BandSafe 4 Recruitment Guidelines
The recruitment of new players, committee members and other volunteers within brass bands can be challenging, time consuming and cause disruption to the band whilst someone is being found. It is therefore understandable that there are times when recruitment is completed with haste. However, in order to protect the band’s future sustainability, as well as the members within it, those in charge of accepting new members/a member in to a new role should consider adopting a simple process for recruitment.
These guidelines are not intended to cause restrictive, time consuming processes that deter potential new members; they will however, provide support to develop an efficient method that ensures the safety of the bands assets (finances, equipment and members).
Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with children and young people in order to harm them. Your band should be committed to devising and implementing policies so that everyone accepts their responsibilities to safeguard children from harm and abuse. This means following procedures to protect children and to report any concerns about their welfare to appropriate authorities. The recruitment of members is a crucial part of this safeguarding policy.
These guidelines differentiate between recruiting new band members who will not have additional responsibilities towards children and young people, and those who will (including the Musical Director). In these more specialist posts, it is suggested that additional rigour is required during the recruitment process.
Process for Recruiting New Members/Musical Director
The committee should identify and advertise the vacancy to ensure fair equality in the recruitment process. This may invite a person or persons currently not known to the band to apply for the position by completing a standard application form and undergoing an interview. In relation to a Musical Director post or other posts that involve working with children, young people or adults at risk, the committee should consider whether this role requires a Disclosure and Barring check. This can be established by using the DBS check online tool which can be found here https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check. The role description should state whether a DBS check is required and the type of DBS check needed. If a DBS check is to be undertaken then, prior to this, the person should also be invited to complete a confidential declaration form which will give them the opportunity to list any criminal activity which may emerge during the course of the DBS check. The completed form should be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed to the person in charge of the recruitment process. The envelope should be marked ‘confidential’, and only be opened once the person has agreed to the DBS check being undertaken and is clear that they wish to proceed with the recruitment process.
Process for recruiting existing members in to a new role
Consider the role that is required and the expectations of that role. Should the role be required to take on a level of responsibility then the band should produce a role description, as agreed by the committee. The committee will be required to consider whether a Disclosure and Barring check and confidential declaration (see above) is required. The question of eligibility for a DBS check can be established by using the DBS check online tool which can be found here https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check. The role description should state whether a DBS is required and the type of DBS check needed. Once the role has been agreed this should be advertised.
Recruitment process for roles that do not involve work with children, young people or adults at risk
Selection of suitable candidate(s) by audition/interview
New members should be met prior to joining the band. This could be through invitation to a rehearsal. At this point discuss the role and expectations with the individual. Identify previous experience and playing history. This would be a good opportunity to contact the previous band for a reference. This could be completed by means of a phone call rather than a formal written approach.
Selection of suitable candidate for existing members entering new roles
Dependent on the role you may wish to have an informal discussion or interview with the member to gauge previous experience, current skill level and any training requirements needed to undertake the role.
Offer the position
If the committee are satisfied that the individual meets the requirements for the role in the band (and for new members, has an ethos that matches that of the band) then the position can be offered. Trial or probationary periods are a useful way to check whether the individual will meet the demands of the role, however, this should be used carefully with volunteer positions. If the role requires a DBS check, then the offer should be conditional on receipt of a satisfactory DBS check. On recruiting to the position the committee should ensure the individual has access to the necessary policies and procedures to enable them undertake their role successfully. This will include new member information if they are new to the band.
Bands can obtain a DBS form(s) from Brass Band England. Brass Bands England are a registered body for the Disclosures and Barring Service and offer to administer DBS forms for member bands free of charge, and at a cost to non-members.
Process for recruitment to MD posts or other posts that involve work with children, young people or adults at risk
Recruitment to these posts should be made using a more formal process than the recruitment of new band members who will not have a leadership role in relation to children, young people or adults at risk. Specifically, in addition to the application form, confidential declaration and DBS check, the recruitment and selection process should include a more formal interview and the seeking of references.
Your most important assets are the people who work/play in your band, whether paid staff or volunteers. A good recruitment and selection process will help you choose the best people for the job – people who are well suited to your organisation and who are less likely to harm children, intentionally or accidentally.
Whilst the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) plays an important part in supporting safe recruitment for positions of responsibility, they are only one aspect of recruiting, selecting and supporting people to work safely and appropriately with children and young people. On their own, official checks and vetting procedures will not be enough to protect children, and they need to be carried out in the context of a wider set of practices, such as those outlined in the BandSafe toolkit.
Concerns emerging from a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and/or confidential declaration
If the DBS check or confidential declaration form reveals that the person is barred from undertaking the type or work with children or adults for which they have applied, then you are committing an offence if you allow them to do so. If, on the other hand, the checks reveal something about a person’s history that is of concern, but falls short of indicating that the person is barred, your organisation will need to make its own decision about whether or not to recruit that person in to the role. This can be a daunting experience and one which may require support. Your Local Safeguarding Children Board, Safeguarding Adult Board or Local Authority can provide you with advice and guidance. Information about how to contact these agencies and sources of support should be kept within your band’s safeguarding policy.