Recruitment and operations policy
Recruitment & Operations Policy
Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation is a governing and regulatory body who ensure that all Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses are operating legally and ethically.
Humly has gained the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Audited Education accreditation which demonstrates that it has met standards of good practice in selection, vetting, development, provision, and management of agency workers to the education and childcare sector. We are Corporate Members of the REC, which ensures that we comply with all legal requirements of the Recruitment Industry. Recruitment legislation is reviewed annually or when any changes occur, and regular training is given to all our employees to ensure that we fully comply with the below legislation:
- Employment Agencies Act (1973) *
- Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations (2003) *
- Agency Worker Regulations (2010) *
- Equality Act (2010) *
- Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) *
- Asylum & Immigration Act (1996) *
- Data Protection Act (1998) *
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) *
- Education Health Standards (England) Regulations (2006) *
as amended from time to time*
New Applicants (Pre-Employment Checks):
Humly treats the safeguarding of children seriously and understands that schools and nurseries are required to keep a central record of the pre-employment checks made on all staff including those who work via the agency. Therefore, before any member of supply staff is deployed to a school, Humly will send a booking confirmation email, which includes a link to our platform and the Safer Recruitment Checklist which shows the mandatory pre-employment checks that have been carried out on each candidate booked, along with a photograph in line with the latest safeguarding guidance. The pre-employment checklist is printable, but it also remains online to see at any time and can be used as confirmation for Ofsted inspections.
We ask all agency workers to take their original DBS Enhanced Disclosure and a form of photographic ID to all client bookings.
Please find below a comprehensive list of the vetting checks and recruitment processes that Humly conducts to ensure that the candidates we deploy are suitable for work with our client schools, nurseries, and local authorities.
Short Application Form
All applicants complete a short application form online, and from these details, are pre-screened with several basic questions to ascertain their suitability for work,the candidate is then invited to attend a registration interview either online or face to face at the office. The short online application form contains their basic contact details, emergency contacts, gives information about the DBS checking process, advises them that they will be asked to disclose relevant criminal convictions. The online application form provides space for our candidates to highlight their preferred work, and if they do not have Curriculum Vitae (CV), it provides space for them to detail all educational and employment history. Candidates are also asked to provide details of their two employment references here.
Our online application form is then used as a tool to aid the consultant in structuring the interview and ensuring that the Humly recruitment process is followed accurately. It consists of the appropriate agency worker policies on Recruitment of Ex-Offenders, Health & Safety, Complaints, Equal Opportunities, Safeguarding and a brief overview of how the medical fitness checking process works in line with the Education (Health Standards) England regulations. All temporary workers are asked to confirm online in the Post Interview part of their online portal that they have read, understood, and agree to these policies and that the information they have provided is accurate.
The online application contains a checklist of all of the mandatory pre-employment checks to aid our consultants in completing the relevant paperwork and vetting information for each candidate accurately.
The online application also asks candidates to select whether they are looking for temporary work, permanent work or both.
An interview is conducted either online or face to face during the registration process, prior to work placements, which enables us to ask further questions about employment history, qualifications and requirements for future work, it also acts as an induction for the candidates,to explain how Humly operates including relevant policies, contract information, payroll and timesheet information. A full induction to temporary and/or permanent work finding services is provided at this interview, with roles and responsibilities explained.
The candidate’s full employment history is thoroughly checked at interview,to ensure that all the skills declared are based on actual experience. Any gaps in employment are identified by a thorough discussion of the candidate’s CV at interview. The interview notes and CV are then cross referenced with relevant employment references.
Humly makes thorough checks to verify each applicant’s identity including name, date of birth, address, and photographic identity, for example an original birth certificate along with proof of permanent NI number or a current and valid passport, or biometric residence permit. Any change of name by marriage or deed-poll is also checked.
If the candidate is being interviewed online, we ask them to submit their photographic ID via YOTI digital identity verification application which is approved by the government. During the online interview we also ask them to hold up evidence.
Proof of Address
We obtain evidence of proof of address to support the ID check,this is in the form of a utility bill or bank statement, which is less than 3 months old. Only official documents satisfy our requirements.
If the candidate is being interviewed online, we ask them to hold up to the camera the document which they have sent us to use for this purpose.
Right to Work
Humly conducts right to work checks on every work seeker we intend to supply to our clients to comply with immigration and equality law. We will conduct a physical document check or an online check to establish a candidate’s right to work. Where a right to work check is conducted using the online service,the information is provided in real-time, directly from Home Office systems and so there will be no requirement to see the documents listed below.
Physical right to work checks
For physical document checks we follow the three-step process set out in the Home Office Guidance: An employer’s guide to right to work checks:
- Step one:
We obtain the work seekers original documents. The work seeker must provide us with either one document from LIST A of the Home Office right to work checklist or any of the documents or combination of documents from LIST B of the checklist. We only accept original documents. Photocopies or electronic scans are not acceptable.
- Step two:
We take reasonable steps to check that the document is valid and that the work seeker is the person named in the document.
For each document we complete the following checks:
- check any photographs are consistent with the appearance of the work seeker;
- check any dates of birth listed are consistent across documents and that we are satisfied that these correspond with the appearance of the work seeker;
- check that the expiry date for permission to be in the UK has not passed;
- check that the documents are valid and genuine, have not been tampered with and belong to the holder; and
- If given two documents which have different names, we ask for a further document to explain the reason for this. The further document could be a marriage certificate, a divorce decree absolute, a deed poll or a statutory declaration.
- Step three:
We make a copy of the relevant page/s of the document in a format which cannot be subsequently altered. This can include a photocopy or a scan or where we take an electronic copy,this will be in a non-rewritable format.
Where the work seeker has provided us with a passport, we will photocopy or scan the following: any page with the document expiry date,the holder’s nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph and any page containing information indicating that the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK and undertake the work in question.
For all other documents, we make a clear copy or scan of the document in full, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit.
All copies of documents taken will be kept securely for the duration of the work-seekers engagement with Humly and for two years afterwards. The copy will then be securely destroyed.
Online right to work checks
For online right to work checks we will follow the three basic steps set out in the the Home Office Guidance:
An employer’s guide to right to work checks:
- Step one:
We use the Home Office online right to work checking service in respect of an individual and will only employ the person, if the online check confirms they are entitled to do the work in question;
- Step two:
We satisfy ourselves that any photograph on the online right to work check is of the individual presenting themselves for work; and
- Step three:
We retain a clear copy of the response provided by the online right to work check (storing that response securely, electronically or in hardcopy) for the duration of employment and for two years afterwards.
We have access to the PRADO database which gives examples of relevant documents from different countries and status.
If there was any doubt as to the person’s Right to Work, we would contact the UK Visas and Immigration department (UKVI) to gain further clarification.
Since July 2021 EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are asked to prove their right to work by the UK government’s online Right To Work checking service, whereby the candidate can then provide us with a share code that enables us to check their right to work online.
International citizens are asked to prove their right to work via a Work Visa, Biometric Residency Permit, a current Passport, and a share code. Irish citizens can continue to use a Passport or Passport card.
If the candidate is being interviewed online, we ask them to hold up to the camera the document(s) which they have sent us to use for this purpose.
DBS Enhanced Disclosure Check
Subject to filtering rules, all candidates working with children are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, and so Humly require candidates to declare any cautions, convictions, or pending prosecutions, even if they would otherwise be considered ‘spent’ under this Act.
DBS Enhanced Disclosure checks are conducted on all candidates deployed to work with children or vulnerable adults. The Enhanced Disclosure ensures candidates are checked against local police force records, and all Enhanced Disclosures include a check of the Children’s Barred List. We don’t make a check of the Adult Barred List unless the candidate could be working with students of 18 & 19 years of age. and we are eligible to do so under the DBS guide to eligibility.
Before placing a candidate, we will confirm that a relevant Disclosure has been received and whether there is any information on it.
Disclosures are renewed annually unless there is a break from working for us of more than 3 months or there are grounds to believe the candidate may be unsuitable for work with children (in which case a new relevant Disclosure is requested).
If the candidate is registered with the DBS Update Service, we will use this service and comply with the guidelines of its use, instead of applying for a new Disclosure, and if the candidate is being interviewed online, we ask them to hold up to the camera the original DBS certificate and cross reference it with the copy we are sent. We also ask the candidate to come to their local recruitment office and show us their original DBS certificate and also take their original DBS certificate to each booking.
Please refer to our DBS and Update Service Policy as well as our Filtering Guidance and DBS Storage and Retention Policy for full details of our DBS checking procedures.
Overseas Police Checks
Candidates who have lived or worked overseas for 6 months or more in the last 5 years are asked for an original police check from the relevant country, or a letter of good conduct from the relevant embassy or employer before they can be deployed to work. A DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate is also requested.
If an overseas police check or letter of good conduct is unobtainable and we have taken all reasonable practicable steps to comply with the above requirements but have been unable to do so, we will notify the client of this, along with the steps we have taken to comply and the extent that we able to do so, we would inform the client of these steps with a database alert and advise the client to do their own risk assessment on the situation before booking the candidate.
The above will only be offered to clients when all other pre-employment checks are clear.
Disqualification under the Childcare Act
All candidates who will be potentially working with children under the age of 8 are asked to agree to an online declaration to confirm that they are not disqualified under this Act.
Qualifications & QTS Check
Original qualification certificates & QTS certificates are requested to be uploaded or emailed across during the pre screening phone call prior to the interview and then are verified as original documents during the interview. Overseas-trained teachers are asked to provide a letter from Ecctis UK in addition to their original qualification as evidence of equivalency to UK standards. Induction certificates are also requested where teachers have completed it and qualified after May 1999.
Official translations of overseas documents are requested where they are not written in English.
If the candidate is being interviewed online, we ask them to hold up to the camera the qualification and QTS document(s) which they have sent us to use for this purpose.
Please see our separate policies on Overseas Trained & Non-QTS Teachers, and also Early Career Teacher recruitment.
Teaching Regulatory Agency (TRA), previously NCTL & GTC
Humly check that all teachers are registered with The Teaching Regulation Agency, whether any restrictions are in force, and whether they have completed their QTS and induction period.
All candidates names are checked against the TRA for any work restrictions, including Teaching Assistants, and Nursery Nurses.
Humly will continue to check teachers’ membership and prohibitions on registration and if they return to the company having had a break from working for us.
Teachers with QTLS are permitted to work in schools, so Humly checks their registration to the Society for Education & Training (SET) to confirm QTLS prior to placing them out to work.
Humly requires evidence of all relevant childcare qualifications
- Qualified Teachers require at minimum, Postgraduate Teaching qualification, Degree Certificate, QTS Certificate and Induction Certificate.
- ECT Teachers require at minimum, Degree Certificate, Teacher Reference Number.
- Cover Supervisor require at minimum, Degree certificate or Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools, Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, Level 3 Award/Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, Level 3 Certificate in Cover Supervision, Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools or a Level 4 Higher Level Teaching Assistant Certificate.
- Teaching Assistant/Learning Support Assistants require at a minimum, GCSEs in Maths and English.
- High Level Teaching Assistant require at a minimum, a Level 3 in Higher Level Teaching Assistant certificate.
- Qualified Nursery Practitioners require at a minimum, a Level 2, Level 3 or higher childcare certificate by a professional qualification accredited body that is full and relevant and accepted by DfE to work in an early years setting.
Humly requires all candidates to complete a health declaration after they have cleared all other pre-employment checks and been accepted onto our supply list, but before being booked for work. This process is in line with the Education Health Standards (England) Regulations, and the Equality Act.
A letter from a GP or Occupational Health specialist is obtained to confirm medical fitness to teach or take sole responsibility of children, for any disclosed medical condition or disability. This check is renewed annually.
Please see our separate Medical Fitness Policy for further information.
At least 2 written teaching or childcare work references are taken from a Headteacher or Manager to cover the last 2 years of work history. One of the references must be from the Manager/Head of the candidate’s most recent employer even if that is another agency.
In exceptional circumstances, we will take up a professional character reference if we are unable to obtain two employment references. Our clients will be notified if there is a professional character reference on file in relation to that candidate that’s booked.
Please see separate Professional Referencing Policy for further information.
CONTINUED SUITABILITY OF ACTIVE CANDIDATES:
Vetting and monitoring do not stop once a candidate is accepted onto Humly’s register. Regular performance feedback appraisals and ongoing auditing of files every 3 months to ensure the continued suitability of Humly’s teachers and support staff to work in our schools and nurseries.
AUDITING & QUALITY:
No candidate is deployed to an educational setting unless all mandatory vetting checks have been completed, or the customer has requested a candidate and confirmed in writing that they are aware of, and happy to have candidates booked with incomplete checks.
Where expiry dates are due on candidate files our platform automatically flags this and highlights the candidate to the admin team to complete the re-checks. Alerts will also flag to our staff via the platform if they try to place an expired candidate into a booking.
Internal audits are completed by managers to ensure all candidate files are audited correctly. We are also externally audited every 2 years by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
APPRAISAL & MONITORING OF PERFORMANCE:
Verbal feedback is gathered on all candidates following day-to-day placements as often as possible by our staff. Written feedback is requested through the secure CRM.
Clients are able to login and complete short appraisals for candidates they have had working on supply and also tag candidates as preferred or not-preferred.
Our staff monitor all feedback to support candidate’s professional development, affirm expectations and select the most appropriate candidate for each position. Feedback is recorded onto our database via the preference system allowing booking searches to automatically show clients preferred/not-preferred candidates. Feedback is also recorded in the candidate and client’s database history record.
COMPLAINTS, MISCONDUCT & CAPABILITY:
The Humly Complaints Policy ensures the efficient referral, investigation and resolution of any incident or complaint, and our Conduct & Capability Policy gives details on how we deal with complaints about our agency workers.
All incidents and complaints will initially be handled and resolved by the candidate/client’s Consultant with referral to the Manager or Director for resolution as appropriate.
Where possible candidates are invited into the office to discuss any misconduct or capability issues.
Serious complaints can be referred to the DBS and/or the Teaching Regulation Agency.
Please refer to our Complaints Policy for full details of how we deal with complaints.
SAFEGUARDING & ALLEGATIONS:
Any candidate who has an allegation made against them is immediately suspended from bookings and not placed in another educational setting until the matter is resolved satisfactorily.
Humly will liaise with the client, LADO, and the candidate to complete a relevant investigation surrounding any allegation.
Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy for full details of our investigation process.
NEW INFORMATION RECEIVED:
If Humly receive information from any source regarding any of our active working candidates that raises a safeguarding or employment concerns, we would follow either our Safeguarding Policy (and complete and investigation) or our Complaints Policy. Where relevant we would discuss matters with the temporary worker and inform the client, giving them the opportunity to cancel the assignment. New information received about any permanent placed candidates would be discussed with the client within the first 3 months of placement.
The Conduct Regulations under Regulation 20 places agencies and employment businesses under an obligation to act if they find out a work seeker is unsuitable. This obligation is slightly different for employment agencies (introducers of permanent candidates) and employment businesses (suppliers of temporary workers). The obligations are set out below:
Unsuitability of Permanent Candidates
If, within three months from the date of introduction of a work seeker to a hirer we receive or obtain information which indicates that the work seeker is or may be unsuitable for that position we will inform the hirer without delay i.e. on the same day or the next business day if that is not reasonably practicable. For example if we take up a reference or otherwise hear of information that would make the candidate unsuitable we will inform the hirer.
Unsuitability of Temporary Workers
Where we receive or obtain information during the course of an assignment that gives us reasonable grounds to believe that a worker supplied to a hirer is unsuitable (see above) we will inform the hirer without delay and end the assignment.
If the information only indicates that the work seeker may be unsuitable but is insufficient to give us reasonable grounds to believe that s/he is in fact unsuitable we will commence such enquiries as are reasonably practicable and inform the hirer of the information received and the enquiries being made. If as a result of those enquiries we have reasonable grounds to believe s/he is unsuitable we will without delay inform the hirer and end the assignment.
Unsuitability and the Data Protection Act
The sort of information that might indicate a worker is unsuitable will depend on the circumstances but may be a relevant criminal conviction that should have been disclosed; qualifications found to be false; or a medical condition that means the worker may either be at risk by performing the work or s/he may be placing others at risk. It should be information that would mean we would not have put the work seeker forward in the first place, and must be more than just gossip.
It is likely that processing of data to comply with regulation 20 will have a lawful basis under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 6 of the GDPR sets out that processing will be lawful based on 6 possible bases, including where it is “necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject” and where it is “necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or a third party”(although there are exceptions to the latter of these). It is likely that as we are processing the data to comply with the Conduct Regulations this will be a sufficient legal obligation, but there is also a point to be made that the processing of this data is in our client’s legitimate interest as it will affect their engagement of the individual.
However, we must be careful to check the accuracy of any information we receive as the communication of any false or misleading information prejudicial to the worker could give rise to a possible claim for damages for defamation. We should therefore ensure that if this situation does arise that we do not disclose more information to the client than is necessary. It may be sufficient where we have supplied a temporary worker to simply state that“the worker is being withdrawn pending”investigations into their suitability without stating what the allegations are.
UPDATES OF SAFER RECRUITMENT CHECKS:
We operate a traffic light system on our database for alerting admin staff when pre-employment checks need updating.
Candidates who haven’t been placed out to work for a period of 3 months will go ‘red’ on our database (red means the candidate cannot be placed out to work),there is an intermediate period whereby their file turns Recruitment and Operations Policy ‘amber’ which alerts admin staff to contact the candidate and update their DBS Disclosure or refresh the DBS Status Check via the Update Service.
A declaration of safeguarding training being completed is requested annually and free training is provided for candidates who haven’t had safeguarding training in the last 12 months. Many other free online training courses are also available to our candidates.
Annual medical checks, DBS checks and prohibition checks are completed as standard and any candidate returning to us after a break in employment of 3 months or more will also have more up-to-date employment references checked.
Candidates on our database who have expired checks and who we haven’t been able to get hold of will turn inactive. They won’t be booked out to work because they are classified as red via our database traffic light system (this prevents them being placed into a booking), but they will remain on our database to contact and try to get them compliant for work again.
We contact these candidates via phone, email, and text messaging. If we don’t get a response from a candidate within 6 months we will INACTIVATE their file, which means that our staff will no longer be able to contact them, and to be compliant with the GDPR their data is stored for no longer than 2 years. The candidate is then sent a written communication advising them of this process and letting them know that if they need us in the future to please get in touch.
Candidates will sometimes leave us for periods of time and then return at a later date. If we know that a candidate will be returning to us on a particular date,their database file will be made unavailable by marking this on their online calendar. If we are unaware of a return date,the inactive processes will take effect, so after 3 months their file goes red for pre-employment check updates and contacts, and after 6 months their file will become inactive and the file archived, and after 2 year the file is destroyed.
If a candidate returns to us within 1 year,the candidate will be thoroughly pre-screened on the telephone again to ascertain what has changed since they last worked for us, and the below updates will be processed:
- Updated employment reference to cover the period they were not working for us.
- Updated CV.
- Updated DBS Enhanced Disclosure or Status Check via the Update Service.
- Update the front-page database notes to ensure they are current.
- Update the candidate’s online diary to show the correct availability.
- Update proof of address (if they have moved).
- Obtain copies of any new qualifications if applicable and update this information on the candidates CV.
- If the candidate has spent time overseas we would request an overseas Police Check.
- If the candidate has married or changed their name we would request original documentation to confirm this.
- If the candidate has changed the way they look we would request an up-to-date passport photo so that the photo we hold on file is accurate and current.
- The candidate would be asked if there is any change to their medical information which could affect their ability to teach or work with children.
- The candidate would be asked if there is any change to their criminal history since they first registered.
- They will have full access to their online portal in order to check bank details are the same, and the latest terms of employment will also be available to them.
If a candidate returns to us after 1 year, we will start the whole registration process again and treat them as if they were a new candidate as per the process