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Comensura Launches Safeguard Plus

Comensura Launches Safeguard Plus

New service ensures screening for employees working with children and vulnerable adults

Comensura, the UK's market leader in the procurement and management of indirect services, has launched Safeguard Plus, an independent service designed to help employers meet the latest industry legislation and policies regarding working with children and vulnerable adults. The service independently verifies that temporary staff have been through the appropriate identity and background checks before they start work, and establishes the suitability of candidates for specific roles.

Following the Bichard Inquiry, a number of recommendations were put in place around tightening up recruitment vetting procedures. However, the Audit Commissions recent Comprehensive Performance Assessment highlighted that many councils can still do more to ensure the appropriate background checks are made on employees working with children and vulnerable adults before they start work, says Mike Trevor, CEO of Comensura. In fact, councils face pressure from two sides. They dont want to compromise quality by hiring the wrong temporary staff. But at the same time they dont want to damage their services by taking too long to fill vital roles. Safeguard Plus helps alleviate that pressure.

Using Safeguard Plus, an agency supplying temporary workers for sensitive roles is required to provide scanned candidate copies of original and up-to-date CRB certificates including Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) and Protection of Children (PoCA) documentation, where appropriate, for each candidate. These are then uploaded to Comensuras system following receipt of a signed declaration from the candidate authorising the disclosure. The agency is then required to provide photographic evidence of the identity of all candidates which is checked against the CRB certificates held on the Comensura system.
Safeguard Plus also enables clients to ensure additional checks are made, including: comprehensive references from the last five years verification of GSCC, GTC or BAOT registration where applicable candidates work eligibility status and production of oversees police checks and translations. Details of any non compliance are also made available via Comensuras online recruitment tool. Using this information, employers are able to make informed decisions on selection, secure in the knowledge that they have taken all the steps necessary to mitigate risk.

Local government bodies often rely wholly on recruitment agencies to screen candidates for eligibility. But agencies do not necessarily have the required level of knowledge about CRB processes to make appropriate decisions, adds Trevor. There is currently no independent body able to audit all UK employment agencies, particularly for their ability to comply with current legislation. Because Comensura is completely neutral, it is ideally positioned to assess the quality for clients of the suppliers who subscribe to our service and has no hesitation in escalating issues relating to non-compliance to the relevant authorities when necessary.

Safeguard Plus has been developed in collaboration with a number of councils to provide an additional level of security for vulnerable groups. It does not replace the checks recruitment agencies are required to make or negate the need for line managers to exercise vigilance with regards to all temporary workers.

Safeguard Plus complements Comensuras existing, compulsory audit which is carried out every six months across all of its supplier agencies. The audit monitors and enforces compliance with contractual and legislative regulations such as the Employment Agencies Act, Working Time Regulations and the Asylum and Immigration Act.


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