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Changes to disclosure and barring: What you need to know

Changes to disclosure and barring: What you need to know

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Did you know there are important changes which the Government will be making to criminal records and barring arrangements from September?

The Home Office has just issued a leaflet with guidance to these changes.

The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable groups including children.

We want to see a focused and effective safeguarding system, where harm or risk of harm is identified, acted upon effectively and ultimately prevented.

We also want a better sharing of responsibility for safeguarding between the state, on the one hand, and your organisations, on the other.

We think that arrangements up until now over-emphasised protection by the state and did not sufficiently emphasise the vital role which you play.

Clear, well managed arrangements for safeguarding are important, whether in a large hospital, a school or a small local charity. This includes ensuring that all staff are appropriately recruited, trained and managed. Vigilant, ongoing, day-to-day management is crucial, in order that unusual or concerning behaviour is picked up at the earliest opportunity. Safe, careful recruitment makes an important contribution.

You are best placed to decide if someone is suitable for the role that you have and in doing so it is crucial that you take all sensible steps to identify the right person – including undertaking reference checks and conducting face to face interviews. All of this is just as important as a CRB check.

The state has a key role to play in, for example, barring unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups including children, and in ensuring that organisations can access criminal record information on individuals when the role justifies it. We are scaling back the criminal records and barring systems to more proportionate levels whilst ensuring that they continue to provide effective protection for those who need it.

The changes to those systems are included in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which recently received Royal Assent. The changes in the Act have not come into effect yet – but some of them will come into effect on 10 September 2012. Until then, you should carry on as before.

This leaflet tells you more about the changes which will be happening on 10 September.


Major changes in September 2012

• New definition of regulated activity.

• Repeal of controlled activity.

• Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring.

• Repeal of additional information.

• Minimum age (16) at which someone can apply for a CRB check.

• More rigorous ‘relevancy’ test for when the police release information held locally on an enhanced CRB check.

Not changing

• You must make appropriate referrals to the ISA.

• You must not engage in regulated activity someone whom you know has been barred by the ISA.

• Everybody within the pre-September definition of regulated activity will remain eligible for enhanced CRB checks, whether or not they fall within the post-September definition of regulated activity.

December 2012

Furthermore at the start of December 2012, the work of the CRB and of the ISA will be merged into a single, new Non-Departmental Public Body.

This will be called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS will carry out the CRB’s and ISA’s functions, so this will not represent a change to the services which you receive – it just means that they will be provided by one organisation rather than two.

Download the whole publication here:

Take a look at our two safeguarding modules here:

Safeguarding and Child Protection

Safeguarding and promoting child welfare

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