All organisations working with children need to have rigorous child protection policies in place to make sure children under their supervision are trained in an enjoyable and safe environment.
All local authorities will have a child protection policy in place that Children’s Services should be able to advise you on. It is recommended that this policy is adapted to specifically reflect cycle training and may need to be presented in a more concise or user friendly format for cycle instructors. Having done this it would be advisable to ask a member of Children’s Services to approve its content and its appropriateness.
School Games Organiser Host Schools
Most state schools will operate with the child protection policy of the local education authority. School Games Organiser Host Schools should state which child protection policy they are following and provide copies of guidance documents that are made available to instructors. As with local authorities, it is recommended that the policy document is adapted to reflect cycle training specifically and is made available in a user friendly format.
Independent Organisations and Sole Traders
Some independent organisations and sole traders may require help in developing a child protection policy. Our guidance documents are designed to help you do this - they can be downloaded for future reference.
Additional guidance – the NSPCC has produced Stopcheck, a free step by step guide designed to help smaller organisations providing activities or services for children to develop child protection polices and procedures.
Download Stopcheck NSPCC Booklet (1397)
For further information please visit www.nspcc.org.uk
Disclosure and Barring Service
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is now called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – CRB checks are now called DBS checks. The Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority merged to become the DBS in 2012. The purpose of the DBS is to provide a joined up service combining criminal records checking and barring functions.
Anyone applying for work as a cycle instructor may be required to undergo a DBS check, although there are possible exceptions to this requirement.
It is our view that in the majority of cases Bikeability instructors delivering training to children will be eligible for a DBS check.
The Home Office provides guidance so that organisations and individuals can assess for themselves whether a DBS check is needed. The following guidance is our own interpretation in respect of cycle trainers providing cycle training to children in ‘specified places’ including schools. Organisations and individuals should read the official information provided by the Home Office to satisfy themselves that they are operating appropriately within the DBS framework. If organisations or individuals feel a different course of action is merited or have specific queries in relation to DBS checks, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the circumstances.
Deciding if there is a Requirement to Undergo a DBS Check
The purpose of a DBS check is to identify if an individual is barred from undertaking certain types of activity known as ‘regulated activity’.
Regulated activity is work a barred person must not do. The Government does not list cycle training specifically as a regulated activity. Therefore the decision must be made locally as to whether an instructor is in regulated activity and therefore required to undergo a DBS check.
There are two definitions of regulated activity relating to children:
- 1. Unsupervised activities – including teaching, training or instruction.
- 2. Work for a limited range of establishments with opportunity for contact – for example schools. Excluding work by supervised volunteers.
Regulated activity includes teaching, training or instruction carried out by the same person once a week or more often, or on four or more days in a 30 day period.
Regulated activity excludes family arrangements, and personal, non-commercial arrangements.
If an organisation decides to supervise so that the supervised work will not be regulated activity (i.e. the work is a supervised activity c.f. definition 1 above) it must ensure the supervision is:
- Without exception “regular and day to day”;
- “Reasonable in all the circumstances” i.e. takes account of children’s ages and number of children; and
- By a person who is themself in regulated activity i.e. the supervisor is doing the same job as the worker in question.
If the work is in a school, paid workers remain in regulated activity even if supervised. For example, supervised Bikeability instructors might deliver Level 1 in the school grounds and start Level 2 from within the school; however, because they are working in an establishment with opportunity for contact regulated activity definition 2 will apply. The training would therefore be considered a regulated activity and so the instructors would be eligible for a DBS check.
Undertaking a DBS Check
Workers – this will be arranged by the employer. The employer will give the individual a form to complete and return to them along with documents proving identity.
Individuals/self-employed – it is not possible for sole traders to do a DBS check on themselves. However, individuals can apply for a ‘basic disclosure’, either directly through Disclosure Scotland (an Executive Agency of the Scottish government but their checks cover the entire UK) or through an agency. Unspent convictions is the only type of information included in a basic disclosure. Standard and enhanced disclosures include spent convictions, cautions and inclusion on the sex offenders register. Gov.uk recommends that individuals use Disclosure Scotland if they wish to apply for a basic disclosure.
Sources and Further Information
Subscribe to the DBS for news and updates at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/services/dbs-subscribe/
Changes to disclosure and barring: what you need to know (Home Office summary note) available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/disclosure-and-barring/leaflet-england-wales?view=Binary (accessed January 2013).
Regulated activity – children (Disclosure and Barring Service summary note) available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/about-dbs/regulated-act-children?view=Binary (accessed January 2013).
Regulated Activity in relation to children: scope (Factual note by Department for Education) available at: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/16106/1/regulated activity children full information ewni final 2012-06-01.pdf (accessed January 2013).
Statutory guidance: Regulated Activity (children) – supervision of activity with children which is regulated activity when unsupervised (Department for Education supervision guidance) available at: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/supervision guidance revised sos sept 2012.pdf (accessed January 2013).
DBS checks: eligibility guidance (Disclosure and Barring Service guidance) available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/agencies-public-bodies/dbs/dbs-checking-service-guidance/eligibility-guidance?view=Binary (accessed January 2013).