Preventing unsuitable people from gaining access to work or volunteer with children or vulnerable people.
On 1 May 2012, the Protection of Freedoms Bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of Parliament, confirming in legislation the changes to the system of barring and criminal record checks.
The Act makes a number of significant changes to Criminal Record Bureau checks (CRB) and checking against barred lists, which will be relevant to all groups working with children and young people. The main changes will be:
- Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children, or providing advice / guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children.
- Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact, for example schools, children's homes, childcare premises (but not work by supervised volunteers).Work under (1) or (2) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. In this context, ‘regular’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases, overnight).
- Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.
- Registered childminding; and foster-carers.
Disclosure and Barring Service: The Update Service from an employer's perspective
Disclosure and Barring Service: The Update Service from an applicant's perspective
- To coincide with the introduction of the new definition of Regulated Activity, the Government is issuing separate guidance on the issues that organisations should take into account when deciding whether the level of supervision they can provide meets the statutory standard for what is classed as ‘supervised’ (see 1. and 2. above). If it does, then activity that would otherwise be Regulated, will not be Regulated. Supervision - Regulated Activity guidance
- Also from September onwards, additional information (often referred to as ‘brown envelope information’) currently supplied to organisations with CRB disclosures) will no longer be provided. Instead, the Police will use common law powers to share relevant information with employers.
- The Police will also be applying a more robust ‘relevancy’ test for local information issued with CRB checks.
- From some point in 2013, CRB certificates will only be sent to individuals and not to organisations. Organisations will be informed (or will be able to check using the online tracking service) whether the certificates are clear or not, but not sent the actual certificate. They will therefore need to decide if they want to see clear certificates, make arrangements to see certificates that contain information and check that they have been presented with a genuine certificate.
- From Spring 2013, an update service will be introduced. This will make it possible for CRB checks to be portable (ie they will be able to be transferred from one role or job to another without the need for a new check to be undertaken each time). The update service will not be automatic, which means that the individual will need to sign up to it, and there will be a cost for employees, although no decision has been made about volunteer costs yet.
- From some point in 2013, there will be a requirement to check employees and volunteers against the barred lists before they commence regulated activity. It appears currently that this will be done through the initiation of an enhanced CRB check, which, for those in Regulated Activity, includes a check of the barred lists.
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receive monthly e-newsletters and e-bulletins to make sure that you are kept up to date with the changes as they develop.
Also keep a close eye on the Home Office website, and on bulletins issued by Children England and NAVCA.