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Member Screening Procedures

Woodcraft Folk is committed to the safety of children, young people and adults involved in its groups, camps and project activities. Woodcraft Folk demonstrates its commitment to those active in Woodcraft Folk by undertaking thorough risk assessments of all new member applications and renewals.

A criminal record does not automatically bar individuals from working or volunteering with Woodcraft Folk. This document describes the process undertaken to make fair judgements as to the suitability of new and existing staff and volunteers.

However, Woodcraft Folk will not engage any individual who is barred from working with children under the Childcare Act 2006 of the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009. This includes those which are barred by association under the above regulations e.g. those who reside in a household in which someone who is barred also resides or is employed.

Risk assessing those with criminal convictions

As part of this risk assessment the Lead Safeguarding Officer will collect and assess information from the following sources:

  • DBS/PVG application
  • References
  • Local District
  • The applicant/member

The assessment will take into consideration the nature of the offence, the number of offences, the age of the individual at the time of the offence and the time period since the offence. Particular attention will be given to all offences against children or of a violent or threatening nature – as these are in direct conflict with our aims and principles of peace and co-operation.

Where there is no risk to children, young people or other adult volunteers Woodcraft Folk is committed to the active rehabilitation and integration of previous offenders, and would seek to offer support, training and guidance for anyone with a non-violent criminal record to participate in Woodcraft activities.

Woodcraft Folk is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and as such receive information about spent and unspent criminal cautions, reprimands and convictions. This data is used as part of the risk assessment process.

Risk assessment process

When an offending history is disclosed the DBS/PVG Countersignatory will anonymously log the offence and any action taken. If the nature of the offence/s require a risk assessment to be completed the Lead Safeguarding Officer will be informed.

As part of the risk assessment process the individual member and their local Membership Secretary will be contacted for further information. The risk assessment will also review the following key questions:

  • Is the individual barred from working with children or vulnerable adults?
  • Did the applicant openly disclose information about the offence?
  • Did the offence result in a conviction, caution or reprimand?
  • Does the offence involve violent or threatening behaviour?
  • Does the offence involve children or young people?
  • Is the offence spent?
  • Was the individual a juvenile at the time of the offence?
  • Was this a singular offence?
  • Does the offence involve drugs or other illegal substances?
  • Does the offence involve fraud or theft?
  • Is the offence related to driving?

The individual and the local Membership Secretary will be written to with the outcome of the risk assessment, which may place restrictions on the activities to be undertaken or set requirements around supervision or training needs.

All screening decisions are reviewed biannually by the Members Safeguarding Review panel which seeks to ensure appropriateness and consistency of decision making.


Any member wishing to raise a complaint about their treatment in relation to the above procedures should do so, in writing, to the Chief Executive. An investigation will then be conducted by a representative of the Members Safeguarding Review Board who has not been previously involved in the screening procedure. The individual will receive written notification as to the outcome.

Approval Date: June 2021

Review Date: June 2024


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