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Section 3 – Policies and procedures

3.1.4 - Guide to safer recruitment - taking on new volunteers,
employees and contractors
 
Why people matter – all children should be able to play tennis in a safe and enjoyable
environment. This relies on the good practice of adults, on court and off. Bad practice and abuse
from a minority of people can undermine the efforts of others. The best way to deal with bad
practice and abuse is to prevent it from happening. One important way to do this is to follow safe
recruitment practice before new employees, volunteers and contactors gain access to tennis
venues and events.
Who does this apply to? – anyone who will be in a position of authority over children or other
vulnerable people should be recruited with care. This includes volunteers, employees and
contractors. Coaches, officials, assistants, committee members, tournament organisers and many
others may be included. If someone is going to have substantial contact with children, you must be
thorough. This also applies to senior committee members and other club officials who have
responsibility for overseeing and managing activities involving children or young people.
Unfortunately, serious abuse is often committed by adults who are known and trusted in their
community. This means that you should follow good procedures in every single case. Do not be
suspicious of the people around you, but be thorough enough to meet your responsibilities.
This document sets out five important steps that you should consider. Also remember that the LTA
produces detailed guidance on many of the issues discussed here. To access this guidance, go to
www.lta.org.uk/childprotection, or contact the Child Protection Department directly using the
details below.
Five steps to safer recruitment:
1. Take a background and history – this is particularly important for employees, but also
applies to those seeking senior committee roles and to coaches who are contracted to
provide junior coaching. Make sure that you have seen a full CV or work history. Ask about
any gaps or inconsistencies. This can be a very useful way of spotting previous problems or
concerns. You might not take a full history from volunteer helpers, but don’t be afraid to ask
about their experience and skills.
2. Ask for references – as with the background and history checks, this is particularly
important for employees, contractors and committee members. Ask for the names of two
referees and follow these up. Both referees should be people who have known the
candidate in a professional capacity for a substantial period of time (at least 3 years). Ask
them to comment on the candidate’s suitability to work with children and vulnerable people,
and about the quality of their work. Also ask if they ever had reason to take disciplinary
action against the candidate.
You may not require references for volunteers taking on minor roles, if they are well-known
to you or other club members. However, consider pursuing these for volunteers taking on
large or important roles. Seeking references is one of the best ways of ensuring that you
take on the right people. Make all roles subject to satisfactory references and be prepared to
follow this up, if they are not produced.
3. Get a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) disclosure – CRB disclosures are useful for
ensuring that any known risks can be properly managed. It is important to remember,

 

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