DBS procedures

I’m writing to request copies of any current policies, procedures, guidelines, training materials or similar documents relevant to the Local Authority’s interviews and criminal records checks of children’s and adults’ social workers who apply to work for you.

Local Authorities often have a policy for job applicants as well as guidelines for the managers who recruit them, I am requesting both.

Within Children’s Services, this might form part of arrangements for safe recruitment pursuant to the “Working Together to Safeguard Children” statutory guidance:- “[Local Authorities] should have in place arrangements that reflect the importance of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including: safe recruitment practices for individuals whom the organisation will permit to work regularly with children, including policies on when to obtain a criminal record check;” (page 53).

Within Adults’ Services, the “Care and Support Statutory Guidance” (14.230) recommends Local Authorities to use a recruitment and retention toolkit called “Finders Keepers” which is produced by the Skills for Care organisation. The toolkit includes “Creation of a standardised interview and scoring process”.

The reason for my request is to establish if the Local Authority has previously stated, unequivocally, that it considers it necessary for social workers:-

(i) to be interviewed face-to-face, rather than via a video link (or similar)
(ii) to be interviewed by interviewers with particular qualifications, training, or experience (e.g. Warner training)
(iii) to be interviewed by interviewers who are employees of the Local Authority
(iv) to be interviewed by the person responsible for the recruitment decision
(v) to be interviewed by the person who would manage them if they were appointed
(vi) to have their identity checked for their DBS face-to-face, rather than using posted original documents and a video link likeness (or similar)

A copy of the Devon County Council (DCC) Recruitment Policy, DCC manager guide for interviewing and the DCC manager guide for identity checks is available via the link below:


All those recruiting and selecting on behalf of DCC into posts involving children, young people or vulnerable adults is expected to complete modules 1 – 4 of the recruitment and selection e-module which is based on our recruitment policy and step by step guides.