Crown Commercial Service recognises UK’s first independent standard for education sector agencies

 In News

Following an industry event in June which, amongst other things, focused on improving standards in the supply teacher sector, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) published guidance in August on the accreditation needed for an agency to be awarded a public sector contract from 2018.

Under the section “What certificated standards will be acceptable?” the UK’s only independent accreditation from Standards in Recruitment (SiR) is now listed” said Adrian Marlowe, director of SiR.

“This is good news for the sector. For the first time an independent standard has been accepted as suitable, breaking the traditional pre-requirement for an agency to be a member of a trade association. Accreditation is awarded only after compliance with standards set by industry stakeholders have been established by audit. These standards solidly address safeguarding as well as a wide range of other factors that are relevant to ensuring a full quality service.”

The award follows a survey undertaken by the CCS in which the vast majority of respondents indicated that there is a need for a certified best practice standard, but which also noted concerns that some agencies are able to supply whilst working towards accreditation. “SiR accreditation is only awarded to those that demonstrate actual compliance, not those working towards it. This provides a level playing field for both agencies and the hirers.” said Marlowe. “The ‘Pass’ requirement is not based on a points system or graded in any way, but relies on proof of compliance on audit carried out by independent experts. This provides the hiring education authority or school the confidence it needs, particularly in the critical areas of safeguarding and pupil security.”

SiR was launched in 2015 in order to meet the growing needs of hirer governance and supplier compliance in the recruitment industry through independent verification, and is available to all recruitment businesses operating in any sector. The process to accreditation includes a programme to help agencies improve where necessary, this in turn helping their business.  SiR was also approved as a suitable standard by the National Association of Head Teachers earlier in 2017.

Visit teacher agency standards for more details or call 0845 450 4415

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