Are You Recruiting Volunteers The Right Way?

Recruiting volunteers is a great way to get assistance in your business and also provide someone with experience, but failing to vet your volunteers correctly especially when working in the education and care industry can result in drastic consequences.

In 2016/17, just over a third of people (37%) formally volunteered at least once a year and around a fifth (22%) formally volunteered at least once a month. With such large amounts of people volunteering it is imperative that the correct processes are being followed.

In a recent case, a teacher was jailed and banned from working in a school for grooming a young girl online and was allowed to volunteer at a primary school after staff failed to carry out the appropriate checks. The school was then placed into ‘special measures’ by Ofsted as it was revealed he was allowed onto the school premises as a ‘volunteer’.

The Ofsted report stated:
‘The school’s leaders did not follow the statutory safer recruitment practices before allowing a volunteer to work with children in the classroom. A risk assessment had not been suitably undertaken or recorded, nor advice sought from the local authority before allowing the volunteer into school.’

Any individual working with children or vulnerable adults, including volunteers, is required to undertake a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. After receiving the results of the check, employers must then decide if that person is suitable for the chosen position and complete a risk assessment.

DBS checks are available for all volunteers at Standard and Enhanced levels and are offered to organisations at a reduced rate. Personnel Checks complete hundreds of volunteer DBS checks every year to provide organisations with clarity when recruiting for their business.

Our HR Business Partners, Fusion HR give their advice when recruiting a volunteer into your business:

Although the process may not be as extensive when recruiting volunteers it may still be worthwhile to undertake some of the main procedures such as gaining references from previous employers or referees.

Complete self-disclosure forms and the relevant criminal record check (Standard or Enhanced)

Issue a Volunteer Agreement – This details information and enforces that they are not an employee but that they are still under obligation to disclose any information they feel is relevant to the position, such as cautions or convictions.

Or for more information on how Fusion can help you with your volunteer agreements or to complete a volunteer DBS check, give Personnel Checks a call on
01254 355 688


Leave a comment