SAFER RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY
6.1 Safer Recruitment and Employment Policy
SuperCamps’ reputation for high quality childcare depends on the professionalism and hard work of all staff. SuperCamps place the safeguarding and safety of all children as their number one priority, and therefore follow this strict safer recruitment policy, to protect both the children and the staff working within the individual camp settings, and wider offices.
Recruitment SuperCamps use a variety of recruitment channels to appoint staff members with relevant experience in childcare. Recruitment decisions are made following an extensive application, interview, training and vetting process. Camps are staffed with the following positions:
• Camp Manager
• Early Years Practitioner
• Early Years Instructor
• Senior Activity Instructor
• Activity Instructor
• Bushcraft Manager
• Bushcraft Instructor
• Specialist Course Leader
• Specialist Instructor
In making the decision, the following factors are taken into account:
• Relevant qualifications or applicants studying towards a relevant qualification.
• Experience working with children in similar environments.
• Additional skills such as first aid or Lifeguarding.
• Personality and enthusiasm.
At SuperCamps, we believe in providing an environment which recognises and values people’s differences/individuality, and benefits from the unique strengths that these differences bring to our organisation. This commitment promotes respect and equal treatment for all persons regardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, marital or civil partnership, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. We insist that this respect is applied in every aspect of our business and in how we conduct ourselves, under the Equality Act 2010. We advertise our vacancies through a variety of channels, from specialist job boards, to local schools, to our own website. We believe this approach allows us to reach a wide range of applicants, to ensure SuperCamps attracts the best talent.
6.2 Selection and appointment
In appointing staff, SuperCamps use the following procedures:
• Application Form: All new candidates and returning staff are required to complete the extensive Online Application Form via the SuperCamps website. This gathers information required by Ofsted including contact information, relevant experience, qualifications, references and DBS information.
• Interview: Candidates with a strong application will be invited to take part in a telephone or Skype interview with one of our Recruitment team for a suitable role. Camp Manager applicants may be required to attend an assessment day with members of the HR Recruitment and Operations teams. At least one member of the Assessment Panel will have completed
Safer Recruitment Training. All members of the HR Recruitment team have received extensive Safer Recruitment Training.
SuperCamps use interview templates that are specific to the role for which a candidate has applied. They help to assess a candidate’s suitability for the role by investigating their experiences, motivation for working with SuperCamps, any gaps in employment, ability to adapt to on-camp scenarios, personality and safeguarding experience amongst other factors.
• References: SuperCamps require one professional or academic reference covering the past 3 years for every seasonal candidate as sufficient evidence to establish a candidate’s employment and educational history. Full time staff members will require two professional or academic references covering the past 3 years.
• Health Declaration: All staff are required to complete an annual self-assessed Health Declaration for SuperCamps to ensure they are fit for work and declare any medical issues that may impact their role on camp. Where any concerns are raised, further discussion will take place with the HR Recruitment Coordinator.
• Certificates and Qualifications: Staff appointed in specialist roles (e.g. Camp Managers, Early Years Practitioners and Lifeguards) are required to send evidence of their qualification to SuperCamps. These records are kept on file centrally at Head Office; the staff member is required to have the originals on camp for inspection, if required.
• Photo ID and Right to Work in the UK: All staff members are required to evidence that they are eligible to work in the UK, by providing at least 1 form of photo ID, which will be kept on file centrally at Head Office. In addition, staff members are also required to provide another form of ID, for example a bank statement showing their current address. Staff members are required to show photo ID when they arrive at any training day and on their first day on camp.
• DBS Checks Seasonal Staff: In line with awarding body guidance. staff are required to hold a DBS certificate, which may be registered on the DBS Update Service. DBS certificates can be obtained and issued via SuperCamps and are valid for three years. Non SuperCamps DBS certificates will be accepted if they are either on the Update Service, were issued within the last 12 months, or were obtained within the last three years with a current employer, so that SuperCamps can make checks regarding this period of time, including checks against the children’s barring list.
• DBS Checks Full Time Staff: Staff must hold a valid SuperCamps DBS certificate. DBS certificates can be obtained and issued via SuperCamps and are valid for three years. Staff can then, if they wish to, they registered on the DBS Update Service.
• Contract Paperwork: All staff will be sent a contract of employment, which they are asked to read, understand and sign. Contracts should be returned to the HR Recruitment Coordinator within 7 days of issue, along with the employee declaration, bank details, new starter checklist (tax position) and any other relevant information.
• SuperCamps Reserve Staff Members: Where an applicant is strong, but no position is currently available, that applicant will be invited to training and appointed as a trained reserve staff member. They are subject to the same background checks and training as appointed staff members and are called upon as and when work is available. This is usually to cover last minute sicknesses and dropouts or when there are increases in bookings.
• Returners: Returning members of staff are asked to re-apply each season to inform SuperCamps of any change in circumstances. This ensures SuperCamps records are kept up to date and employment gaps are monitored. SuperCamps will not re-employ anyone that has previously been dismissed from the Company.
• Performance Management & Appraisals: All staff members will be subject to ongoing performance management to help identify strengths and weaknesses. Seasonal appraisals will also be held, and information passed on to the Recruitment Team. Any performance or conduct issues will be addressed by the Camp Manager, Divisional Manager or HR team and may affect future employment with SuperCamps.
If a staff member without a SuperCamps issued DBS Check is signed up to the DBS Update Service, SuperCamps is required to see an original copy of the Disclosure to check that it is authentic and relevant to the correct workforce. The DBS Update Service allows SuperCamps to check that nothing has been added to a disclosure since it was issued.
SuperCamps will record the information provided from any DBS Check but will only keep a copy of the disclosure for a maximum of 6 months if there is a disclosure note.
• In exceptional circumstances a staff member who does not hold a current DBS may work on camp, supervised by a fully DBS checked member of staff. This will be subject to a risk assessment, authorised by the company director and placed on Camp.
• As the information contained in a DBS Check is only correct at its date of issue, all staff members are asked to sign a DBS Declaration as part of their Application Form and contract of employment. Before they begin work the staff member needs to state that no criminal offences have been committed since the disclosure was issued, which would be every 3 months. Any false information or deliberate omission may result in dismissal or disciplinary action.
• SuperCamps volunteers are subject to the same pre-employment checks as paid staff members. This includes satisfactory DBS status and references.
• SuperCamps takes its responsibility to safeguard children seriously and acts on ‘Keeping children safe in education’ guidance referring to ‘Disqualification by Association’. SuperCamps asks their staff to provide relevant information about themselves or a person who lives or works in the same household as them, in order to determine whether or not the disqualification by association requirement applies.
• SuperCamps will carry out prohibition from management checks with the Management employees within Head Office, where necessary.
A Single Central Register containing the vetting requirements of all staff working at Head Office and on camp is maintained in accordance with current guidelines to ensure the safeguarding of all children in SuperCamps care.
SuperCamps believe pre-camp and ongoing training is vital in ensuring the safe and smooth running and delivery of the SuperCamps product and all safeguarding practices. SuperCamps will endeavour to ensure all staff complete 3 stages of training before working with children. Returning staff all have regular training updates during their employment with SuperCamps. Although SuperCamps preference is to employ qualified staff in childcare studies or teaching, SuperCamps understands the importance of SuperCamps specific training to ensure all staff members are aware of SuperCamps Policies and Procedures and the on-going updates in the childcare industry.
Once a member of staff has been employed they will be required to complete this 3 part training process:
1. Online training: SuperCamps has an online training platform which requires staff to watch various videos and read literature which gives an introduction to SuperCamps and includes in depth training on Health and Safety and Safeguarding. Staff will need to complete a modular knowledge test with a threshold of 80% to complete the training. SuperCamps keeps a central record of all staff that complete the online training.
2. Central Training & Assessment Day: This is the core element of training for all camp staff. This face to face training is led by the SuperCamps Operations Team. It builds on the lessons from the Online Training programme through team building games, workshops and exercises. There is also specific Safeguard training. Camp Manager Central training comprises of two full days.
3. Camp Induction Day: This takes place at the specific SuperCamps camp at which a staff member is employed. It is compulsory for all staff to complete a Camp Induction Form at each different SuperCamps camp, each season. (A season is defined as an individual school holiday break be it half term or between terms). If a member of staff is unable to make the Camp Induction Day (usually the weekend before camp starts) then they will need to complete the Camp Induction Form on the first day they start at that particular camp. Staff will put what they learn at their Central Training and Assessment Day into practice at the camp whilst preparing camp for the upcoming season.
Returning members of staff
Due to camps only operating during the school holidays, SuperCamps defines a returning member of staff as someone that has worked on camp previously and has had SuperCamps training within the past two years.
Returning members of staff receive training in the following ways:
1. Returning staff are asked to complete SuperCamps training every 2 years.
2. Returning members of staff are on the SuperCamps mailing list and receive a pre-camp update email pre-camp, each season. The pre-camp email contains updates and changes to SuperCamps procedures.
3. Returning members of staff have the opportunity to gain further qualifications through SuperCamps such as Paediatric First Aid, Specialist Safeguarding Training and a Food Hygiene Certificate.
Records of training Training records for SuperCamps staff members are kept centrally at SuperCamps Head Office. Information regarding the training a staff member has received is sent to the Camp Manager on a weekly basis during the season.
Other Camp Staff Training In addition to the Camp Manager training programme, SuperCamps provides a training programme for all positions on camp, which are:
• Specialist course Leaders
• Senior Activity Instructors
• Activity Instructors
• Early Years Practitioners.
1. Online training: SuperCamps have an online training platform which requires staff to watch various videos and read literature which gives an introduction to SuperCamps and includes in depth training in Health and Safety and Safeguarding. Staff will need to complete a modular knowledge test with a set ‘pass-mark threshold’ to complete the training. SuperCamps keep a central record of all staff that complete the online training. This will also include activity specific training, such as Food Handlers training.
2. SuperCamps Training Day (face to face): The training day is compulsory for all Specialist course staff, and will be the core training element for these staff. The training will be delivered by the SuperCamps Training Team. Activity Instructors and Early Years Practitioners will be offered the opportunity to attend a SuperCamps Activity Day, specifically designed to look at the activities provided on camp. This will be a hands on training day for staff to gain knowledge of the activities and how to ensure all children are fully engaged during the activity sessions. These Activity Training Days are not compulsory. Specialist Instructors will have the option to attend a Food Training Day, however this will be compulsory for staff that do not have the desired level of qualification or experience.
3. Camp Induction Day: This takes place at the specific SuperCamps camp at which a staff member is employed. It is compulsory for all staff to attend the camp induction day and to complete a Camp Induction Form at each different SuperCamps camp and for each season. (A season is defined as an individual school holiday break be it half term or end of term).
SuperCamps Recruitment and Training Schedule:
Returning members of staff
Due to camps only operating during the school holidays, SuperCamps defines a returning member of staff as someone that has worked on camp previously and has had SuperCamps training within the past two years. Returning members of staff receive training in the following ways:
1. Returning staff are asked to complete the online SuperCamps and safeguarding training every year. If their role requires face to face training, this is to be completed every 2 years. 2. Returning members of staff are on the SuperCamps mailing list and receive a pre-camp update email pre-camp, each season. The pre-camp email contains updates and changes to SuperCamps procedures. 3. Returning members of staff have the opportunity to gain further qualifications through SuperCamps such as Paediatric First Aid, Specialist Safeguarding Training and a Food Hygiene Certificate.
Records of training Training records for SuperCamps staff members are kept centrally at SuperCamps Head Office. Information regarding the training of individual staff members is sent to the Camp Manager on a weekly basis during the season.
6.4 Allegations against a member of staff
SuperCamps is committed to providing a service of the highest quality. This right to a high quality service applies to all children, the parent(s)/guardian(s), staff members, host camp staff and members of the public. If any individual feels that the service they have received is less than adequate SuperCamps ask that they make a complaint through the complaints procedure (14.1 Pg. 46). If an individual feels that a staff member has acted inappropriately, they have the right to make a formal allegation of misconduct against that staff member.
If the allegation is made by a child
• The member of staff who receives the allegation should involve the Camp Manager immediately.
• The Camp Manager will inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will then will discuss this with the local authority designated officer (LADO) in the first instance before SuperCamps investigates. (3.2 Pg.8) The Recruitment Manager at Head Office will also be informed at the earliest convenience.
• If the allegation is against the Camp Manager the member of staff who received the allegation should contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead (3.2 Pg.8) or Recruitment Manager at Head Office at the earliest convenience.
• Full notes should be recorded detailing what is said, and staff dealing with the allegation must show themselves to be sympathetic and understanding, but non-committal and non-judgemental.
• Once informed, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (3.2 Pg.8) or Recruitment Manager will take charge of the situation and commence the investigation process.
• The Designated Safeguarding Lead (3.2 Pg.8) or Recruitment Manager will contact the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the child to explain the nature of the allegation and to discuss/propose the action to be taken.
• The Designated Safeguarding Lead (3.2 Pg.8) or Recruitment Manager will arrange for the member of staff concerned to be questioned about the matter, and for the incident to be investigated. This may necessitate taking statements from other members of staff/children on camp about the alleged incident.
• The Designated Safeguarding Lead (3.2 Pg.8) or Recruitment Manager will use all available resources to resolve the matter, including informing Ofsted, the Local Authority Safeguarding Board, Social Services and the Police where necessary, and will ensure that all parties, staff member(s) the parent(s)/guardian(s) and child) are kept advised of any on-going developments.
If the allegation is made by the parent(s)/guardian(s)
• The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be directed immediately to the Camp Manager, and the above procedure will be followed and the matter will be investigated accordingly.
If the allegation is made by another member of staff
• Minor internal disputes e.g. stemming from a conflict of interest/personality should not need to involve other members of staff, parent(s)/guardian(s), and will be resolved through a meeting with the involved parties, the Camp Manager and/or a representative from Head Office.
• Allegations regarding the staff member’s behaviour towards a child, the parent(s)/guardian(s) or member of the public will follow the procedure above.
• If an allegation is made and proved to be accurate, resulting in formal action, where appropriate and necessary to do so, SuperCamps will inform all the appropriate regulatory bodies, including Ofsted.
• SuperCamps believes that every member of staff has the right to work in an environment that is free of abuse and harassment. This includes verbal, physical, sexual, emotional and racial abuse and bullying. SuperCamps will take very seriously any reports of abuse, assault or harassment and will support the individual in making complaints to the police and other appropriate authorities.
• If the staff member does not feel that SuperCamps have taken the allegation seriously enough then the staff member should follow the whistleblowing policy (8.0 Pg. 30).
Suspension of staff
• If allegations of misconduct are made against a staff member and this requires investigation from the Local Authority Safeguarding Board, the police, Ofsted or any other regulatory body, SuperCamps will suspend the staff member whilst the investigation takes place.
• If allegations of misconduct are made against a staff member and are investigated internally, SuperCamps will make any decisions regarding suspension during the investigation in accordance with SuperCamps Disciplinary Procedures.
• SuperCamps will fully cooperate with any external agencies that may be involved in all or part of any investigation.
The outcome of investigations
• If allegations of misconduct are proved to be true and are considered to be an act of gross misconduct, the staff member concerned may be immediately dismissed and referred to the Local Safeguarding Board and Ofsted if not done so already.
• If the allegations of misconduct are proved to be true and are considered to be an act of misconduct, the staff member concerned may be issued with a first or final formal warning.
• The SuperCamps staff member coordinating the investigation will inform all parties involved where appropriate, of the outcomes reached.
This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Complaints Policy and Procedure (14.0 Pg. 45). This procedure in no way affects the rights of any individual to make a complaint to SuperCamps Head Office, Ofsted, Local Safeguarding Board or the police
7.0 Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy
To protect the safety and well-being of all children and staff, illegal drugs, unauthorised drugs or alcohol must not be possessed or bought, sold, or otherwise obtained on camp at all. This policy applies to all staff and children and anyone else present on camp.
Illegal or unauthorised drugs and alcohol have no place at SuperCamps and are not acceptable within the boundaries of any of our camps or venues. Authorised drugs in the form of prescribed medicines, for both staff and children, are to be stored in a secure place (out of reach of the public and children) and are to be administered by the Camp Manager following the Administration to Medicine procedure. (11.0 Pg.39)
SuperCamps realise that the children that attend camp are young and unlikely to be exposed to the misuse of drugs, alcohol or tobacco however it cannot ignore the dangers to which they are exposed through the media and older children within the range of their acquaintance.
Where any member of the SuperCamps community, staff, parent(s)/guardian(s) or visitor is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, they will be asked to leave immediately and action taken to ensure their safety, with supervision.
It is the aim of SuperCamps to provide the highest possible quality of childcare delivered by its staff. The contract sent to every staff member highlights that it is the staff member’s responsibility to ensure that they are fit for duty and free of any substances that may impair their performance each day. Under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, staff are required to take reasonable care of themselves and others who would be affected by what they do.
The following declaration is written in every contract which each member of staff is expected to read, sign and return to Head Office:
‘If offered employment with SuperCamps you will not at any time be under the influence of drugs or be compromised by alcohol consumed during or prior to your shift’.
Camp Managers are trained in what is considered acceptable conduct from their staff members. If they have any cause for concern and feel that the welfare of the children is in any way at risk they are trained to deal with the situation immediately by following the allegations against a member of staff (6.4 Pg.27).
Procedure for dealing with incidents involving staff
• Substance misuse related incidents involving staff is subject to SuperCamps Employment and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures.
• Substance misuse outside camp hours could adversely affect job performance and so trigger competency procedures. If the effects of misuse are such that child or staff safety is at risk, the member of staff can be suspended pending disciplinary action. This may include dismissal.
• Staff are obliged to cooperate with testing procedures, including giving biological samples for analysis when there is reasonable suspicion of substance abuse. Refusal to cooperate is a disciplinary offence that could result in disciplinary action including dismissal.
Procedure for dealing with children after an incident • Drugs and alcohol affect behaviour. The fact that drugs or alcohol have caused a child to behave inappropriately will not be seen as a mitigating factor – the behaviour will be dealt with using the behaviour policy (13.0 pg.42).
• It would be normal practice to contact the police according to the agreed protocol if a search is required or if there is a concern about dealing in illegal drugs.
• Exclusion may be an appropriate action for using alcohol or drugs on camp, but each case will depend on circumstances. Longer exclusions could be used for situations where accompanying behaviour is sited.
• A child must not be released to walk, cycle or catch the bus home if there is concern about mental impairment resulting from drink or drugs. If necessary, reasonable force may be used to restrain the child – the behaviour will be dealt with using the behaviour policy (13.0 pg.42).
Informing the parent(s)/guardian(s)
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) should be informed of any drug related incident unless there are child protection concerns.
• Parent(s)/guardian(s) would normally be contacted directly by telephone in the event of proven drug usage.
Procedure for dealing with adults (not staff)
• SuperCamps is not able to release children into the care of other adults where there is a possibility of harm to that child.
• Where there is evidence that the parent(s)/guardian(s) or authorised adult(s) arriving at camp to collect children are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, either social services or the police will be contacted in line with the safeguarding policy (3.0 Pg.8).
8.0 Whistleblowing Policy
SuperCamps is committed to the highest possible standards of:
• Openness and inclusiveness.
• Integrity in-line with that commitment.
• Encourage those working in a SuperCamps setting to report suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible, in the knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate, and that their confidentiality will be respected.
• Provide guidance on how to raise concerns.
• Reassure those raising concerns that they are able to raise genuine concerns “made in the public interest” without fear of reprisal, even if they turn out to be mistaken.
SuperCamps will provide all reasonable protection for those who raise concerns “made in the public interest”. SuperCamps will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate personal support is offered both to a staff member raising a concern and to any staff member against whom allegations have been made under this policy.
What is whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is defined as ‘raising concerns about misconduct within an organisation or within an independent structure associated with it’ (Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life). In the legislation it is called a protected disclosure. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects staff from suffering a detriment in their employment or being dismissed by their employer if they make disclosures in accordance with the legislation.
A staff member has certain common law confidentiality obligations to their employer. However, in a limited set of circumstances whistleblowing may override these obligations if a staff member reveals information about their employment or the work of SuperCamps. This guidance sets out the circumstances under which these disclosures may lawfully be made.
A concern must relate to something which:
• Is a breach of SuperCamps policies.
• Falls below established standards or practice.
• Amounts to improper conduct, including something that may be:
– A breach of the law.
– A failure to comply with a legal obligation.
– A possible miscarriage of justice.
– A Health & Safety risk.
• Is damaging the environment.
• Is corruption or unethical conduct.
• Involves the abuse of children or other adults.
• Deliberately conceals any of these matters.
• Is of any other substantial or relevant concern.
These issues could have arisen in the past, be currently happening or likely to happen in the future. The law does not protect a staff member who would be breaking the law in making the disclosure. How to raise a concern All concerns will be treated sensitively and with due regard to confidentiality and where possible every effort will be made to protect identity. Nevertheless, this information will need to be passed on to those with a legitimate need to have this information and it may be necessary for the whistle-blower to provide a written statement or act as a witness in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings or enquiry. This will always be discussed first.
To raise a concern you should normally raise it with your line manager. This can be done in person or in writing. SuperCamps recognises that sometimes it may be inappropriate for you to approach your line manager with your concern. In these circumstances, a number of alternatives are available depending on the nature of your concern. You can contact any of the following:
• DSL Team
• Head of Operations
Although you are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of your concerns, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient evidence or other reasonable grounds to raise them.