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Develop Terms of Reference for the work. Be clear what services you are looking for, the scope of work and the experience/expertise you require in the service provider, as well as stating your commitment to safeguarding and expectations of service providers.

Request a proposal. Ask service providers to set out how they will deliver the service you require, including on how they will safeguard people during the work – invite more than one provider so you can compare approaches.

Ask the organisation to provide their Safeguarding Policy,Code of Conduct etc. and check whether it has the necessary provisions included to keep everyone safe.

Interview the organisation or individual to assure yourself they can deliver the service you want. If contracting an organisation, you may want to talk to the person delivering the service as well as the organisation lead.

Get references for the organisation or individual you are planning to contract to deliver a service. It is good practice to get at least two references and these should be from organisations who have received a service from the organisation or individual in the last 12 to 24 months. Ask about their approach to safeguarding.

Do background checks on the organisation or individual – whatever is available to you. If contracting an organisation, they should be able to provide you with information on the checks they have carried out on their staff or associates who would be delivering support to you.

Put together a contract for the organisation or individual service provider delivering services. Include the final agreed ToR and make sure agreements about safeguarding are included. Require the organisation or individuals delivering the service to sign your Safeguarding Policy and your organisation’s Code of Conduct.

Brief the individuals and organisations. Make sure all those involved in delivering the service are clear at the outset of their work on their commitments and obligations under your Safeguarding Policy.

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