Staff Qualifications and Employment Checks

RELATED GUIDANCE

Children’s Homes Regulations Amendments 2014

Quality Standards ANNEX A: Qualifications for Staff Working in Children’s Homes

Social Care Common Inspection Framework (SCCIF): Children’s Homes - Qualifications of Managers and Staff (Ofsted)

AMENDMENT

In October 2021, a note was added regarding the checks which employers must carry out to ensure that any person applying to work in the home has the right to work in the UK. See Section 3, Safe Recruitment and Employment Checks.


Contents

  1. Qualifications of Manager
  2. Qualifications of Staff
  3. Safe Recruitment and Employment Checks
  4. Safer Recruitment Policy


1. Qualifications of Manager

Regulation 28 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 requires the registered manager to hold a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Residential Care or an equivalent qualification.

If a manager was managing a home on 1 April 2014, they should have gained the Diploma by 1 April 2017. Any manager starting to manage a home after 1 April 2014 has 3 years to gain it.

Regulation 28 does allow for the date to gain the qualification to be deferred if a manager has a break in managing a home or if they work part-time.

PLEASE NOTE - If a registered manager was managing a Children’s Home prior to April 2014, and they do not now hold the Level 5 Diploma qualification or equivalent, they are in breach of regulation 28 unless they have a good reason for a deferral.

If the registered manager holds a qualification they regard as equivalent, they should be able to demonstrate how their qualification meets the competencies in the level 5 diploma and any additional training they have completed to fill any gaps.

Regulation 28 also identifies the following experience as necessary for a person managing a Children’s Home:

  • Within the last 5 years, they have worked for at least 2 years in a position relevant to the residential care of children; and
  • They have worked for at least 1 year in a role requiring the supervision and management of staff working in a care role (i.e. a position which consists mainly or solely of providing care for children).

Ofsted inspectors will ask to see evidence of qualifications as part of an inspection.


2. Qualifications of Staff

Regulation 32 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 requires Children’s Home staff to have the appropriate experience, qualifications and skills for the work they will perform. For staff in a care role, the regulations require them to obtain the Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare or an equivalent qualification.

If the staff member was working in a care role in a home on 1 April 2014 they should have gained the Level 3 Diploma by 1 April 2016. Any members of staff starting to work in a care role after 1 April 2014 have 2 years to gain the qualification.

Regulation 32 does allow for the date to gain the qualification to be deferred if the staff member has a break in working in a home or if they have worked part-time.

Regulation 32 does allow for the date to gain the qualification to be deferred if the staff member has a break in working in a home or if they have worked part-time.

In relation to staff, the regulations also require that:

  1. The individual is of integrity and good character;
  2. The individual has the appropriate experience, qualification and skills for the work that the individual is to perform;
  3. The individual is mentally and physically fit for the purposes of the work that the individual is to perform; and
  4. Full and satisfactory information is available in relation to the individual in respect of each of the matters in Schedule 2 (e.g. enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check, 2 written references, evidence of relevant qualifications and full employment history (including where a person has previously worked in a position involving work with children or vulnerable adults, verification of why the employment or position ended).


3.  Safe Recruitment and Employment Checks

Schedule 2 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 requires the following checks for people who wish to manage or work in a Children’s Home:

  • Proof of identity including a recent photograph;
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (depending on the nature of the role);
  • Two written references, including a reference from the person’s most recent employer, if any;
  • If a person has previously worked in a position involving work with children or vulnerable adults, verification so far as reasonably practicable of the reason why the employment or position ended;
  • Documentary evidence of any qualifications which the person considers relevant for the position; and
  • A full employment history, together with a satisfactory explanation of any gaps in employment, in writing.

Checking an applicant’s right to work in the UK:

As part of the recruitment process, you must also check that the applicant has the right to work in the UK.

See Checking a Job Applicants Right to Work (GOV.UK).

Employers can be penalised / fined if they employ someone who does not have the right to work and they did not carry out the correct checks, or did not do them properly.


4. Safer Recruitment Policy

See also: Hull Safeguarding Children' Partnership Procedures, Safe Recruitment, Selection and Retention for Staff and Volunteers (including Whistleblowing and Raising Concerns at Work).