Disclosure and Barring Update
Disclosure and Barring is changing from September 2012. The Government is scaling back to 'common sense' levels whilst ensuring effective safeguarding.
The Government is 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. Most of the changes in the Act have not come into effect yet – but some came into effect on 10 September 2012.
Below are some key points from a document produced from the Home Office. For additional information on changes to disclosure and barring, please go to http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/disclosure-and-barring/.
Not everything is changing. Your organisation will still, for example, have a duty to make referrals to the Independent Safeguarding Authority and it still must not knowingly engage a barred person in regulated activity.
Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring
The original plan – in the Vetting and Barring Scheme – was that anyone who wanted to work with vulnerable groups including children would need to register with the scheme and to be continuously monitored for any new criminal record information. This never came into force and the Protection of Freedoms Act repeals it. We can now confirm that registration and monitoring will not be introduced.
Police information held locally – more rigorous relevancy test and new right of review
Currently, the police provide information held locally on enhanced CRB Certificates when they consider it to be relevant to the purpose for which the certificate was requested. This will continue, but the police will now apply a more rigorous test before deciding whether to disclose information. At the moment, they include information if it 'might be relevant' and ought to be disclosed. From September, they will include it if they 'reasonably believe [it] to be relevant' and consider that it ought to be disclosed. In addition, if any of that information is included on an enhanced CRB Certificate and the applicant does not think that it should be, they will now be able to ask the Independent Monitor to review it and the Independent Monitor can ask the CRB to issue a new certificate, either without that information or with amendments to it. Applicants should be encouraged to inform you when they request such a review and to update you about what happens with their certificate.
Challenges to information on CRB certificates
Currently, an applicant for a CRB check who believes that information disclosed on their certificate is inaccurate can apply to the CRB for a decision about whether it is accurate. The Protection of Freedoms Act will allow people other than the applicant to do that too. (In practice, this has often happened anyway.)
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. Contact details for the DBS will be available in due course.
Due to a recent change in legislation there have been some major changes to the way the DBS checks are processed. As a result, you will be not be able to go to the Post Office to get your identity checked once your form has been completed. You will now need to get your identity checked with one of the following- head teacher of a school, police force, lawyer, magistrate, solicitor, barrister. Please be aware that these people may charge for this and you will need to pay this yourselves.
Early in 2013
They are currently working to develop and deliver a new Update Service with a proposed implementation date of early 2013. The Update Service will allow individuals (if they choose to subscribe to it and pay a small fee) to apply for a criminal record check once and then, if they need a similar sort of check again, to reuse their existing certificate, with their organisation checking online to see if it is still up to date. This will avoid many unnecessary repeat applications.
More information will be made available about this new service – in the meantime, it is business as usual.
Filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions
The Home Office has started the legislative process (subject to agreement by Parliament) so that certain old and minor cautions and convictions will no longer be disclosed on a DBS certificate. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/filtering-of-old-and-minor-convictions-and-cautions