How to carry out an online search of shortlisted candidates

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) recommends you consider doing an online search on shortlisted candidates to explore at interview. Find out how to search fairly and effectively, and download our form to record your online searches during recruitment.

Last reviewed on 2 May 2023
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 44907
  1. What are the rules?
  2. How to conduct a search
  3. What to look for
  4. Be consistent when carrying out searches

This article was written with help from Forbes Solicitors.

What are the rules?


Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2022 states that schools “should consider” carrying out an online search as part of due diligence on shortlisted candidates (see paragraph 221).

You're not required to carry out an online search by KCSIE. But you should consider whether or not it would be useful to identify any safeguarding or suitability issues that can then be explored at interview - the decision is up to you.

An online search is not a replacement or an alternative for other recruitment checks - you must still carry out your statutory duty to complete all safeguarding checks. Take a look at our cheat sheet to make sure you understand which employment checks you need to carry out alongside any online searches.

Data protection law applies to online searches the same as any other