How to carry out an online search of shortlisted candidates

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) now recommends you consider doing an online search of shortlisted candidates. Find out how to search fairly and effectively, and download our form to record an online search.

Last reviewed on 17 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 44907
  1. What are the rules?
  2. Conducting 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) states that schools “should consider” carrying out an online search as part of due diligence on shortlisted candidates (see paragraph 221). This is a new addition to the legislation that will apply from September 2022.

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, but the decision is up to you.

An online search is not a replacement or an alternative for other recruitment checks. Take a look at our cheat sheet to make sure you understand which checks you need to carry out alongside any online searches.

Data protection

Searching for, and collecting