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Employment Screening Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The purpose of this procedure is to reduce the risk of a potential security breach and to ensure the integrity, identity and credentials of employees at Charles Sturt University (the University).

(2) This procedure supports:

  1. the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy by requiring staff to perform their duties with honesty and integrity in accordance with the framework of ethical conduct that underpins the expected standards of behaviour for all members of the University community, and
  2. the Appointments Policy by informing current and prospective staff of the requirement to undergo background screening to confirm employment at the University.

Scope

(3) This procedure applies to:

  1. candidates recommended for employment, including those recommended for engagement through an employment agency,
  2. current staff of the University appointed to a position that has been identified as requiring employment screening, and
  3. current staff of the University appointed to a position that has been identified as requiring rescreening.
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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Employment screening - means verifying the identity, integrity and credentials of an individual that is, or will be, entrusted with resources and/or assets of the University.
  2. Executive leader – means staff employed at levels SNR 1-3 of the senior executive remuneration scale.
  3. Probity – means the level of integrity necessary to ensure the conscientious and honest conduct of a person’s working relationship and activities.
  4. Senior leader - means staff employed at levels SNR 4-5 of the senior executive remuneration scale.
  5. Senior executive leader - means staff employed above the level of SNR 1-5.
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Section 3 - Policy

(5)  Refer to the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and the Appointments Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Principles

(6) Pre- and post-employment screening does not negate the need for staff to complete a fit and proper person declaration or from declaring conflicts of interest as they arise.

(7) All employment screening of candidates and current staff will be coordinated by the Division of People and Culture following the employment screening process and where required, using an authorised independent third party.

(8) Information collected during the screening process will remain confidential to those involved in the verification process, and will be used, stored, and destroyed in accordance with the requirements of the University's Privacy Management Plan and legislative requirements.

(9) The University is committed to practices that are inclusive and will undertake employment screening with sensitivity and privacy. 

Part B - Types of employment screening

(10) The types of screening will be in accordance with Australian Standard 4811-2006: Employment Screening, and as specified in the University’s employment screening process. Checks may include:

  1. identity – 100 points of identification, right to work,
  2. integrity – reference checks, National criminal record check, Working with Children Check, Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned and disqualified persons check, and
  3. credentials – academic qualifications, professional registration.

(11) The type of employment screening required is relative to the position, or type of duties being performed and may be conducted:

  1. during the recruitment and selection process and preferably before appointment,
  2. upon a change in employment or personal circumstances, 
  3. when periodic rescreening is required for positions with particular risk exposure after a set period, or
  4. prior to the engagement of a worker through an employment agency.

Part C - Employment screening 

Candidates recommended for employment

(12) Applicants will normally be advised of the University’s employment screening requirements during the recruitment and selection process. 

(13) If a candidate declines consent to undertake employment screening, they will be considered ineligible for the position and advised accordingly.

(14) All employment screening is to be completed before commencement of employment or where circumstances prevent this, satisfactory checks should be received within one month of commencement (unless required by legislation before commencement).

(15) Candidates recommended for appointment by a contracted recruitment agency or labour hire company will have completed employment screening as part of the selection process with the agency to a level that is commensurate with the risk exposure and Employment Screening Process.  This is to be expressed and agreed in the contract of service.

(16) Employment with the University cannot be confirmed without the successful completion of required employment screening.

Current staff

(17) Employees who hold a position that requires rescreening will be notified by a representative from the Division of People and Culture at recurring intervals of not more than three years and given two weeks to complete the screening process.

(18) Where an employee changes positions outside of the recruitment and selection process either via secondment, direct appointment or higher duties arrangement for periods greater than 12 weeks, the line manager will be responsible for ensuring the employee has satisfied the required employment checks for the new position. Checks that are required by legislation and deemed mandatory for a position must be completed regardless of contract duration.

(19) The Division of People and Culture will arrange employment screening for staff who change positions, when requested.

(20) Senior, executive and senior executive leaders recommended for contract renewal will be required to maintain a satisfactory result as part of the contract renewal process. If the employee is due for, or within two months of re-screen, this will be arranged prior to a new contract being issued.

(21) If an employee declines consent to undertake employment screening they will be requested to provide reasons for doing so, in writing to the Director, Workplace Relations and Partnerships. 

(22) If a resolution cannot be reached between the parties and consent remains withheld, disciplinary procedures will be initiated in accordance with the University’s Enterprise Agreement or the employment contract.

Part D - Actioning results

Candidates recommended for employment

(23) Where an employment check reveals an outcome that impacts a candidate’s ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of the job, or is deemed to present a high risk relative to the position, the Team Leader, Recruitment will liaise with the appropriate officer as listed below to complete a risk assessment and agree on a course of action that may result in withdrawing a pending offer of employment.

  1. Academic and professional/general staff appointments - Director, Workplace Relations and Partnerships.
  2. Executive and senior appointments SNR Levels 1 to 5 – Executive Director, People and Culture.
  3. Senior executive appointments above SNR Level 1 – Chief Operating Officer.
  4. Vice-Chancellor appointment – Chancellor.

(24) If the decision is made not to proceed with an appointment or if agreement cannot be reached, the Chief Operating Officer shall confirm the decision and be the adjudicator, or for positions above SNR Level 1 the Vice-Chancellor. 

(25) A recommended candidate is not automatically precluded from a position because of a criminal record.

(26) Where checks reveal discrepancies or minor issues, the candidate will be given opportunity to provide further evidence to support their suitability for the role. This will be documented and a risk assessment completed by the hiring manager and the Recruitment Consultant and resolved where possible. If a resolution cannot be reached the Executive Director, People and Culture shall be the adjudicator.

Current staff

(27) Where an employment check reveals an outcome that impacts an employee’s ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of the job, or is deemed to present a high risk relative to the position, the Senior Manager Business Partnering will be advised and will discuss the results with the employee and the appropriate officer listed below to agree on a course of action in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement or the employment contract. 

  1. Academic and Professional/General staff appointments - Director, Workplace Relations and Partnerships.
  2. Executive and Senior appointments SNR Levels 1 to 5 – Executive Director, People and Culture.
  3. Senior Executive appointments above SNR Level 1 – Chief Operating Officer.
  4. Vice-Chancellor appointment – Chancellor.

(28) An employee is not automatically precluded from a position because of a criminal record.

(29) Where an agency employee or their employer fails to provide or maintain satisfactory background checks, the Manager, Procurement and the University's authorised officer responsible for the worker will agree on a course of action which may result in refusing or cancelling the engagement.

Part E - Roles and responsibilities

(30) The Division of People and Culture will have ownership for implementing this procedure for employees and prospective employees and will coordinate the following activities:

  1. Administer the third-party portal for employment screening and facilitate all pre-employment screening including confirming results.
  2. Process and store employee documents required to be maintained by the University in its records management system.
  3. Provide advice to leaders about employment screening and assist with resolution of issues. 
  4. Facilitate all re-screening of current employees including confirming results.

(31) Candidates and employees must not provide false, fraudulent or misleading information as part of the employment screening process. Where this occurs, the University will commence disciplinary action which may include termination of employment or if the employment has not commenced, revocation of the offer of employment.

(32) Employees must advise their manager of changes to their professional or personal circumstances which may impact their ability to fulfil the inherent requirements of their position as soon as they become aware. This includes updating conflict of interest declarations and associations.

(33) Hiring managers and line managers are responsible for ensuring:

  1. the type of employment screening to be performed is directly related to the position,
  2. their staff maintain current and satisfactory results from employment screening, and
  3. their People and Culture Business Partner is notified of non-compliance as soon as they become aware.

Part F - Records and documentation

(34) Information will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected (in this instance, employment screening). 

(35) Records and documentation pertaining to a candidate or employee’s employment screening will be securely stored in the University's records management system or where no longer required, destroyed in accordance with the State Records Act 1998.

(36) Criminal history checks will not be retained by the University. Candidates and employees are provided with a copy of their report by the third-party provider.

(37) Access to documentation by employees will be in accordance with the University’s Personal Files Access Policy and prevailing Government Information (Public Access) Act (NSW) 2009 provisions.

Part G - Right of review

(38) If a candidate or employee disputes the results of their employment checks, they are required to contact the third-party provider directly in the first instance to lodge a dispute. Where a dispute is upheld and a satisfactory result is returned within 21 days of lodgement, the proposed or current employment relationship may continue. 

(39) Where employment has been refused due to unfavourable findings during employment screening, a People and Culture team member will inform the candidate of the grounds for refusal.

(40) If a person feels aggrieved by the screening process they should be referred to the University’s Complaints Management Policy.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(41) Nil.