Recruitment FAQs

These Frequently Asked Questions have been developed to provide information for applicants to:

  • Bedford College
  • Shuttleworth College, part of Bedford College
  • The Bedford Sixth Form

And for applicants to Bedford College subsidiary companies:

  • Bedford College Services Ltd (BCS Ltd)
  • Bedford College Professional Services Ltd (BCPS Ltd)

We hope that you will find them helpful and welcome your feedback, particularly if we have omitted to include something which you would have found useful.

Meet our employees

» About us

Our accreditations
We have external recognition through:

  • Investor in People
  • Disability Confident
  • The Collab Group (previously 157 Group)
  • Matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance services

Where is Bedford College?
The largest Bedford College campus is in Cauldwell Street and is a pleasant, riverside campus, less than five minutes walk from Bedford town centre and close to the rail and bus stations. We have a number of specialist sites including:

  • modern, well equipped Gas & Plumbing and Vehicle Technology Centres in Kempston
  • Shuttleworth College campus at Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, for Land-Based studies
  • The Bedford Sixth Form campus in Bromham Road, Bedford
  • IT Training Centres in Bedford and Luton
  • Engineering Technology Centres in Bedford and Houghton Regis
  • Trinity Arts & Leisure in Bromham Road, part of BCS Ltd

How many students are there?
Across all of our sites, including full and part-time learners, there are literally thousands of people enrolled on our courses.

What about travelling to work?
We have excellent transport links with Bedford being close to the M1, A1, A6 and A421 and mainline railway stations in Bedford, Luton and Sandy. There is an international airport in Luton with a direct rail link to Bedford and London. Our Old Warden Park campus and Kempston centres are close to major road links. In Elstow on the edge of Bedford there is a park and ride facility for easy access to Bedford Town Centre.

Where is the Human Resources team?
The Human Resources Team is located at Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AH. They can be contacted by email at recruitment@bedford.ac.uk.

» Your application

How how do I apply?
For each vacancy there is an application form, equal opportunities monitoring form, person specification and job description. To apply you must complete the application form and the equal opportunities monitoring form and ensure that we receive them on or before the closing date. To ensure that there is no delay in receiving your application form, please use the form available on the Apply for a vacancy page. If you are not able to email, please post your form to Human Resources, Bedford College, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AH to arrive on or before the closing date.

Will Bedford College accept my CV instead of the application form?
Your CV will not be accepted instead of an application form. This assists us in the shortlisting process and ensures that all applicants have a similar opportunity to present their skills, experience and qualifications to us. If you do not use our application form, your application will not be considered.

What should I include on my application form?
You should include any information you think is necessary to show us that you meet the requirements of the person specification and that you are able, or have the potential, to carry out the duties described in the job description. Where we have used the term ‘or equivalent’ on the person specification please include details of qualifications/training and/or knowledge/experience which you believe meet our stated requirements. Our preferred way of contacting you is by email, so please ensure that you provide a current email address on the application form. To assist us, please also include on your application form contact telephone numbers (preferably a mobile and a landline) which we may use to contact you during the day/early evening.

What happens to my application once it has been received by Bedford College?
Following the closing date for applications, the line manager responsible for the vacancy reviews the applications and shortlists with advice from Human Resources. This advice is to ensure that we meet our commitments to applicants declaring a disability and to black and minority ethnic (BME) applicants.

What do I do if I am interested in occasional work?
We welcome applications from potential Associates. Associates work with us on an occasional basis or for a specific number of hours per week for up to a maximum of nine calendar months. Our Associates teach or provide support services and they work with and are supported by core (permanent) staff under an Associate Agreement with a specified start and end date and are hourly paid.

Our Associate opportunities usually attract a high volume of interest. As a result, we regret that we are unable to acknowledge or provide feedback on initial expressions of interest or applications from potential Associates. However, if we wish to take your interest further we will contact you to invite you to interview and will confirm the outcome of this process to you by email.

What happens to my equal opportunities monitoring form once it has been received by Bedford College?
The details you provide on this form are confidential. If you are appointed the details are kept as part of your personal record. They are not made available to the line manager or to interviewers during the shortlisting stage. However, they are used by members of the Human Resources Team to check the shortlisting process as set out above.

Will my application be acknowledged?
For advertised vacancies and opportunities, we do not confirm that your application form has been received. We do, however, write to all applicants following the shortlisting process to confirm whether or not you have been shortlisted to take part in the selection process. If you are unsuccessful, we offer developmental feedback on request to Human Resources at recruitment@bedford.ac.uk.

» Selection process

How are shortlisting decisions made?
All applications are considered based on the match to the essential and desirable criteria set out in the person specification. It is therefore essential that when you complete your application you pay close attention to the criteria contained within the person specification and ensure that you have set out fully in your application how you meet these requirements.

If you describe yourself as disabled, requests for reasonable adjustments will be considered in the application and selection process. To meet our commitment to employ a diverse range of people who reflect our community, if you describe yourself as disabled or BME you will be shortlisted if you meet the minimum essential criteria as set out on the person specification.

How long does the shortlisting process take?
Generally speaking, we aim to complete the shortlisting process within a maximum of two weeks from the closing date for applications for advertised vacancies.

How will I know if my application has been selected for the next stage in the process?
Following the completion of the shortlisting stage, we will inform all applicants by email to advise them whether or not they have been selected for the next stage.

What should I expect if I am invited to take part in the next stage of the selection process?
Typically, we will invite you by email to attend one or more interviews with appropriate members of staff. We may also ask you to undertake practical assessment exercises relevant to the vacancy for which you have applied. Your email inviting you to interview will set out what you will be asked to do and the names of the people you will see. You will be interviewed individually and will not be expected to take part in group interviews or activities unless these have been notified to you in advance as part of the selection process.

When will you take up my references?
We will take up references for all potential employees and our offers are made subject to references satisfactory to us being received.

» Your interview

Where will I go for my interview?
Interviews are usually held at Cauldwell Street. If interviews are held at another campus or facility this will be clearly stated in the email inviting you to interview. Get directions.

Can I park my car at Cauldwell Street?
Parking at Cauldwell Street is limited due to our town centre location. There are student and staff car parks on campus. However, due to the limitations of the campus, we cannot guarantee that space will be available if you are attending an interview but there are many public car parks within Bedford. The closest is Melbourne Street which is less than five minutes’ walk from the College.

Is there anywhere to buy refreshments?
At Cauldwell Street and our Shuttleworth College Campus, our Munch & Mocha restaurant and coffee shop is open from early morning through to late afternoon/evening during term-time and until mid-afternoon during holiday periods. Munch & Mocha sells a range of hot and cold food, sandwiches, snack items and a variety of hot and cold drinks. During term-time, 25 Restaurant at Cauldwell Street serves lunch prepared and served by our students.

In Kempston and Luton town there are many nearby food outlets.

Can I claim expenses for taking part in the selection process?
In most cases, we do not reimburse any expenses.

In exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Director of Organisation Development and agreed before the interview, we may consider contributing to any travel or accommodation expenses you incur. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please email recruitment@bedford.ac.uk before you make your arrangements to travel to attend your interview.

Please note that we will be unable to consider your application for a contribution towards your travel expenses if it is made after you have attended your interview.

How long will my interview take?
Your email inviting you to take part in the selection process will include a specific interview time. Interviews usually take up to an hour. If you have been asked to complete a practical assessment, this could take up to a further 45 minutes. Occasionally you will be expected to remain with us for longer periods but this will be confirmed in the letter inviting you to attend the interview. You will not usually be expected to spend all day at an interview.

If I am successful, how and when will I know?
You will receive a letter from us to let you know the outcome of each interview or assessment stage within 7-10 calendar days.

If I am successful, will I be offered a relocation package?
In most cases, we do not offer any assistance with relocation expenses. For some nationally advertised jobs, depending on the job to be offered and the likely duration and difficulty of the normal daily commuting journey, we may offer limited relocation assistance at the discretion of the Director of Organisation Development.

» New staff

If I am offered a job will I need to complete a Disclosure?
Our jobs are offered subject to pre-employment checks for the right to live and work in the UK and pre-employment checks on the nationally-held barred lists identifying people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. All jobs are offered subject to these pre-employment checks and for this reason you are asked to give us your date of birth and previous names on the equal opportunities monitoring form. You will also be asked to apply for a Disclosure at enhanced level before you start working with us. When you are offered a job, we will email you to explain what you need to do meet these requirements.

How much annual leave will I be entitled to?
Annual leave for employees on Bedford College contracts issued from 1 August 2016 is 35 days pro rata plus bank holidays in England and Wales where these fall as part of the normal working week.

Annual leave for BCS Ltd and BCPS Ltd employees is 25 days pro rata and 30 days pro rata for senior managers plus bank holidays as above.

What sort of pension scheme do you offer?
For employees on Bedford College contracts this is either Teachers’ Pension Scheme or the Local Government Pension Scheme.

For BCS Ltd and BCPS Ltd this is People’s Pension from the autoenrolment date for BCS Ltd (March 2017) and BCPS Ltd (November 2017). 

Will I have a probation period?
When you start a new job, you will have a probation period to ensure that you make an effective start and are happy in your new job. Depending on your job, your probation period will either be for six or nine months and this will be specified in your contract.

Will you provide me with any training and development?
We provide a wide variety of opportunities for training and development and free places on our courses for both job related and personal development (subject to availability).

If you wish to pursue a non-work related course in your own time, employees are eligible for the staff discount scheme and can take any of our directly funded courses for 20% of the advertised fee. Please note that you will be responsible for any registration or exams fees.

What employee benefits are available?
We offer:

  • Free workplace parking weekdays and weekends
  • Opportunity to purchase one week’s additional annual leave for 2% of salary
  • Pension scheme
  • Free information, advice and counselling through the employee assistance programme
  • Attendance vouchers for no sickness absence
  • First Aider vouchers for qualified first aiders on rota
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Cinderella bonus/contribution to team social event December/January
  • Occupational sick pay increasing with service
  • Occupational maternity pay
  • Healthcare scheme at a discount
  • Mini health checks at reduced rates
  • Volunteer leave of up to 2 days per annual leave year
  • Additional occasional extra closure days
  • Free attendance on any College course
  • Annualised hours
  • Financial contribution to degrees/Master’s degree fees subject to conditions
  • Staff Social Group events
  • End of year staff socials
  • Phased retirement i.e. reduction to fraction to draw pension benefits
  • Long service award of £500 at 20 years’ service
  • Career development advice
  • Discounted beauty, health and gym facilities
  • Discounted dining

» Associate Bank FAQs

What is an Associate?
Associates work on a short term basis up to a maximum of nine calendar months and are hourly paid. They teach or provide support services and they work with and are supported by core staff. As an Associate you will be issued with an annual Agreement which has a specified start and end date. Within this Agreement period there may be a number of assignments.

How do I apply?
For these opportunities there is an application form, person specification and job description. To apply you must complete the application form including your subject specialism and availability. To ensure that there is no delay in receiving your application form, please view our 'Associate staff bank' page and follow the steps.

Will my application be acknowledged?
Our Associate opportunities usually attract a high volume of interest. As a result, we regret that we are unable to acknowledge or provide feedback on initial expressions of interest or applications from potential Associates. However, if we wish to take your interest further we will contact you to invite you to interview and will confirm the outcome of this process to you by email.

What will I get paid?
The rate of pay will be determined by the level of the class/teaching and your qualification profile. We have a higher hourly rate for staff who have a Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (formerly CTLLS) or higher. The rate of pay is specified on your agreement.

When will I get paid?
Associates get paid one month in arrears by timesheet, i.e. payment for hours in October are paid in November on receipt of a correctly completed timesheet authorised by your manager.

The payroll deadline is the 5th of the month and all timesheets must be authorised and submitted to Human Resources no later than this date. All authorised timesheets will then be paid on the 27th of that month.

How will I be offered work?
When we have an opportunity that meets your skill set the recruiting manager will contact you to arrange a short interview. If successful, you will be contacted, in writing, by a member of the Human Resources team.

You will then be required to arrange a meeting with Human Resources to complete pre-employment checks and return the signed agreement. You will not be able to start work until this has taken place.

What pre-employment checks will I be required to carry out?
Our Associate opportunities are offered subject to pre-employment checks for the right to live and work in the UK and on the nationally-held barred lists which identifies people who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. All opportunities are offered subject to these pre-employment checks and for this reason you are asked to give us your date of birth and previous names on the equal opportunities monitoring form. You will also be asked to complete and apply for a Disclosure at enhanced level before you start working with us. The requirements for Disclosure are included in your offer and we will outline the supporting documents required to complete your application.

You will also be asked to complete and apply for a Disclosure at enhanced level before you start working with us. This Disclosure form will be included in your offer pack and will outline the supporting documents required to complete the form.

What progression opportunities are there?
Our Associates are people who take up teaching opportunities for a variety of reasons ranging from starting a career in teaching to achieving a better work-life balance through working flexibly or part-time. Many of our current permanent teaching staff and managers started as Associates and just like them you will be given support and opportunities to progress.

Problems?
If you experience any difficulties in downloading our documents or information, please contact the Recruitment Team by emailing associate@bedford.ac.uk.

» Help

If you experience any difficulties in downloading our documents or information, please contact our Recruitment Team via email at recruitment@bedford.ac.uk.

Need more information?

If you have any queries please contact our Recruitment Team at recruitment@bedford.ac.uk

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