Important changes came into force on 10th September 2012 which scale back criminal records and barring arrangements in relation to individuals who work with children and vulnerable adults. Briefly, the changes include:
• New definition of ‘regulated’ activity which will now focus on work which involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups including children. 4 million less people will now be covered. Activities being taken out of regulated activity will still be eligible for an enhanced CRB check;
• Repeal of controlled activity. This category covered people who might have less contact with vulnerable groups than people in regulated activity. Employers will no longer be able to check that people doing controlled activity are barred but they may still be eligible for a CRB check.
• Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring. Under the original plan for Vetting and Barring, anyone working with vulnerable groups would have to register and be monitored. This was never brought into force, and it is confirmed that it never will be;
• Repeal of additional information. The procedure whereby police may pass additional information to organisations only, and not to the applicants themselves, is repealed. However, the police may choose to use common law powers to provide information directly to employers about applicants where necessary;
• Minimum age at which CRB check can be applied for (16). No-one under the age of 16 will be able to apply for a CRB check, nor will anyone be able to provide a countersignature for one.
At the start of December 2012, the CRB and the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) will be merged into a single body, the Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS). There will be no change to the services provided, they will just be provided by one organisation instead of two.
Some significant aspects are not changing:
• Appropriate referrals should still be made to ISA/DBS;
• Individuals who are barred are not permitted to work in regulated activity;
• Individuals who fall under the new definition of regulated activity will continue to be eligible for an enhanced CRB disclosure;
• Individuals who fell within the old definition of regulated activity, but not under the new one, will remain eligible for an Enhanced Check but without a barred list check.
For any further clarification, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.