Section 4 - Application Process

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Last updated: 15 July 2021
Version: 1

4.1 When applying for a post that falls within the scope of this guidance, all applicants must be given access to the following information:

  • The Church body's:
    • Statement of its commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults
    • Safeguarding Policy
    • Safer Recruitment Policy
    • Whistleblowing Policy
    • Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy1
  • The role description and person specification
  • The selection procedure for the post
  • A privacy notice detailing how the applicant’s personal data will be processed during the recruitment process. 

4.2 A standardised application form must be used for recruitment to all posts that fall within the scope of this policy.  CVs must not be accepted on their own.

4.3 All application forms must ask for:

  • Personal details including current names, former names, date of birth and contact details (home address, email address, telephone number).
  • Qualifications, where appropriate/required.
  • A personal statement addressing the criteria set out in the person specification, including details of the skills and attributes the applicant believes they bring to the role.
  • A separate Confidential Declaration form (see Section 5: Confidential Declarations).
  • Request for details of appropriate referees (see Section 8: Pre-appointment checks).
  • A declaration that all information provided on the application form is “true & complete”.

4.4 Application forms for volunteer roles must ask for:

  • Full history and description of work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults, whether paid or voluntary, with dates, and, where applicable, an explanation of any gaps.
  • Full history and description of church involvement where it includes work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults, with dates and, where applicable, an explanation of any gaps.

4.5 Application forms for paid roles must ask for:

  • Present (or most recent) employment and reason for leaving.
  • Full history since leaving school - education, employment and any voluntary work, as well as an explanation of any gaps.

1This document is only necessary if the Church body is a Registered Body or is in receipt of DBS Update Service information. A registered body is an organisation that has registered with the DBS to submit standard and enhanced checks and is entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history.

Good practice advice


Whether an individual is a paid employee or volunteer, access to an application pack and the completion of an application form is important in relation to safeguarding for the following reasons:

  • It reinforces the value that the Church body places on work with children, young people and vulnerable adults and the seriousness with which it takes the appointment of those who work with such groups.
  • It gives a clear signal to anyone intent on abusing the trust placed in them that the Church body is vigilant about the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.


Every candidate should be expected to complete an application form and it is important that all candidates are treated fairly and in a transparent and equitable way, however well they are known.  Application forms may differ between those for employees and those for volunteers, but standardised application forms help ensure information can be gathered in a consistent format. A suitable recruitment privacy notice must be in place.

In some church bodies, application packs may be in paper format, but in others this will mean providing a link to the bodies’ website where all relevant information can be found, including the relevant statements and policies as outlined in the Requirements.

The application form should include important information about a candidate’s history, including his/her experience of working or volunteering with children, young people or vulnerable adults and his/her motivation for working with these groups. Only information that is actually needed to assess the applicant’s suitability at this stage should be requested.

Whilst some applicants might find it hard to remember full histories, whether life, employment or volunteering, any gaps must still be identified and explored as far as possible. 

It is good practice to include a declaration on the application form that all information provided on the application form is “true & complete”.


“I confirm that to the best of my knowledge the information I have provided on this form is correct and I accept that providing deliberately false information could result in my dismissal/termination of my role as a volunteer”.

If the individual is shortlisted (see Section 6: Shortlisting Applicants), then the information provided within an application form can be followed up during the subsequent interview, e.g. if someone has moved from role to role (e.g. from church to church), each time getting involved in children’s or vulnerable adults’ work for only a relatively short time, this is a matter that should be addressed in the interview. Large and/or frequent gaps in the history should also prompt questions about the person’s background.