This morning brings us news of the government’s Freedoms Bill being unveiled later today, which proposes changes to the overly complicated and bureaucratic criminal record checking system:
The new bill calls for a merging of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority to form “a streamlined new body providing a proportionate barring and criminal records checking service”.
That body will provide what ministers say will be a more “proportionate” checking service for about 4.5m people who work “closely and regularly” with children or vulnerable adults.
Teachers will continue to be vetted – but those who do occasional, supervised volunteer work will not.
Critics of the current system which has been accused of treating the public as criminal suspects, are welcoming the news, but others have concerns for child safety by relaxing the amount of people who need to be vetted.
Personally, I’m pleased that the process is being simplified. At times I have had up to 4 separate CRB checks for different agencies simultaneously, and regularly have to do checks on fully supervised volunteers who only do a few hours in a whole year. Under this new Bill, these volunteers would be exempt. It does however place more responsibility on organisations to ensure volunteers are properly supervised and appropriate procedures are in place.
How will this change affect your work? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?