Frequently asked questions

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1. How do I use this website?


1.1 How does the Staffing Portal work?

Welcome to the Staffing Portal! This is where you a) apply for a seasonal role on the NCS programmes, b) book onto events such as group assessments and role training sessions, c) indicate your availability for the NCS programmes, and d) receive information on your work placements and sign your employment contract.

Once you're logged in, you'll see that the home page is split into three 'stages'; Application, Placement & Programme. First, you need to fill out the 'Application stage' - complete your profile, submit your application, and once your application's been reviewed, book onto an assessment.

Following a successful assessment you'll be conditionally offered a role - then the 'Placement stage' will be available. Here, you fill out your 'essential information', apply for a DBS, book onto role training and outline your availability on the 'choosing when I can work' and 'Dates when I can't work' pages.

Finally, once you've been allocated to a work placement or 'wave', the 'Programme stage' opens. On the 'My Role' page, you'll be able to view your timetable, download helpful resources and sign your employment contract.

You'll notice that there are icons next to each page:

- Blue tick: you have completed all of this section
- Green cog: this section is incomplete
- Red cross: there's a problem with this section which you need to review immediately.


1.2 Why can't I access some parts of the website?

To ensure that we only collect information from candidates if and when we need it, we 'lock' various sections of the Staffing Portal. This means you'll only have access to the pages that you currently need for your role.

We'll also lock some sections while we process your information; for instance, once you've submitted your application form, you'll be unable to go back and change anything while we're reviewing it. If you think you've submitted any incorrect information, it's best to contact your staffing team to see if they can amend this manually for you.


1.3 I'm having technical difficulties - what do I do?

Please submit a technical help query -

1.Click on the 'Help' button at the top of the page.

2. Please make sure you provide your full name and the phone number and email address you've signed up with in the form. In the 'summary' field, please try to be as concise as possible so that we can identify the problem quickly.

3. In the 'Details of your problem' field, please provide as much information as possible, including what page you're on, any error messages that come up and what measures you've taken so far. The more information we have, the quicker we can get back to you with a solution.

4. Press submit - we will try and respond to your query the next working day.

Please note that if a problem is not 'technical' (e.g. not due to a website fault) you should simply email seasonalroles@the-challenge.org.


1.4 What is your data protection policy?

Data Protection Policy:

1. ABOUT THIS POLICY

1.1 During the course of our activities we, The Challenge, will process personal data and sensitive personal data (which may be held on paper, electronically, or otherwise) about our seasonal staff, and we recognise the need to treat it in an appropriate and lawful manner, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The purpose of this policy is to make you aware of how we will handle personal and sensitive personal data.

2. DEFINITIONS

2.1 For the purposes of this policy:

Employee/s means Seasonal  Staff.

Personal Data means recorded information we hold about Employees, Volunteers, Applicants and Participants from which an individual can be identified. It may include contact details, other personal information, photographs, expressions of opinion or indications as to The Challenge’s intentions about the individual.

Sensitive Data means personal data consisting of information about the data subject’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or beliefs of a similar nature, trade union membership, physical or mental health or condition, sexual life, sickness records, interview notes, equal opportunities monitoring form, payroll information, pension scheme, criminal records check, DBS reports.

Processing means doing anything with the data, such as accessing, disclosing, destroying or using the data in any way.

3. DATA PROTECTION PRINCIPLES

3.1 We will comply with the eight data protection principles in the DPA, which say that Personal Data must be:

(a) Processed fairly and lawfully 

(b) Processed for limited purposes and in an appropriate way

(c) Adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose

(d) Accurate

(e) Not kept longer than necessary for the purpose

(f) Processed in line with individuals’ rights

(g) Secure

(h) Not transferred to people or organisations situated in other countries without adequate protection.

FAIR AND LAWFUL PROCESSING

4.1 We will usually only process your personal data where you have given your consent or where the processing is necessary to comply  with our legal obligations. In other cases, processing may be necessary for the protection of your vital interests, for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of others.

4.2 We will only process ‘sensitive personal data’ about ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, health, criminal proceedings or convictions, where a further condition is also met. Usually, this will mean that you have given your explicit consent, or that the processing is legally required for employment purposes. The full list of conditions is set out in the DPA.

5. HOW WE ARE LIKELY TO USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

5.1 We will process data about seasonal staff for legal, personnel, administrative and management purposes and to enable us to meet our legal obligations as an employer, for example, to pay you. monitor your performance and ensure your safety when participating in adventurous activities with our partners.

5.2 We may process sensitive personal data relating to seasonal staff including, as appropriate:

(a) information about an employee’s physical or mental health or condition in order to make decisions as to the employee’s fitness for work (i.e. what activities you can and cannot participate in on the Personal Challenge);

(b) the employee’s racial or ethnic origin or religious or similar information in order to monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation;

(c) in order to comply with legal requirements and obligations to third parties, such as our partners during the Personal Challenge.

6. PROCESSING FOR LIMITED PURPOSES

6.1 We will only process your personal data for the specific purpose or purposes notified to you or for any other purposes specifically permitted by the DPA.

7. ADEQUATE, RELEVANT AND NON-EXCESSIVE PROCESSING

7.1 We will keep the personal data we store about you accurate and up to date. Data that is inaccurate or out of date will be destroyed. Please notify us if your personal details change or if you become aware of any inaccuracies in the personal data we hold about you.

8. DATA RETENTION

8.1 We will not keep your personal data for longer than is necessary for the purpose. This means that data will be destroyed or erased from our systems when it is no longer required.

9. PROCESSING IN LINE WITH YOUR RIGHTS

9.1 You have the right to:

(a) Request access to any personal data we hold about you

(b) Prevent the processing of your data for direct-marketing purposes

(c) Ask to have inaccurate data held about you amended

(d) Prevent processing that is likely to cause unwarranted substantial damage or distress to you or anyone else

(e) Object to any decision that significantly affects you being taken solely by a computer or other automated process.

10 DATA SECURITY

10.1 We will ensure that appropriate measures are taken against unlawful or unauthorised processing of personal data, and against the accidental loss of, or damage to, personal data.

10.2 We have in place procedures and technologies to maintain the security of all personal data from the point of collection to the point of destruction. We will only transfer personal data to a third part if it agrees with those procedures and policies, or if it puts in place adequate measures itself.

10.3 Maintaining data security means guaranteeing the confidentiality, integrity and availability (for authorised purposes) of the personal data.

11 PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THIRD PARTIES

11.1 We will disclose your personal data to our partners who have extensive experience in providing adventurous activities. This is solely for your safety. We will not disclose your personal data to other third parties without your consent unless we are satisfied that they are legally entitled to the data. Where we do disclose your personal data to a third party, we will have regard to the eight data protection principles.

12 SUBJECT ACCESS REQUESTS

12.1 If you wish to know what personal data we hold about you, you must make the request in writing. All such requests should be forwarded to HR.

13 BREACHES OF THIS POLICY

13.1 If you consider that this policy has not been followed in respect of personal data about yourself or others you should raise the matter with your manager. Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously.


2. The NCS seasonal programmes


2.1 What is NCS The Challenge?

The Challenge is the UK's leading social integration charity - find out more about us here [link to 'About Us' page]

We are the UK's largest provider of NCS (National Citizen Service). NCS is a seasonal youth and community programme designed to push 15-17 year olds out of their comfort zones and into adulthood through outdoor activities, skills development, community volunteering and social action. We believe that with the right tools, young people can make a real difference in their local communities.

Our seasonal programmes take place outside of term time in the summer (late June to late August) and autumn (October to November half term). Teams of young people take part in our three or four week programme, progressing through the following challenges:

NCS Personal Challenge: Teams come together, build confidence and bond through intense outdoor activities such as abseiling, rafting and hiking during a week away from home.

NCS Team Challenge: Young people return to their local community to stay in university halls. They learn a new skill (drama, enterprise, music, photography, media, art or sport) and use it to build relationships with members of the community.

NCS Real Challenge: Team identify an issue in their local community and design a social action project to tackle it. Once their design is finished, they pitch it to a panel of 'dragons' and take their campaign to the streets.


2.2 When is the NCS programme running this summer?

The table below outlines all of the different programmes dates running this summer (4 weeks each).

If you are looking to work in Birmingham, please note that we are running a 'condensed' version of the programme which runs over 3 weeks instead - please contact the Birmingham team on staffingwestmidlands@the-challenge.org for more information!

Wave

NCS: PC

NCS: TC

NCS: RCD

NCS: RCA

1

22 - 26 June

29 June - 3 July

6 - 9 July

12 - 15 July

2

26 - 30 June

3 - 7 July

10 - 13 July

16 - 19 July

3

30 June - 4 July

7 - 11 July

14 - 17 July

20 - 23 July

4

4 - 8 July

11 - 15 July

18 - 21 July

24 - 27 July

5

13 - 17 July

20 - 24 July

26 - 29 July

1 - 4 August

6

17 - 21 July

24 - 28 July

31 July - 3 Aug

5 - 8 August

7

21 - 25 July

28 July - 1 Aug

4 - 7 August

10 - 13 August

8

25 - 29 July

1 - 5 August

8 - 11 August

14 - 17 August

9

29 July - 2 Aug

5 - 9 August

12 - 15 August

18 - 21 August

10

2 - 6 August

10 - 11 August

12 - 14 August

18 - 21 August

11

6 - 10 August

14 - 15 August

16 - 18 August

23, 24, 27 & 28 Aug

12

10 - 14 August

18 - 19 August

20, 21 & 23 Aug

27 - 30 August


2.3 What are The Challenge's values?

Our Values are available on the organisation website and are listed below.


Local – National
We maximise our local impact, supported by national influence, efficiencies and scale.


•    We use local knowledge to work with our local communities.
•    We seek opportunities to increase the number of people benefiting from our programmes.
•    We work collaboratively across the organisation to support our colleagues, maximise our efficiency and effectiveness.


Challenging – Humble
We strive for continuous improvement, with understanding and respect for all those we work with.


•    We develop by sharing feedback with colleagues and partners.
•    We look for improvements in what we do and how we do it.
•    We seek, understand and respect other people’s point of view.
•    We trust in each other to make the right decisions for The Challenge to support our mission.


Professional – Real
We are true to ourselves, and commit to always perform at our best.


•    We have high standards and take pride in all we do.
•    We learn from our mistakes.
•    We have a warm and approachable culture.


3. My Profile & My Application


3.1 I can't log in - help!

If you're experiencing problems logging in, please check the following:

- Are you using the correct email address? If you're not sure which email you registered with, contact us on seasonalroles@the-challenge.org
- Is your password correct? Use the 'Forgotten Password' button to retrieve your login details
- Do you have any old accounts on our system? If you've worked with us before, you just need to use your old login details.
- Have you been on the NCS programme as a young person? You'll need to create an account with a different email address (you're confusing our system!)

If you've checked all of the above and still can't login, please contact seasonalroles@the-challenge.org.


3.2 I'm having trouble registering my details - what should I do?

If you're having trouble registering your details it's most likely because we already have a profile for you on our system:

a) I already signed up via your online form OR I attended a careers event and provided contact details: You can access your profile by entering your email address in the login page and clicking on 'Forgotten Password' - you'll be emailed a link to retrieve a temporary password, which you'll be prompted to change once you're logged in. If you're not sure what email address you've registered with, email us on seasonalroles@the-challenge.org.

b) I've worked on the NCS programme previously and would like to return to work: You won't need to make a new account - just use the same email address and password as before. Once you're logged in you can update your profile and start a new application.


3.3 How do I change my password?

If you're already logged in to the staffing portal, you can change your password on the 'My Profile' page. If you're not logged in, you can change your password by clicking on 'Forgotten password' and clicking on the link in the triggered email.

The first time you log in to the staffing portal you'll be automatically taken to the 'change password' page.


3.4 I don't have a National Insurance (NI) number - what should I do?

If you don't have an NI number, you'll need to apply for one as soon as possible - we can't let you work on the NCS programme until you have one. In the meantime, you please contact Central Staffing on seasonalroles@the-challenge.org to continue your NCS application.


3.5 Where can I find role descriptions and start dates?

You can find job descriptions for all of our roles on at ncs.the-challenge.org/jobs.

If you scroll to the bottom of each job description, you'll find all of the potential work dates for the role you're looking at. These work dates will be broken down into 'waves' and sections (PC, TC, RCD, RCA) - you'll need to be available for a full row of dates.

Please note that some roles will not be available on all seasonal programmes, and start dates can vary based on location. For more information, contact us on seasonalroles@the-challenge.org.


3.6 Can I apply for multiple roles and locations?

Yes! We encourage staff to apply for all roles that they think they're suitable for. If you are invited to an assessment, we take all seasonal roles into consideration. Following your assessment, the role we match you to is our final decision.

We also encourage applicants to select as many locations as possible - the more flexible you are, the more likely you'll be offered multiple work placements. Please note that you must be able to find your own accommodation in any area you select, and pay for your own travel to and from the start venue for your placement.


3.7 My application won't save - what do I do?

There are a few reasons why your application might not be saving:

a) You have not filled in all of the answer fields: questions marked with a blue (*) are compulsory and the application will not save or submit without them. Please go back and answer any questions you've left blank.

b) You're writing too much in your answer: all of our long written-answer questions have a limit of 1,000 characters - this is roughly 250 words (but it depends on the length of the words you're using!). Please go back and cut down your answers to meet these requirements.

c) Your broadband is slow: sometimes our 'conditional' questions (i.e. questions asking for further details following a 'yes' answer) have trouble loading if the user's internet is slow. This means that you won't have completed the whole form. If possible, please try to connect to a different broadband, and make sure you're using either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If this is not possible, try accessing the application form during a non-peak time - generally broadband providers have the most activity in the evening.

d) A technical glitch has occurred: if an error message pops up when you try to save or submit your application, our website is experiencing a technical issue. Please submit a 'help' query, ideally with a printscreen of the error message.


3.8 I was previously on the NCS programme as a young person, and I'm now having trouble applying for a seasonal role.

If you're going to turn 18 before 1st April 2019 you'll be able to apply for a seasonal role with us. If you're not going to turn 18 by this date we won't be able to accept an application from you.

However, sometimes our system gets confused when you already have a 'young person' account with the same email address. The easiest way to get around this is to sign up with a different email address. If you are having issues, contact us on seasonalroles@the-challenge.org.


3.9 I am under 18, can I apply for a paid seasonal role?

If you're going to turn 18 before 1st May 2019, you'll be able to apply for a seasonal role with us. If you're not going to turn 18 by this date we won't be able to accept an application from you.

Are you an NCS Graduate? Get in touch with the Grads team on graduates@the-challenge.org to see what opportunities they have available.


3.10 I have additional needs and require reasonable adjustments - what can you do?

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all candidates.

On the final page of the application form we encourage you to disclose details of your needs and any adjustments or assistance you might need at assessment and on the programme. Please complete this section as fully as possible.

If you require our application form in a different format (e.g. printed paper copy), or would like to discuss your needs with a member of our Inclusion Staffing team, please get in touch with our confidential inclusion helpline: hwd@the-challenge.org.

Any information you disclose will be treated confidentially, and will not affect how your application is reviewed. We'll only share this information on a need-to-know basis. 


4. Assessments


4.1 Do I need to attend an assessment?

New applicants: if you're applying to work on the NCS programme for the first time and your application is successful, you'll be invited to one of our group assessments. Our assessment format allows us to determine whether or not you are suitable to undertake any of our seasonal roles. Assessments are mandatory for all new candidates.

Returners (from 2018) applying for a different role: you may need to attend an assessment, depending on the role you're applying for or you may be asked to have a telephone assessment depending on your application. Your staffing team will indicate whether or not you'll need to reassess. 

Returners (from 2018) applying for the same role: you won't need to assess again but you may be asked to have a telephone assessment based on your application. 

Returners (pre 2018): you will need to assess for a role for 2019 - this is because many of our roles have changed in nature!


4.2 I am unable to attend an assessment in person. Can I have a Sykpe interview?

Unfortunately we can't carry out interviews over Skype. We assess candidates in groups for two reasons; a) it allows us to assess as many people as possible for our roles, and b) it allows us to use activities such as role plays, group discussions and presentations to get an idea of how you'll react in certain scenarios.

We strongly recommend that you make yourself available for one of the assessment dates offered, where possible. If you're definitely unable to attend any of our latest group assessment dates (e.g. if you're out of the country), but may be able to attend one later in the year you should contact your local staffing team to discuss your options.


4.3 I can't make anyof the assessment dates / there are no dates available. What should I do?

The majority of our group assessments will run from January to April. During this time, you should be given at least two or three assessment dates to choose from on the staffing portal. We strongly recommend that you make yourself available for one of the dates offered to you.

If you're definitely unable to make any of these dates you have the option to fill out an 'alternative dates' form. We'll do our best to contact you with a different assessment date which fits in with your availability, but we can't guarantee this.

If you're trying to book onto an assessment in April or May, you might find that there are no assessment dates available on the staffing portal. This may not mean that there are no more assessments running, so it's worth calling your local staffing team and seeing if they have any late assessments they can book you onto.

We limit the number of assessments for each role gradually as we fill up our vacancies - therefore, the later you apply for a role and the later you're invited to an assessment, the fewer dates you'll have to choose from.


4.4 What are the assessments like?

When we review your application we'll decide which type of role we think you're best suited to, and invite you to assess for a group of roles. Following your assessment, if you're successful we'll offer you one role. This decision is final, and you won't be able to apply for any other roles.

Our group assessments run for about four hours, and we generally invite around 30 people. The assessment's broken down into various activities, such as group workshops, speeches, role plays and discussions. Depending on the roles your assessing for, you'll be asked to prepare some kind of activity before hand - please refer to your chosen assessment on the 'Booking assessments' page.

Each activity is designed to assess how you'll react in certain scenarios and help us decide which of our seasonal roles you're best suited to.


4.5 What do I need to bring to my assessment?

Depending on your assessment, you'll be asked to prepare a either a presentation/speech, workshop or icebreakers beforehand. To find out what you need to prepare, click on your registered event on the 'Booking Assessments' page or refer to your booking confirmation email.

Dress code: please wear smart-casual, comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear. Although the entire assessment takes place indoors, some activities do involve a degree of physical activity.

Documents you MUST bring
Please make a note of the following documents you must bring to the assessment - we need these in order to:

a) Confirm your Right To Work in the UK - the most common document is a UK passport (which can also be used to prove your identity). If you don't have a UK passport, please check other valid document types that can be used on the gov.uk website.

b) Confirm your identity - please also bring a form of photo identification. The most common forms of ID are passports (any nationality) or driving licenses.

Please note that we will not accept photocopies, only original documents. During your assessment your documents will be checked and scanned by a member of the staffing team. If your documents are not checked at assessment, we will check them at training instead.


4.6 What happens after the assessment?

We'll contact you by email with the outcome of your assessment within 2-3 weeks of the assessment date. If you don't hear anything after 3 weeks please contact your local staffing team.

If you're successful, your email will contain a conditional job offer for the role we'd like you to take on this year, and instructions for how to apply for a new DBS certificate (if you need one). It will also indicate which sections of the staffing portal you'll now need to fill out - e.g. the Essential Information and availability pages.


5, Job offers and availability


5.1 I've been offered a 'conditional' job - what does this mean?

If you're successful at assessment, you'll be 'conditionally' offered a role on the programme. This role offer is dependant on you completing the following:

1. DBS: You must have a valid Enhanced DBS certificate with Children's Barred List checked, dated from 1st January 2018. This can either be your current DBS from another employer, or applied for through The Challenge.
2. References: You must have two satisfactory references no later than 2 weeks prior to your start date.
3. Availability: You'll need to keep your availability up to date on the Staffing Portal - we'll use this information to match you to a vacant role in your preferred location.
4. Training: All seasonal staff are required to attend up to 2.5 days of training for their role; more details to follow in April/May!

Please note: we can't always guarantee you a placement in your preferred location. The more flexible you can be in regards to your work dates and locations, the more likely you are to be allocated to a vacancy.


5.2 I've been offered a role, but it isn't my preferred one. Why is this?

When you attend a group assessment with us, our Staffing Associates and Programmes Assessors bear in mind all of our seasonal roles, not necessarily just the one(s) you've applied for. We do this to ensure that each candidate is matched to the right seasonal role, which their skills, experience and personality suit best. Therefore, it might be that after your assessment you're offered a different role than you were expecting.

In general, this decision is final, and you won't be able to try out for another role. However, if you're concerned that the role you've been offered doesn't fit well with your availability over the summer you're welcome to discuss this with your Staffing Associate (contact details will be at the bottom of your 'offer' email).


5.3 Where can I see the exact work dates for my role?

You can see an overview of the work dates for your chosen role on the job description. Head to ncs.the-challenge.org/jobs and click on your role to download the job description in PDF form. 


5.4 I'm free for a whole wave, except for one working day. Should I still choose this wave in my availability?

Yes - please select this wave! When allocating seasonal staff to a particular wave, we'll prioritise staff who are available for the entire work period first. If we can't find a staff member with full availability to work, we'll start contacting staff with limited availaiblity, and where possible we'll arrange for your shift to be covered by another staff member.


5.5 I'm going to be unavailable for more than a week over the NCS summer programme. What do I need to do?

If you're going on holiday or know you'll be unavailable for longer than three days over the summer, please let us know in the 'Dates when I can't work' page on the Staffing Portal. Please also make sure you don't select any of the waves your absent period runs through in the 'Choosing when I can work' page. We'll make sure we don't bother you during this period, and we'll do our best to prioritise you for the waves that you're fully available for!


5.6 My availability has changed - what do I need to do?

Please make sure you keep your availability as up-to-date as possible in the 'Choosing when I can work' and 'Dates when I can't work' pages on the Staffing Portal. These sections will remain open for you until a couple of weeks before you start your role.

If your change in availabiltiy will affect a work placment you've been allocated to you should contact your Staffing Associate immediately!


6. DBS checks and certificates


6.1 Why do I need a DBS check to work on NCS?

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) is a government body which provides criminal record checks and safeguarding information to employers.

It is a legal requirement for all people working with children and/or vulnerable adults to undergo a DBS check. We require all seasonal staff to return a DBS certificate so we can ascertain your suitability to work with young people on the programme.

All seasonal staff need to apply for a new DBS through our partner GB Group (we no longer accept external/existing DBS certificates).


6.2 How do I apply for a DBS certificate?

You can apply for a DBS check (paid for by The Challenge) through our partner GB Group. Once you have been conditionally offered a role on the NCS programme, guidance on applying for a DBS will be available in the ‘Essential Information’ section in the Staffing Portal


6.3 Can I use an existing DBS certificate from a different employer?

Unfortunately we can no longer accept existing DBS certificates - all new seasonal staff need to apply for a DBS certificate through our partner GB Group.

If you are a returning seasonal staff member and your existing ‘The Challenge/GB Group’ certificate is still valid (dated since 1st January 2018), you may use this again for your 2019 seasonal role.

This will be updated directly on your Staffing Portal. If your Staffing Portal does not reflect this, please contact your local Staffing Team so they can look into this.


6.4 I have a DBS certificate on the DBS update service - can I use this?

In some cases, we will accept certificates on the DBS Update Service, as long as the certificate was originally applied for through The Challenge. It would also need to be the correct level of check for your chosen role.

To see if your certificate is valid for to use for your 2019 seasonal role, please contact your local Staffing team directly.


6.5 How do I contact about my DBS while my application is processing?

You can contact your Staffing Associate (contact details will be on your ‘job offer’ email) about your DBS application while it is processing. They will liaise with GB Group for you in the event that your DBS check is taking longer than expected, or if your DBS status on the Staffing Portal seems incorrect.

Please note: we can only track your DBS certificate through our system if you use the same email address in your DBS/GB Group application as you have in your NCS job application!


6.6 Will my certificate be posted to me?

Yes - once your application has been processed, your DBS certificate will be posted to you. We’ll then be in touch if we need to witness your certificate in-house (if you don’t hear from us, you don’t need to action anything).


6.7 I've been told that NCS Staffing need to 'witness' my DBS.

We will request to see your DBS certificate if we are notified by GB Group that it has previous records listed on it (we refer to these as ‘listings’).

We will have emailed you a link to upload a scan of your DBS certificate. If you need this link resent please let your local staffing associate know. Please do not send a picture of your DBS over email!


7. The 'Essential Information' section


7.1 Who can I use as a referee?

Before we can let you work on the NCS programme we need to receive satisfactory references from:

Two referees (if you are a new applicant) OR
One referee (if you worked with us in 2018)

Where possible, please provide details for your most recent employer (paid or voluntary). If this doesn’t apply, academic referees are also suitable. Your referee should be able to comment on your character, performance and ability (not all companies do this, so please check their references policies first!).

If you have previously worked for a different NCS provider (e.g. Ingeus, Inspire etc.), please list your contact at this organisation as your first referee.

Please do not provide referee(s) who are:

  • A member of The Challenge’s core staff
  • A family member or friend
  • Unwilling to give a reference for you - check first!

7.2 I've been asked to update my referee details - why?

If you’ve been asked to check or update your referee(s) details, it is because either:

  • We’re struggling to contact them
  • They’re an unsuitable referee

In either case, you will receive an email outlining what you need to do. If this still isn’t clear, please contact your local Staffing team.


7.3 When do I need to provide my bank and tax details?

You will be able to provide this information in the Staffing Portal from April 2019 (when the new tax year begins). It is up to you to ensure that this information is correct.

We will add your bank and tax information to our payroll 3-4 weeks before the first summer wave starts (end of May). After this point the bank and tax sections in the Staffing Portal will be locked down. If your details change after this point, you will need to contact your Staffing Associate directly (contact details will be in your ‘job offer’ email) and they will outline how to update your details.


7.4 How do I submit my tax information?

You can either provide us with a P45 Form from your last employer (if issued since April 2019) or you can make a tax declaration on the Staffing Portal.

P45 Forms: Forms must be dated from 1st April 2019. If you want to send us your P45 please contact your local Staffing Team and they will send you a form so you can upload your file. Please do not send P45s over email.

Tax declarations: You will be presented with 3 statements. Please select the statement which best reflects your employment and income status as it will be when you start your NCS seasonal role. We will use your statement to generate a tax code for you.

If you fail to either provide a P45 Form or make a tax declaration, you will not be paid that pay month month and will have no wait until the next month, no exceptions.

The Challenge cannot answer any tax queries - if you’re unsure what to do on the tax section, please contact HMRC directly.