The importance of safeguarding
If your organisation is involved in working with children or vulnerable adults, it is vitally important to implement and maintain effective safeguarding procedures in the workplace.
Safeguarding is the process of protecting vulnerable people and young people and those with a responsibility or duty of care to look after them. As an employer it is important to understand safeguarding matters and have an awareness of their organisation's role in protecting them as well as the wider implications of not having adequate procedures in place.
Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS)
Students under 16
Adults who are supervising students on work experience do not usually require DBS checks unless those adults are taking part in regulated activity which means regularly supervising or being solely in charge of children.
If this is the case, the school or college could ask the employer providing the work experience to ensure that the person providing the instruction or training is not a barred person and if deemed necessary (following a risk assessment/visit) carries out a DBS check.
Students aged 16 or 17
Schools and colleges are not able to request an enhanced DBS check with barred list information for staff supervising students aged 16 to 17 on work experience.
Where the student on placement is aged 16 or 17, the work experience provider must consider what supervision arrangements should be in place and what tasks the students will undertake. An enhanced DBS check may be requested.
It is important that employers manage any risks they may have in the workplace and you will already be managing risks every day. It is important not only for you as the employer but for the young person to. An appreciation of workplace risk and how to deal with it can be one of the biggest benefits offered by a work placement.
Under health and safety law, work experience students are your employees. You treat them no differently to other young people you employ. Regardless of whether you are having young people on a visit, you are mentoring them in your workplace you will need to consider the risks.
Where to Start
- Begin by asking yourself the simple questions in proportion with the level of risk to satisfy themselves that those arrangements are in place.
- Use your existing risk assessment to assess and manage the risks for young people. If you don’t have one you can use this template here.
- If you have not worked with a young person in a while please review that your risk assessment is up to date and appropriate.
- Schools and colleges, or others organising placements, need to check that you have risk management arrangements in place. Conversations you have with the placement organiser could simply be noted for reference.
- Discuss whether the young person has any additional needs or mobility impairments that you may need to adjust too.
Please induct the young person when you start working with them and to manage the identified risks, it may be necessary to include:
- A detailed induction.
- Provide additional supervision and instruction.
- A site familiarisation.
- Offer any protective equipment needed.