Safeguarding is our Priority

Hapipod can open up a world of ideal homesharers, but we are a meeting platform only, and it is vital that you make informed and responsible choices. We have certain safeguarding measures in place and search tools to help you, but there are also a number of steps you must take to check the background and suitability of potential candidates. We summarise the steps here, and explain each in greater detail below. Please read through them before contacting anyone.

  1. ID Verification and Background Checks
  2. DBS Certificates
  3. Messaging and Exchanging Contact Details
  4. References
  5. Covid Vaccinated
  6. Interviews
  7. Using the Contract Template
  8. Ongoing Monitoring
1. ID Verification and Background Checks

For your security, as a basic safeguarding measure we vet everyone joining our community using a robust ID Verification and Background Check conducted by our partner Yoti. This internationally respected identity platform is trusted by Governments and among others, the NHS and Age UK. A pass can give you a level of confidence in someone’s identity and background. All data is held securely (see privacy policy). This is not a criminal record check - that is the DBS, see section 2, which is equally important.

This check requires a one-off, non-refundable £20 fee. If you fail you can challenge it, but Hapipod reserves the right to uphold it. A fail means you cannot connect with other users, and have the right to remove your profile.

The process is technology-based. You’ll need a camera on your computer or phone and the facility to upload documents as jpegs or pdfs. You may need a little help with it, or sometimes to repeat parts of the process, but it is worth it!

This is how the process works:

  • you upload requested identity documents and take a selfie
  • it checks your facial biometrics, confirms your ID and registered address
  • it searches international financial and criminal watchlists
  • it extensively scans published media for negative information
  • it usually takes a few minutes to process, but in rarer instances requiring manual checks, it can take from 2 hours up to 4 working days
  • you will receive an email notification of whether you pass or fail
  • profiles indicate a ‘pass’ as a green identity card, or ‘still pending’ in grey

For your safety only verified members who have passed this test can view your full profile information, contact you or reply to your messages.

Registered users who have not yet passed will only be able to see your basic profile with limited information and no personal preference detail (see privacy policy).

2. DBS Certificates (or alternative National Criminal Record Check)

DBS Certificates (Disclosure and Barring Service) are criminal record checks showing any unspent criminal convictions or cautions held on police records. This is an important measure of someone’s safety risk. Everyone is asked to indicate if they have one. A foreign national may wish to provide their equivalent national certificate.

If someone indicates they have a DBS certificate or online certification number the fingerprint on their profiles will be shown in green. You must still verify it for yourself as follows:

  • ask to see a copy
  • ask for an identity document or utility bill alongside it to check the address listed is correct
  • ensure the date of the check is within a reasonable time period
  • If it is an online certification number, the individual can provide you access to see it online by following these instructions

We advise everyone to either select someone who says they have a DBS certificate using the relevant search filter, or to ask a person of interest to apply for one.

Anyone can apply for a basic DBS certificate here. There is a £23 fee.

3. Messaging and Exchanging Contact Details

It is most important that everyone in our Hapipod community feels comfortable using our site, and our Code of Conduct is very clear on the rules for internal messaging and community groups. If at any point you feel someone is being abusive or exerting undue pressure on you, please report this to us straight away at support@hapipod.com We would advise you to use our internal message system to communicate with other users until you feel ready to give your email address to someone, such as when you want to be sent a copy of their DBS certificate, ID document or references.

4. References

Hapipod strongly advises Hosts to request 3 references from a prospective Homemate including at least one professional one, and these should be verified via phonecall or email.

You should make final judgments on suitability based on careful assessment of all the information available, and ideally with a second opinion from a family member or friend.

5. Covid Vaccinated

Until Covid is successfully overcome, certain people with health vulnerabilities may be concerned about whether the person they are sharing with has been vaccinated. This doesn’t have to preclude you from finding a homeshare companion. Hapipod offers the opportunity to indicate on your profile whether you have been vaccinated (the icon is then shown in green), and to search using that filter. You will still need to assess the validity of someone’s claim by asking to see documented proof.

6. Interviews

In making your final selection from your shortlist of candidates, before agreeing a contract, Hapipod recommends 2 stages of interview, both of which should ideally involve a family member or friend to help you decide.

  • Firstly, hold a video conferencing interview with each of the potential Hosts or Homemates on your shortlist
  • Secondly hold a face-to-face interview before making a final decision

We also recommend drafting a thorough series of questions in advance to make sure you cover off all important topics.

7. Using the Contract Template

Hapipod’s template contractual agreement, available to download free of charge to subscribers, can be adapted and tailored to participants’ amendments and mutual agreement. This helps you formalise your agreement and helps protect you in the event of any breach of the terms. Hapipod strongly advises you utilise this or a similar contract rather than relying on verbal commitments, but ideally you should always seek your own legal advice.

8. Ongoing Monitoring

Hapipod does not monitor safeguarding before or during the course of individual contracts, or any payments between the parties. We therefore strongly advise that you involve someone from among your family or friends at the initial selection to help you decide on an ideal homesharer, and that they keep an eye on your situation and can assist in the event that things don’t work out as you had hoped.

Everyone using Hapipod should have a personal contact to turn to as a basic safeguarding measure.

IMPORTANT: Hapipod is a meeting forum only. Hapipod does not monitor safeguarding before or during the course of individual contracts, or payments between parties, and is not liable in any way for outcomes of matches or otherwise in relation to the Hapipod services.