CRB checks are to be replaced completely on the 1st March 2013, following changes to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to form the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). As a result the DBS replaces the CRB, meaning that there will only be one organisation dealing with checks and barring decisions.

Like the CRB check, the DBS check will give details of a person’s convictions, plus any cautions, reprimands or warnings held in England and Wales. The changes will continue to help safeguard vulnerable groups and children from people who work or volunteer with them, and pose a risk of harm.

You can continue to use the CRB application forms until 28th February 2013, and from the 1st March 2013 only the DBS application forms will be processed.

In the spring of this year the DBS will launch their new online product called the Update Service that will dramatically change the way in which criminal checks are executed. The new Update Service aims to improve arrangements for the disclosure of criminal records. Making it easier and quicker to recruit or recheck your employees and volunteers. Employers will be able to carry out an instant online check of an existing disclosure certificate, which will confirm if the certificate given to them by the individual is up to date. If so, the recruitment process can continue. The update service will be free for volunteers and £10 to everyone else. This is not a compulsory requirement.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 amends the definition of regulated activity relating to children, and from 10 September was relaxed,in an effort to encourage more volunteers.

The new definition of regulated activity relating to children still applies to individuals undertaking the following:

  1. Registered childminders.
  2. Registered foster carers.
  3. The day-to-day management or supervision of any person engaging in regulated activity is also in regulated activity.
  4. This also applies to someone who would be in regulated activity but for the consideration of supervision.
  5. Any specified position based in Wales as detailed in the amended Schedule 4 of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

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