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Overseas Police Checks

Are you employing staff who have come from Overseas (that includes the EU) and are they providing Overseas Police Checks? Ok so we know that anyone who works in a school is in a regulated activity needs to be vetted with an Enhanced DBS. But a DBS only covers that person for the time they have been in the UK, it doesn't show up any convictions that have been given in a foreign country. I have heard some organisations that won't ask for such checks if the person has been living in the UK for a set amount of time, however, what if that person was convicted of serious sexual offences prior to that date?

A bit of an elephant in the room question and I'm expecting some lively debate on this one!

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  • In reply to Nicci:

    I’d use the one they already as if it covers the period they resided in the country.
  • I have been offered a job in a secondary school having just left a job working with vulnerable young people for 12 years. They are requesting I get a letter of good conduct as I worked in America on a Summer camp almost 30 years ago. I have so far had my fingerprints rejected twice by the FBI. I had read that if it was more than 10 years ago it didn't need to be done. School are now unsure whether to employ me now. Has anyone has experience of this? I was there way before CRB checks were even a thing!!!!
  • In reply to Zoe:

    There’s no time limit to overseas checks (although many schools go back no more than 5-10 years) so they are well within their rights to ask this of you as part of their employment checks.

    You say you’ve had your fingerprints rejected by the FBI twice already so does this mean they’ve found nothing on you? I wasn’t sure what you meant.

    What’s stopping you getting this check? Is it overly complicated or expensive? If so, you could ask the school to get an additional reference from where you’ve worked the last 12 years instead. I have to assume 30 years later there won’t be a record of you at the summer camp.
  • In reply to Zoe:

    www.gov.uk/.../countries-q-z

    You can get fingerprints done here.

    I do however think summer camp 30 years ago is a bit of a stretch to go through this process if it’s complicated.
  • In reply to Zoe:

    Hi Zoe. Our school would follow the same principles to check on any period where you've worked outside the country for more than a 3 month duration, however far back. Sadly, there are good reasons for this approach.

    However, recognising that there are limitations we work with the employee to try and find a way to do checks that are less straightforward - by getting a reference from someone from the summer camp (a fellow worker there if you can't get a reference from the organisation itself), or someone else who knew you while you were there. If there was an umbrella organisation behind the camp, they may have records that could be requested?

    Good luck. Safeguarding checks are fiddly and challenging, but such an important part of school life.
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    I have followed this thread and have a slight variation on the points raised. In education the guidance states "If the person has lived or worked outside the UK, make any further checks the school or college consider appropriate..."
    Would anyone be able to suggest which further checks (outside of the COGC) that might please the inspectors?
    We have a brilliant applicant who left Egypt without getting the police check done and its going to be 8 - 10 weeks.
    Finally - is it possible to risk assess and supervise whilst COGC is processed?
  • In reply to Ray:

    In this situation I would do a risk assessment and put it in writing, reviewed fortnightly, until the check is complete. During that time, the member of staff would need to be supervised by their manager, to a reasonable level.

    Additionally, you can take a reference from the employer of applicant while they were in Egypt - confirming that the applicant is suitable to work with children in their professional opinion. It wouldn't replace the police check, but would be further layers of evidence you can use to triangulate their information.