In recent years, a growing number of historical child abuse cases have come to light.
This is not just amongst the famous. There have been cases of abuse by sports coaches, teachers and other adults who worked with and around children.
As parents, we want to ensure our children are as safe as we possibly can. Therefore, public and governmental pressure has grown hugely on companies, employers and groups to ensure they have high levels of safety checks for their staff.
An interesting piece in The Guardian illustrates how even sports coaches dealing with children need to be checked for their work.
As an employer, it’s important that you understand how and when you need to carry out further criminal checks on your staff.
A basic DBS check can be done online. For example, a company like http://www.carecheck.co.uk/basic-dbs-checks/ can carry out these checks.
Any staff member who works with children or is involved in a regulated activity with children needs to have a DBS check performed. However, those in the regulated activity area need an enhanced check to ensure all information is available to the employer before the staff member has direct contact with children.
Defining regulated activity
In defining regulated activity, you are saying that the work these staff members or volunteers are doing requires an enhanced DBS check.
An employer needs to consider exactly what the day-to-day job role involves. Does the role involve the direct teaching, coaching, training or supervising of any children? Will there be any supervision of the staff member? How often will the person will be dealing directly with children? Will they be dealing directly with youngsters frequently, which is defined as once a week or more often (or overnight or on four or more days in a 30-day period)?
Will the employee have to provide personal care or health care to the child? Even short periods of such close proximity should suggest that an enhanced check would be appropriate.
The setting is also important. A person who is working in a school or nursery, even in a role with less direct contact, is likely to be around and have access to the children on a regular basis.
Exceptions would include incidental contact with children or family and friend arrangements such as occasional babysitting, particularly if it’s unpaid.