Amended: February 2013


Note: A range of forms and checklists are appended to the Practice Guidance.


Safe recruitment is central to the safeguarding of children, and vulnerable persons in our Service community. All organisations employing staff or volunteers to work with children or vulnerable persons have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare by ensuring that they adopt safe recruitment and selection procedures which prevent unsuitable persons from gaining access to children and vulnerable persons.


The guidance applies to all adults who have contact with children and vulnerable persons through their work whether in a paid or voluntary capacity. It applies to permanent, temporary and agency staff and to those recruited from overseas. It also applies to staff who do not have direct responsibility for children and vulnerable persons, but who will have contact with children and vulnerable persons within the organisation and will be seen as safe and trustworthy and/or have access to confidential and sensitive information, eg administrative staff, receptionists, caretakers and maintenance workers.


The Practice Guidance document (available below) from the Headquarters British Forces Germany (HQ BFG) Safeguarding Children Board sets out the procedures relating to safer recruitment, appointment and employment of personnel working with children and vulnerable persons in the Service community or associated with that community.


It is anticipated that there will be further Government guidance published on safer recruitment, at which point the Practice Guidance will be revised.


It is the responsibility of each unit, agency or organisation, including those within the voluntary and community sector operating in the BFG geographical area of responsibility (AOR), to consider how these principles can be embedded in and applied to their organisation.

A range of forms and checklists are appended to the Practice Guidance


Safe Recruitment

Organisations and agencies must have a policy statement outlining their commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable persons. It should convey that robust Recruitment and Selection procedures are in place to identify and deter people who might abuse children and vulnerable persons or are unsuitable for employment. They are to minimise the possibility of children and vulnerable persons suffering harm from those in a position of trust.


Before recruiting staff (whether paid or unpaid), you should ensure that the recruitment and selection process in place is robust and will ensure that children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded by for example checking all material used in the process as well as checking that

  • Thorough confirmation of an applicant’s identity, work history and references is undertaken;

  • Proof of qualifications are obtained

  • All checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service are undertaken as set out in the Practice Guidance below ( Annex I SOBF ( G ) 3352) of SOBFG 3352

  • A probationary period and close supervision of the person is undertaken;

  • References are obtained and confirmed.

Referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

On 1st December 2012, the Government established a new centralised Disclosure and Barring Service from the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The Disclosure and Barring Service has responsibility for managing both the criminal records and barring arrangements of the scheme.


The Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 sets out the foundation for this scheme. The Disclosure and Barring Service has an Independent Barring Board (IBB) with responsibility for taking barring decisions on new referrals and the management of two barred lists which replaced List 99, PoCA and PoVA Lists.


The system aims to provide employers with a quicker and more effective vetting and barring service. All disclosures for work with children and vulnerable persons are to be at an enhanced level for Regulated Activity.


In spring 2013, DBS will be launching an Update Service in order assist in the portability of DBS disclosure checks. Eventually this will negate the need for re-checking of those persons who are voluntary registered for the update service.


Referrals should be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) when an employer or organisation believes a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups, including children.


Under the provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006, the following groups have the power to make a referral to the DBS:

Duty to refer

  • regulated activity suppliers (employers and volunteer managers)

  • personnel suppliers

Power to refer

  • local authorities (safeguarding role)

  • education and library boards

  • health and social care (HSC) trusts (NI)

  • keepers of registers eg General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council

  • supervisory authorities eg Care Quality Commission, Ofsted


The Employment Disclosure Office will provide details to units, agencies and organisations in the BFG geographical AOR in due course on how the system will operate within the MoD.

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference set out the membership, remit and responsibilities of the HQ BFG Disclosure Review Panel.
Click here to view/ download Terms of Reference


Practice Guidance

Practice Guidance:The Recruitment and Selection of Staff in ‘Regulated Positions’ (2013) SOBF (G) 3352 Annex I