Anyone responsible for selecting, employing and inducting golf volunteers and employees should read this advice.

This guidance will help anyone responsible for hiring volunteers and staff to:

  • select the best people available;
  • take reasonable steps to prevent unsuitable people from joining our sport;
  • comply with child safeguarding legislation;
  • comply with legislation around inequality and discrimination when hiring and managing people;
  • ensure recruitment processes are consistent and transparent;
  • ensure that potential hires are judged competent before a voluntary or paid job offer is made;
  • ensure new volunteers and members of staff are given a proper induction.

It’s important to recognise that:

  • volunteers and employees are your most important resource;
  • unsuitable people sometimes try to find employment or volunteering opportunities with the intention of harming children;
  • young people and families benefit from your efforts to recruit a skilled, committed workforce, comprising people of diverse backgrounds;
  • new staff and volunteers can’t carry out their role successfully unless they receive a proper induction and ongoing support.

To ensure effective recruitment and selection, golf organisations should carry out the following steps:

  1. Advertise all posts via appropriate outlets, such as the club newsletter, website, and noticeboards, local newspapers, and industry websites and publications. 

    A job ad should be designed to attract the best people, but also to deter anyone who might present a risk to children’s safety. It should describe what the role entails and the sort of person you are looking for. If a Disclosure and Barring Service check is required, this should be stated.

  2. In every job ad, give a clear role description, explaining the full range of duties the job will involve. Also include a person specification that describes the skills and attributes the post-holder must have.

    Developing a person specification will help you figure out exactly what you need from someone in this role. Divide it into headings such as:

    • Education
    • Experience
    • Skills, Abilities and Knowledge
    • Values, Attitudes and Qualities
    • Other Requirements (e.g. clean driving licence)

    The specific requirements for each section should be separated into ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’. Keep your list of necessities to less than 12 under each heading.

    The role specification should make it clear to any potential applicant:

    • where the role is based;
    • who they would report to;
    • the purpose of the role;
    • the salary or arrangements for expenses;
    • whether the post is permanent or for a fixed period;
    • the main duties and responsibilities.

    Example role descriptions for club and country volunteers can be found on the Golf Volunteers website. 

  3. Ensure all applicants for both paid and voluntary positions use a standard application form. That way, consistent information will be received from every person. See our Standard Application Form or click here for Ireland (ROI & NI).

  4. Shortlist the most suitable applicants and interview them accordingly.

    In order to develop a shortlist, particularly for paid roles, applications should be scored against the specifications of the role. Interview questions should relate to these specifications and be used to establish whether the candidate:

    • understands the needs of children;
    • understands the boundaries when working with children;
    • considers the views and perspectives of young people and parents;
  5. Obtain references, identification and originals of any necessary qualifications from candidates. See our Volunteer Reference Form

  6. Ask applicants to complete a Self-Disclosure Form declaring any convictions or cautions, including all spent or unspent convictions.  See our England and Wales Self-Disclosure Form or click here for Ireland (ROI & NI).

  7. Carry out Disclosure and Barring Service checks, or other vetting procedures appropriate to the country, for each member of staff or volunteer working regularly with children, in accordance with DBS and/or official guidelines. See our Criminal Records Bureau/Disclosure and Barring Service document or click here for Ireland (ROI & NI).

  8. Provide a thorough induction for new staff and volunteers to make sure they are familiar with the responsibilities of the post. The induction process should include their signing up to the codes of conduct and undertaking child safeguarding and protection training. See our Codes of Conduct pages for more information.

  9. Appoint staff and volunteers for an initial probationary/trial period (usually six months), with a review before they are confirmed in the post.

  10. Assess your selection policies annually to ensure your organisation is using best practice.