Vetting and Barring Scheme Will Not Stop Excessive CRB Checks - Willott

September 14, 2009 4:35 PM

Commenting on claims by the Chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) that the new Vetting and Barring system is intended to stop repeated CRB checks, Jenny Willott MP, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"Our children's protection is essential but this system goes too far and will do nothing to end repeated and costly CRB checks.

"If an employer relies on this new vetting system alone, they could be open to the charge of negligence because, unlike CRB checks, these checks do not provide a full picture of someone's criminal history. It is hard to see many employers taking that risk.

"As a result, we are likely to see yet more repeated and costly CRB checks, further damaging the recruitment of adults who want work or volunteer with children. Last year, CRB alone cost people working with children and vulnerable adults over £0.5bn in fees.

"It is simply appalling that one in four adults in Wales will have to register with ISA. The Government must pause and properly consider the impact on volunteering with children.

"The government is in danger of creating a world in which we think every adult who wants to work with children means to do them harm. This is just plain wrong and will damage our children in the long-run."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The new Vetting & Barring Scheme will start on October 12th.

Under the 'Frequently Asked Questions' on The Independent Safeguarding Authority website, it states that (see below) ISA-registration does not check for "malpractice" or "all criminal convictions", and that in order for employers to make an "informed" decision over whether to employ someone working with children or vulnerable adults, the employer will need to undertake a enhanced CRB check as well.

"Will I still need to get a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Enhanced Disclosure or can I rely on the new vetting service?

A check will only show if a person is ISA-registered, which means the ISA has found no known reason why the applicant should not work with children or vulnerable adults. It also means that we will review their status if any new information becomes available. It does not check for malpractice or all criminal convictions, and therefore registration with the ISA does not guarantee that a person has no criminal history.

A CRB check provides a fuller picture of a person's criminal history and allows employers to make informed decisions as to whether that person is suitable for a particular role or position.

For individuals registered with the Vetting and Barring Scheme, further Enhanced CRB checks will be at the employers' discretion and organisations may still wish to apply for CRB Enhanced Disclosure to obtain an applicant's full criminal record. However, where there is a legal requirement to check or they are required by a regulatory body (such as Ofsted), it is envisaged that the existing statutory requirements for CRB Enhanced Disclosures will still apply." See here

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