Recruitment, Training, and Development Policy 

1       Introduction 

1.1    Breakthrough UK exists to provide training, employment, and independent living opportunities to disabled people, within the social model of disability. 

1.2    By disabled people we mean all those who encounter social, attitudinal, and physical barriers as a result of society’s failure to take account of their impairments, whether physical, sensor or intellectual / mental.  Our target group therefore includes not only people with physical and sensory impairments, but also those who have experienced learning difficulties or mental health problems. 

1.3    We are committed to redressing the discrimination widely experienced by disabled people in society.  We seek to reflect this commitment not only in our external activities but also in our internal practices.  We will therefore aim at all times to operate good practice in the process of recruitment, training and development of staff. 

1.4    It is the aim of Breakthrough UK to ensure that no employee, client, or job applicant receives less favourable facilities or treatment on grounds of their impairment, gender, sexuality, marriage or civil partnership status, ethnic origin, pregnancy, age, faith and/or belief or dependants and that individuals are not placed at a disadvantage by unnecessary imposed conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified. 

2       Recruitment Aim 

2.1    Breakthrough UK is committed to fair recruitment and selection that complies with our Equal Opportunities Policy.  The Policy and procedure is designed to ensure that applicants from disadvantaged and excluded groups feel confident to apply and are given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience at application and interview stage. 

2.2    All recruitment and selection is carried out within relevant legislation and we will aim at all times to develop and operate the best possible practice in relation to recruitment.  Equal Opportunities monitoring forms are included within application packs for all posts.  These are for internal information and to help us monitor the numbers of applicants from disadvantaged or excluded groups.  On the basis of this information we can make positive changes or additions to our recruitment process. 

2.3    This process and policy will be monitored every two years or where major legislative changes require us to review our policies and protocols.  

3       Training & Development Aim 

3.1    Breakthrough UK is committed to ongoing training and development to enable all staff to achieve personal and professional objectives and to contribute productively to Breakthrough UK’s mission and objectives. 

3.2    We also aim to develop and strengthen individual skills in order to enable greater personal satisfaction from work and to encourage members of staff to develop into new roles including applying for new and existing posts as they become vacant as part of our internal recruitment commitment. 

4       Recruitment Implementation Framework 

4.1    We operate a targeted recruitment advertising system to encourage disabled people to apply for jobs with Breakthrough UK.  Where appropriate and in line with statutory provisions of the Equality Act 2010, we may restrict some posts to disabled people only. 

4.2    Vacant posts are advertised internally then externally wherever possible to ensure that all sectors of the community can access them.  

4.3    Existing staff are encouraged to apply for new posts and any existing posts which become vacant as a means of career development often not available to disabled people.  Upon close consideration, Breakthrough UK may decide to ring-fence certain posts for internal applicants alone. 

4.4    Advertisements will be placed in community and special interest publications and sites where appropriate.  

4.5    A job description and person specification is drawn up for a new post and amended where appropriate for existing posts.  We make our recruitment information available in a wide range of formats and aim to make our recruitment accessible to all sections of the population. 

4.6    Within the Person Specification, care is taken to ensure that the experience, skills, competencies and qualifications being asked for are really necessary.  We will not ask for unnecessary qualifications from job applicants.  Where a post is found to have a genuine occupational qualification status this will be made clear at all stages of recruitment and selection requirements. 

4.7    We will not put unnecessary restrictions on job applicants that may be discriminatory.  For example if a job description requires the candidate to travel as part of the post, access to transport and ability to travel is more appropriate than requesting a driving licence. 

4.8    Short listing will be undertaken by the relevant panel using standardised criteria to ensure that all applications are judged on an equal basis. The panel will decide how many applicants to shortlist and, if necessary, the post will go to re-advertisement in the absence of suitable candidates. 

4.9    Appointment depends on decisions based on the candidate’s application form and interview.  The successful candidate is informed by telephone on the day of the interview of very soon after.  A formal offer letter is then sent.  

4.10  Unsuccessful candidates are notified formally in writing and constructive feedback is offered if requested as a contribution towards career development. 

5       Training & Development Implementation Framework 

5.1    An induction process will be provided to all members of staff as early as is practicable.  Induction aims to help staff members to settle in quickly and become familiar with workplace policies, procedures and practice and to understand their own role within the organisational context. 

5.2    All members of staff are provided with a line manager.  It is the responsibility of the line manager to: 

  • Ensure the effective Induction of new employees
  • Determine present and future training and development needs in consultation with the employee
  • Ensure that appropriate training and development activity is undertaken by the employee
  • Review and evaluate training and development outcomes with the employee in supervision meetings and in annual employee appraisals

Note: An ability to ‘critically appraise own performance’ and ‘manage own professional development’ are Core Competency requirements for all employees  

5.3    In line with Breakthrough UK’s mission and core aims & objectives, all staff will be provided with an opportunity to attend a Disability Equality Action Training Course.  This one day training course provides all staff members with a clear understanding of the social model of disability and the work they can do in their role to support the removal of barriers for disabled people. 

5.4    We also provide a full staff development session every six to eight weeks that is attended by all members of staff. The development sessions are dedicated to supporting the development of skills, experience and knowledge about disability issues and the work of Breakthrough UK.  Training is delivered by external and internal providers and where appropriate, Breakthrough UK staff can deliver a development session on their own area(s) of expertise to colleagues. 

5.5    Following appraisals and individual and organisational training planning, Breakthrough UK, enables all its employees to take part in appropriate training courses and seminars, when possible and we commit an annual budget and resources for all aspects of staff training and development this is allocated fairly.  Priorities have to be acknowledged within the budget and these will be agreed with staff line managers. 

5.6    Staff are supported and encouraged to undertake both internal and external training opportunities and staff are expected to complete any training to a satisfactory level in terms of attainment and attendance. 

5.7    Fees and expenses incurred by an employee attending courses approved with their line manager will be reimbursed and time can be taken off in lieu. 

5.8    Where agreed with line managers, staff can request that they develop in areas that sit outside job-descriptions as a contribution towards career development in line with the following protocol: 

  • A development plan stating clear objectives and timescales must be agreed by the line manager.
  • The amount of work time needed to undertake the development should be calculated and agreed with the line manager.
  • The development should be managed so that it does not have an adverse impact on the individual’s ability to perform his/ her primary duties to a high standard.
  • The development should not have an adverse impact on the workload of colleagues.