, background of the offence(s) and the time elapsed. In most cases a particular conviction will be of no relevance and can be disregarded for the purpose of the application. Candidates must clearly state on their application form any unspent convictions or cautions. TES Ltd comply with the DBS Code of Practice.
All candidates will be required to complete an enhanced disclosure. This asks for a declaration by the applicant to disclose any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance. Those who are subscribed to the DBS Update Service will have a status check performed on the relevant DBS certificate.
If a candidate declares any unspent convictions/cautions at registration which would not be filtered in line with current guidance and is relevant to the post for which they are applying, they would be deemed unsuitable to be placed in a school and their application would be withdrawn.
Renewal of DBS Certificates
The guidance for schools makes the following reference to DBS checks:
“A DBS certificate must be obtained from the candidate before or as soon as practicable after appointment. Alternatively, if the applicant has subscribed to it and gives permission, the school or college may undertake an online update check through the DBS Update Service. Individuals can join the DBS Update Service when applying for a new DBS check; this will allow them to reuse this check when applying for similar jobs. With the individual’s consent, their employer can go online and carry out a free instant check to see if a new certificate is required.”
Under previous DfE statutory guidance for schools, CRB checks were described as having a three year shelf life. This guidance has been repealed. The DBS states that DBS certificates have no end date. This means that consideration now needs to be given to how long individuals should be able to rely on an existing DBS certificate before a fresh status check is carried out or a new certificate is obtained. TES Ltd perform status checks on all certificates subscribed to the Update Service. These checks are carried out at least every 6 months. Those individuals who are not subscribed to the Update Service will have their TES DBS renewed every 3 years.
Check on Staff Recruited from Abroad
If an applicant has not previously lived in the UK, no purpose will be served by seeking a DBS check on arrival. The person will not have a criminal record in this country, nor will he/she appear on the Barred List or the Protection of Children’s Act List. If the teacher has lived in this country previously, a Barred List Check can be done immediately. Those who have not lived here previously should contact their embassy to seek a letter of good conduct. Where an applicant is from a country where criminal record checks cannot be made, extra care must be taken in taking up references and conducting other background checks including asking probing questions at interview. TES Ltd will also make an application for an enhanced DBS Certificate as part of our recruitment process.
Storage and Access
DBS Certificate information will be kept in a locked cabinet with access strictly limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. It is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.
Certificate information is used only for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.
Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we retain DBS Certificate information generally for a period of up to six months. This is to allow time to consider and resolve any disputes or complaints. If, in exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep the information for longer, we will consult the DBS, taking data protection and human rights issues into consideration.
Once the retention period has elapsed, any Certificate information will be destroyed by secure means, ie, by shredding. We use a confidential data destruction service to ensure that all sensitive information is shredded securely. We keep a record of the date of issue of a Certificate, the name of the subject and the unique reference number of the Certificate.