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Human Resources

Bulletin Date: 
Monday, 14 July, 2014
New Policy
All staff

Dear Colleague,

Launch of Policies Relating to Safeguarding and Screening Checks

I am writing to inform you that, with effect from 28th July, the University will have an updated Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy and a new Screening Policy for managing pre-employment checks.

The policies are found and and are summarised below. They are being launched together as they are closely related and both demonstrate the University’s commitment to take all reasonable steps to safeguard people. Both policies have been agreed by the HR Committee and trade unions, and a number of key stakeholders have been consulted on their provisions.

Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding (CAVAS) Policy – Key Points

The University has had a policy for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults for some time. Significant legislative change in recent years has made it necessary to update the policy, although its key principles remain the same. As well a new legislative context, the revised policy includes:

  • A strengthened and expanded statement of policy and Code of Practice;
  • Increased support for departments/institutions through clearer procedures and responsibilities, new supporting documents and information on where to get further assistance.

The table below summarises the key procedural steps required by the CAVAS policy and the changes that have been made in each area.


CAVAS Procedural Requirement

Change made

All new employees should read the CAVAS Policy during their induction.

No change – already part of the HR22 Induction Planning Checklist and HR24 Employee Induction Checklist.

Departments/institutions should carry out risk assessments for any activities or events involving work with children or vulnerable adults.

No change in the requirement but a template is provided for such risk assessments undertaken from now on.

Departments/institutions must request required screening checks for new employees working with children/vulnerable adults.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check arrangements are unchanged. The Screening Policy introduces the requirement to consider basic disclosures for those working with children and vulnerable adults who are not eligible in law for a DBS check.

Individuals should normally report suspicions/allegations of abuse to relevant HR Business Manager/Adviser in the first instance.

Requirement unchanged but an Incident Form is now provided to assist with recording details of allegations/suspicions.

Departments/institutions must retain risk assessments and records relating to allegations/suspicions for specified periods.

Clear timeframes for retaining documentation are now provided.


Screening Policy – Key Points

The purpose of the Screening Policy is to provide an overarching document which draws together existing University policies and procedures relating to pre-employment checks, providing a clear statement of how they link together to provide an appropriate, comprehensive and transparent screening process.

The policy also proposes that the University increases the scope and rigour of the screening for new individuals joining the University (or who transfer into a relevant post) by:

  • Extending security checks beyond those working in security or with animals to posts involving work within containment level 3 laboratories or with access to sensitive information or high value assets.
  • Replacing the basic security checks that the Security Office is able to conduct with role-appropriate checks conducted by an expert external screening agency;
  • Introducing basic criminal records checks (basic disclosures) for those working in certain types of security-sensitive roles.

Appendix A of the policy provides definitions of sensitive information and high value assets. Appendix B of the policy provides a summary of the new screening arrangements (more in-depth security checks and basic disclosures) by category of work.

Please note: the policy requires departments/institutions to consider carrying out these checks for certain types of work but whether they are actually carried out should be determined by assessing (with support from the HR Division/Security Office):

  • The nature of the role;
  • The level of risk arising from the duties/responsibilities of the role;
  • Whether certain security checks and/or a basic disclosure would be relevant to managing that risk;
  • If there are more effective alternative means of managing the risk.


These changes will bring the University broadly into line with the security arrangements of comparable institutions (for example, the University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council) and help manage potential risks to the University’s people, property and assets more appropriately.


Communication of policy implementation

The changes being introduced by the Screening Policy have already been discussed in HR fora held by the HR School Teams over the last few months and the changes to the Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy are relatively straight-forward. However, if you or members of your department/institution (particularly those responsible for recruiting staff or carrying out activities involving contact with children or vulnerable adults) would like a detailed briefing on the policies, please book onto one of the 5 sessions taking place between 22nd and 31st July at:

Please ensure that arrangements are made for all employees in your department/institution to be made aware of the publication of the revised Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy and for those responsible for recruiting staff to be made aware of the new Screening Policy. You may wish to forward on this communication or adapt it to meet your local needs.


Further information

If you have any questions about the content of this letter or the new policies, please contact Liz Timperley-Preece, Head of Recruitment, via

Bulletin ID: 
Bulletin Summary: 
Launch of Policies Relating to Safeguarding and Screening Checks