1.11 Working safely with young people and vulnerable groups

This guidance is intended to provide some general practical advice for appointees who may in the course of their duties come into contact with young people and or people who are classed as being in vulnerable groups. It is your responsibility as an adult to ensure that young people and people in vulnerable groups are protected from harm.

It is therefore your responsibility to:

  • behave in an appropriate manner at all times
  • follow SQA reporting procedures in any circumstances where there is suspicion, disclosure or allegation of abuse
  • recognise the position of trust in which you have been placed

The Code of Behaviour provides positive advice to ensure that:

  • the welfare of young people and people in vulnerable groups is safeguarded at all times
  • appointees avoid compromising situations or opportunities which could lead to misunderstandings or allegations

Code of behaviour

You must:

  • treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • set an example you would wish others to follow
  • treat people equally
  • show no favouritism
  • remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intended
  • take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately (see reporting procedure below)

If you have face to face contact with candidates you must ensure that you:

  • create an appropriate atmosphere and give all candidates as much encouragement as possible
  • keep a professional and physical distance
  • avoid doing or saying anything that might make a candidate feel uncomfortable
  • listen carefully to the candidate
  • end your assessment period with the candidate on a friendly note

Reporting Procedure

If a candidate says anything which causes you concern, advise the candidate that you cannot discuss such matters. Refer the matter to the centre’s SQA Co-ordinator immediately and submit a report to Pearl Hogg, SQA’s Child Protection Co-Ordinator.

If a candidate writes anything on a script which causes you concern about their welfare you should telephone Pearl Hogg, SQA’s Child Protection Co-Ordinator. (0345 213 6748) as early as possible for further instruction.

As an appointee you must refer. You must not investigate.

Additional guidance will be provided for appointees who undertake face-to-face assessment of candidates as part of their role specific training programme.