The application form should request both professional and character references, one of which should be from the applicant’s current or most recent employer.
Additional references may be asked for where appropriate. For example, where the applicant is not currently working with children, but has done so in the past, a reference from that employer should be asked for in addition to that from the current or most recent employer if this is different.
Wherever possible references should be obtained prior to the interview so that any issues of concern raised by the reference can be explored further with the referee and taken up with the candidate during interview.
References should contain objective verifiable information and in order to achieve this, a reference pro-forma with questions relating to the candidate’s suitability to work with children should be provided.
The referee should be asked to confirm whether the applicant has been the subject of any disciplinary sanctions and whether the applicant has had any allegations made against him / her or concerns raised which relate to either the safety or welfare of children and young people or about the applicant’s behaviour towards children or young people.
Details about the outcome of any concerns or allegations should be sought.
The identity of the referee should also be checked (e.g. by phoning a listed land-line for the organisation / person giving the reference).