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Protection policy: 6 principles of safeguarding for recruiters

Jagriti Patwari, Chartered Accountant

If you're responsible for recruitment in a care or educational environment, you're probably already relatively familiar with the safeguarding practices within your existing recruitment policy.

However, recruiters in more general industries, such as retail, may find themselves in infringement of the government's definition of the six principles of safeguarding. And although the safeguarding principles were developed for the health and social care sectors, they define suggested behaviours for all recruiters, with candidate protection at the fore.

If you're involved in corporate recruitment, using one of the many online employment platforms, you should heed your responsibility to maintain the safety of candidates, helping them stay safe when searching for jobs.

So, for recruiters of all industries, it's salient to be aware of the six principles for safeguarding.

The six principles

The six principles of safeguarding, as laid out by The Care Act (2014), underpin the behaviours of employers for ensuring the safeguarding of adults.

They are:

  • Empowerment
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Protection
  • Partnership
  • Accountability


The principle of empowerment sets out to assure that people within organisations are supported and encouraged to be part of the decisions that affect their employment.

Empowerment occurs where people are encouraged to form their own decisions and can confidently develop a practice of informed consent.

Empowerment facilitates individual choice and control over how decisions are made.

You could define your statement of empowerment as:

“I am asked what I want and need from the process of safeguarding, and this directly informs the outcome”.


Preventing harm, neglect or abuse is one of the primary objectives of safeguarding policies.

It's good practice to take action before harm has had the opportunity to manifest, offering representation and support for those with the most significant needs.

Prevention includes an understanding of what abuse looks like - with the premise that the potential for harm can be dealt with before it becomes a problem.

Training and awareness raising are common tactics in preventing harm or abuse.

You could define your prevention statement as:

“I am given clear, simple information about what is considered to be abuse. I know how to identify and recognise the signs of abuse, and I know what can be done to pursue help.”


Dealing with claims of abuse or neglect should be dealt with in a proportionate manner.

The principle of proportionality implies that any safeguarding issue - when identified - is not exacerbated by the attempt to resolve it and that individuals involved are in control of how their claim is dealt with.

A definition of your proportionality statement could be:

"I am reassured that the professionals around me will work in my interest and will only get involved when necessary and only ever as much as is necessary."


Partnerships with the local community can help reinforce the importance of the prevention and detection of safeguarding infringements.

Partnerships can be reinforced with regulatory safeguards such as DBS checks, provided by trustworthy umbrella companies.

The development of partnerships helps give organisations and the local community the opportunity to work together.

Your partnership safeguarding definition could be:

“I have faith that all staff will treat my sensitive or personal information in total confidence, only sharing what is necessary or helpful. I have confidence that the professionals around me will work together with myself and the local community to obtain the best result for me.”


Accountability is about being completely transparent in the delivery of safeguarding practice.

Having a visible policy and statement of intent helps everyone in the organisation recognise their own accountability in the protection from and avoidance of abuse or harm.

Your statement of intent could include:

"I recognise that it is as much my responsibility to observe the safeguarding of myself and others as it's the duty of everyone to comply with these principles. We are all accountable as individuals, service users and organisations."

Safeguarding can feel like an intimidating list of responsibilities but knowing how these six principles relate to your own recruitment policy is the first step to ensuring a happier, healthier and more prosperous employment environment for everyone.

This blog was guest written by Jagriti Patwari.

Jagriti is a chartered accountant by profession and her skills from working in a highly regulated profession have been put to good use in the employee screening business. As director of Online DBS Checks Jagriti is at the forefront of the employee screening world, providing clients with pre employment vetting services such as DBS formally known as CRB checking and other background checking.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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