Vetting and Barring Scheme – An Update

As referred to in previous briefings [1], the Vetting and Barring Scheme which was due to come into force in 2010 was suspended by the coalition government and a review of the Scheme was carried out. The government has recently announced its proposed revisions to the Scheme which are set out in the Protection of Freedoms Bill. The government’s hope is that the Bill will receive royal assent in early 2012 and the amended regime introduced as soon as possible after that.

Within the Bill the main proposals with regard to the Scheme are:

  • A merging of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
  • The introduction of an online checking (CRB) facility for employers and applicants.
  • A barring function will remain.
  • The removal of registration and monitoring requirements under the Scheme.
  • Portability of CRB checks between jobs.
  • A reduction in the number of posts/positions requiring checks.
  • Control on employers requesting CRB checks when not entitled to them.

The safeguarding regulations[2], which introduced limited provisions from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 in October 2009 will remain.
Those provisions include:

  • where organisations which work with children and vulnerable adults dismiss or remove a member of staff or volunteer (or would have dismissed or removed them had they not left) because they harmed a child or vulnerable adult or there was a risk of harm, they are to inform the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
  • a person who is barred by the Independent Safeguarding Authority from working with children and vulnerable adults will be breaking the law if they work or volunteer or indeed try to work or volunteer with those groups of individuals. An organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred will also be breaking the law.

As it is the government’s intention to scale back the Scheme to ‘commonsense levels’ it will be interesting to see how the passage of the Bill takes shape through Parliament and whether all the proposals will make it to the final Act. For up to date information on the passage of the Protection of Freedoms Bill, please see: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/201011/ protectionof freedoms.html


First Corporate Manslaughter Conviction

The first conviction under the Corporate Manslaughter legislation has led to a fine of £385,000 for Cotswold Geo Technical Holdings Limited who were found guilty over the death of a geologist when a pit collapsed on him.


Footnotes

[1] RadcliffesLeBrasseur Care Home Briefing 88 & Healthcare Briefing June 2010
[2] Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Act 2006 (Commencement No 6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2009


Disclaimer

This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.