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Vetting Procedures

Woodcraft Folk is committed to safer recruitment and selection of all volunteers and staff. As part of this commitment all volunteers and staff will be subject to vetting and screening checks appropriate to their role, which may include:

  • Providing two written references
  • Reviewing the list of those Barred from working with children and young people
  • Seeking information on any relevant criminal conviction or caution
  • Probationary or trial periods

The above screening is undertaken in keeping with the requirements of the Childcare Act 2006 and the Childcare (Disqualifications) Regulations 2009. All data gathered as part of the screening procedures will be handled securely in keeping with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Woodcraft Folk’s Data Protection Policy.

Vetting is undertaken to ensure that children and young people attending Woodcraft Folk groups and activities have the support, guidance and care they need and that Woodcraft Folk does not engage staff and volunteers who are unsuitable to work with children. Information gathered will be risk assessed as described in Woodcraft Folk’s Member Screening Procedures and in keeping with Woodcraft Folk’s Rehabilitation of Offenders Policy, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Human Rights Act 1998.


At Woodcraft Folk all regular volunteers (once a month or more) should become members of the national organisation and:

  • Provide two referees willing to support their application and confirm their suitability to volunteer or work with children and young people. At least one of these referees should be external to Woodcraft Folk. Should these references give cause for concern, advice must be sought from the Lead Safeguarding Officer.
  • Declare any criminal convictions relating to the abuse of children, however long ago they may have been. This is an exemption from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  • Confirm that they are not barred from working with children, and that they do not reside with someone who is barred (disqualified by association)
  • Read and agree to abide by Woodcraft Folk’s Safeguarding Policy
  • Read and follow the Local Safeguarding Plan
  • Undergo safeguarding training at a local level or online

In addition, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland all individuals over 16 years who are engaged regularly in an unsupervised role that involves the care, supervision, instruction or education of children are required to complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure (DBS). In Scotland all individuals over 14 years who regularly undertake similar activities are required to become members of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme (PVG).

We define regularly to mean any of the following:

  • More than once a month
  • Intensively, more than four days in a month
  • Overnight or between the hours of 2am and 6am

In line with changes to the DBS regulations it is possible for some volunteers to be supervised, and therefore they will not be required to complete a DBS application. A named supervisor or supervisors must be identified to support these volunteers. One of the named supervisors must be present during any activity they are engaged in. Supervision includes:

  • Getting individuals to complete a safeguarding declaration
  • Giving a clear role and task to the volunteer
  • Confirming what is expected behaviour
  • Ensuring the volunteer remains in the group setting and does not engage in one to one support activity
  • Offering feedback to the volunteer
  • Asking someone to leave if they are not meeting the expectations laid down in Woodcraft Folk’s Code of Conduct

Supervised, occasional or one-off volunteers who have not completed an Enhanced DBS or PVG application must be supervised by a named individual who is a current member of Woodcraft Folk with a current DBS or PVG scheme membership.

Only volunteers and staff who have undergone an enhanced DBS or PVG scheme membership can undertake the following activities:

  • Attend camps or residential events
  • Supervision of toileting or changing
  • Personal care tasks – cleaning, nappy changing
  • Giving medication

Individual DFs who attend a DF group or event and do not take on any role of responsibility will not be required to undergo the above vetting and screening processes but should be members of Woodcraft Folk. However, DFs who choose to take on roles of responsibility (e.g. first aider, clan leader, group night helper) should complete the above screening and vetting procedures.

Woodcraft Folk will repeat the DBS application process every three years to support its continued risk management. To support this, Woodcraft Folk encourages all volunteers and staff in England and Wales to join the DBS Update Service. The service is free to volunteers, and will enable Woodcraft Folk to check an individual’s DBS status online. The service will also enable the individual to share their DBS disclosure with other organisations working with children, and reduce the need for the individual to complete a full DBS application. For more information visit

Vetting International Guests

All international guests/volunteers over the age 18 who are attending or participating in Woodcraft Folk activity must go through some form of vetting.

The DBS/PVG are unable to access criminal record checks abroad so international guests should be encouraged to provide a copy of an equivalent check to attend overnight stays. Those who do not have a check and are not going to be in the supervision of children should complete a safeguarding declaration form, which should be supported with references. International guests can not be the named leader for a group without a DBS/PVG or international equivalent.

Approval Date: June 2021

Review Date: June 2024


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