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Update on Safeguarding

The Home Office has today published a leaflet highlghting changes being made to criminal records and barring arrangements aimed at employers, voluntary organisations and charities whose work involves children and other vulnerable groups.

The Indpendent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will be on the road delivering the key messages in the near future. Visit their website for details of future events.

Key changes which will be phased in from September 2012 are as follows:
 

  • The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the ISA will merge to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which starts operating from 3 December 2012.
  • Regulated Activity (RA) will be scaled back.
  • The registration, monitoring and controlled activity will be scrapped.

As the scope of RA will be reduced some posts currently falling within the definition of RA will no longer be covered. All staff on school payrolls will remain in RA, including cleaners and caretakers. Enhanced checks with a barred list check will be provided for those who will be working in RA ie offering unsupervised or regular or close contact with vulnerable groups including children, will be eligible for. People working in an activity which is being removed from the RA definition eg supervising children, will still be able to obtain Enhanced Checks, but without a barred list check.

The new definition of RA in relation to children comprises:
 

  • unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/ guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children;
  • work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact e.g. schools, children’s homes, childcare premises (not work by supervised volunteers);
  • relevant personal care e.g. washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional;
  • registered childminding; and
  • foster-carers.

The definition of a ‘vulnerable adult’ has been removed from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, as has the period condition ie requirement to engage in an activity a certain number of times before it is considered Regulated Activity.

RA for adults is now defined by the job roles of people working with adults rather than the adults receiving the service. RA for adults covers those who provide:

  • healthcare;
  • personal care;
  • social work;
  • assistance with cash, bills or shopping;
  • assistance with the conduct of an adult's own affairs; and
  • conveying adults who need it because of their age, illness or disability.

Teaching of adults has been removed from RA as it usually takes place in formal settings and in groups so is considered to present a lesser risk.

Employers will still have a duty to refer cases to the ISA, and subsequently the DBS.

A new Update Service is planned for early 2013 which will allow individuals (via a subscription 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. 

21 June 2012

DBS Leaflet

Please click the logo to download the Home Office leaflet.


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