Health and safety in care service businesses

Vetting, AccessNI and training in care service businesses

Guide

The health and safety of children, people with special needs or the elderly whom your business looks after depends on having suitable staff.

You should put procedures in place to make sure new employees are properly vetted. You must make sure and that your staff have the training and competence they require to provide care services of the highest standard.

Disclosure and barring

Disclosure and barring arrangements help protect vulnerable groups and allow care service businesses to ensure that new recruits are suitable. The Disclosure and Barring Service holds a "barred list" of individuals who are deemed to be a potential risk to children or vulnerable adults.

There are certain regulated activities with vulnerable groups that disclosure and barring relates to. This includes providing health and personal care services to children and adults.

AccessNI

Certain job applicants, including those applying for care service positions, require a background check. In Northern Ireland this is carried out by AccessNI. There are different levels of checks that provide details about a person's criminal record.

For positions working with children and vulnerable adults, an enhanced AccessNI check is required. The enhanced check includes:

  • details of spent and unspent convictions
  • check of local police records
  • information held by the Disclosure and Barring Service

Training

Good health and safety staff training is another essential part of reducing the risk of your clients being harmed. Training should be part of every employee's induction. It should also be provided on an ongoing basis, particularly when:

  • new equipment is introduced
  • your procedures or work patterns change
  • clients with new needs come into your business' care

Download a guide to health and safety training (PDF, 113K) .