Safer recruitment for parishes and churches

We are committed to excellence in safeguarding practice

The Diocese and Church of England are committed to safely recruiting and supporting all workers and volunteers who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults who attend church activities. The Church of England's Safer Recruitment and People Management Guidance (see section below for links to each section of the guidance) must be followed for all new appointments for paid and volunteers working with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. 

Due to numerous issues which have arisen over the last few months the Diocese now state that for roles which are not primarily working with children and/or vulnerable adult eg serving tea/coffee after a church service, gardening, flower arranging etc there still needs to be a form of safer recruitment.  This should comprise of a short role description, a completed confidential declaration form, completion of basic online safeguarding training, and be provided with the code of safer working practice. 


Safer Recruitment and People Management Guidance comprises of 16 sections, each of which include:

  • Requirements - The minimum standards that everyone must adhere too
  • Good practice advice - Information about why the requirements must be met, and how to meet them to a good level
  • Toolkit - Templates and resources than can be used

The following are the links to each section of the guidance and lead you through the Safer Recruitment Process:

  1. Responsibilities
  2. Role Description and Person Specification
  3. Advertising a role
  4. Application Process
  5. Confidential Declaration
  6. Shortlisting applicants
  7. Interviews and Assessment
  8. Pre-Appointment Checks
  9. Disclosure and Barring checks - DBS
  10. Criminal Records
  11. Appointment
  12. Induction
  13. Probationary/Settling in period
  14. Ongoing support, accountability, oversight and supervision
  15. Learning and Development
  16. Record Keeping

Links to template documents for use when completing the safer recruitment process:

Please remember if someone completes a confidential declaration form and answers yes to any of the questions asked then you must contact the Safeguarding team for advice before proceeding any further with the recruitment process.

New Activities 

If your church is setting up a new activity then please ensure you have covered the following before the activity commences:

  • Your church insurance is aware you will be running the activity
  • The activity has been authorised by the PCC and recorded in the minutes
  • All volunteers/paid workers must complete the safer recruitment process appropriate to their role
  • An activity risk assessment should be completed and reviewed regularly for each activity which is associated with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults which are run in the name of the church - you can download this here

Other useful template documents

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. But we do follow strict guidelines and procedures for the recruitment of ex-offenders which we expect all parishes to follow - read our policy here 

Recruitment of Overseas Applicants

Overseas applicants must complete the Church of England Safer Recruitment Process & Right to Works Checks before commencing their role.  For information relating to DBS checks for overseas volunteers please see the following page of the Diocese Web Site and government guidelines 

Recruitment for Parish Safeguarding Officers

All new appointments to the role of Parish Safeguarding Officer should complete the following Safer Recruitment Process: 

  • Provide them with the role description which they should read and understand.  For details of the tasks involved in the role of the PSO please read the PSO's role description
  • Complete a confidential-declaration form
  • Complete an application form and provide two references which should be requested and verified
  • If eligible obtain an enhanced dbs check, see the following guidance  - DBS checks for Parish Safeguarding Officers to help you decide if your PSO is eligible for a DBS check.
  • Have their appointment approved by PCC - this should be recorded in the minutes

For further information or queries relating to Safer Recruitment contact Debbie Doran, Safeguarding Support, tel 0151 705 2124 any Tuesday or Wednesday or email: or the Safeguarding team via email:


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