Melon Farmers Unrated

Vetting Workers

UK vets all adults to work with kids


Offsite Article: This High Court ruling on criminal records is only a minor win for human rights...

Link Here1st February 2013
Full story: Vetting Workers...UK vets all adults to work with kids
This ruling may limit the disclosure of historic information, but what about its retention?

See article from



Offsite Article: Judges rule criminal record checks to be incompatible with Human Rights Act...

Link Here26th January 2013
Full story: Vetting Workers...UK vets all adults to work with kids
The overzealous criminal record vetting system has allowed old, minor and unreliable information to wreck the lives of too many hardworking people in the UK.

See article from



Righting Wrongs...

Home Office to expunge consensual gay sex from criminal records currently used to unjustifiably ban gays from working with children

Link Here11th September 2012
Full story: Vetting Workers...UK vets all adults to work with kids

The Home Office will, from 1 October, begin the process of correcting an anomaly in the criminal records system which has for decades seen gay men unfairly stigmatised.

Anyone with a historic conviction, caution, warning or reprimand for consensual gay sex, that meets the conditions laid down in the new Protection of Freedoms Act, will be encouraged to come forward and apply to have these records deleted or disregarded.

Until now, people wishing to volunteer or work in roles that require criminal records checks have been discouraged from doing so, for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

These changes mean that, after a successful application, this information no longer needs to be disclosed on a criminal records certificate and those individuals who may have been inhibited from volunteering or seeking new work will now find that inhibition removed.

The change was made under the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The Home Office is working closely with the Courts and Tribunals Service, and the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Ministry of Defence to run the application process. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.

Update: Now in force

2nd October 2012. See  article from

From 1st October anyone with a historic conviction for certain decriminalised consensual sex offences can apply to have these records deleted.

Until now, people wishing to work in roles that require background checks have been discouraged from doing so for fear of having to disclose offences which have long since been decriminalised.

The change was made in the Protection of Freedoms Act, which received royal assent on 1 May 2012.

The process

You can apply on the Home Website by filling out the following online form.

The Home Office will then work with the Courts, Tribunals Service and Association of Chief Police Officers. A dedicated team of caseworkers will consider each case and make recommendations to the Home Secretary who will have the final decision.

Successful applicants will have their records updated so the offence will no longer appear on a criminal records certificate or be referred to in any future court proceedings.


18th February

 Offsite Article: Britain's Security State...

CRB Vetting is Completely Out of Control

See article from


6th February

Update: Millions Still will be Vetted...

Government to scale down the vetting scheme for people who work with children

A scheme for vetting people who work with children is to be scaled down.

The Daily Telegraph reports that following a review of the Vetting and Barring scheme, criminal record checks will only be carried out on those who have intensive contact with the young.

As a result, ministers agreed to vet adults only if they saw the same group of children or vulnerable people once a week or more, rather than once a month as originally proposed.

It is estimated that this will halve the number of people who will be vetted from the 9 to 11 million people previously caught up by the scheme.

At the same time, the government will announce that criminal record checks are to be sent to individuals first - before they go to potential employers - to allow them to challenge any mistakes.

Also minor offences will be removed from the checking process.

A Home Office spokesperson said an official announcement would be made shortly.


12th December

 Offsite: A Common Sense Revolution...

Growing numbers of volunteers are refusing to put up with humiliating and unnecessary vetting checks

See article from


27th June

Update: Volunteering Made Difficult...

A Manifesto Club report about child protection vetting

As many as 4million volunteers have been forced to undergo Criminal Records Bureau checks over the past decade, according to a new report, but many are giving up on their roles because of the red tape involved and the feeling that they are under suspicion.

People who devoted their spare time to helping out in their communities say they found the vetting process thorough insulting while the bureaucracy it entails creates a burden and a bore .

Even people who sell tickets to a botanic garden or offer to write a local newsletter have been told that they must have their backgrounds checked in case they pose a risk to children.

Some children are being prevented from joining Cub packs and Scout troops until their parents have been vetted, while schools are forcing visitors to wear badges displaying their CRB numbers and making teachers accompany them to the lavatory.

The flower guild at Gloucester Cathedral, who make arrangements before services, were told they had to be vetted to prevent paedophiles infiltrating their group, and in case they used the same lavatories as choirboys. Five members have already resigned while a further 20 are threatening to do so.

Since 2002 the CRB, an agency of the Home Office, has carried out 20m detailed background checks on those who work regularly with children or vulnerable adults. Its Enhanced Checks look for convictions or cautions as well as unproven allegations held on file by police.

Although volunteers themselves do not pay to be vetted, their organisations must pay a £20 administration fee while the rest of the cost is borne by CRB checks paid for by companies and public sector bodies.

The new report, Volunteering Made Difficult , discloses that 3.87m volunteers have been vetted over the past eight years a fifth of the total. A further 2m are likely to have to sign up when the Government's new vetting and barring scheme, now on hold pending a review, comes into force.

Josie Appleton of The Manifesto Club, the civil liberties group that compiled the new report, said: The regulation pressed on volunteers is completely out of proportion with the everyday nature of their activities - after all, they are just listening to children read or doing the crosswords with elderly people.


18th June

 Offsite: Where do you Stop?...

Hysterical jobsworths assumed my 80-year-old assistant was a danger to children

See article from


16th June

Update: Working with Children Vetting on Hold...

Government vetting procedure weeds out bad database

Plans for a database of adults who want to work with children have been halted following a wave of criticism.

Ministers feared the Vetting and Barring scheme, designed to protect children from paedophiles and which was due to be introduced in England and Wales next month, would drive a wedge between adults and children.

Nine million people who wanted to work with children or vulnerable adults would have had to register on the database, or face a £5,000 fine.

The plan was heavily criticised by nurses, teachers and actors such as Sir Ian McKellen, who said the measures were excessive.

It would also have affected parents who signed up for school driving rotas for weekly sports events or clubs.

Last night, 66,000 employers, charities and voluntary groups were being informed of the sudden change of plan.

Home Secretary Theresa May will say that the scheme is being halted to allow the Government to remodel the scheme back to proportionate, common sense levels . The safety of children and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance to the new Government. However, it is also vital that we take a measured approach in these matters. We've listened to the criticisms and will respond with a scheme that has been fundamentally remodelled.  Vulnerable groups must be properly protected in a way that is proportionate and sensible.''

Tim Loughton, the children's minister, will say he was worried that the scheme would have driven a wedge between children and well-meaning adults, including people coming forward to volunteer with young people : Such individuals should be welcomed, encouraged, and helped as much as possible, unless it can be shown that children would not be safe in their care.

Civil liberties campaigners welcomed the news. Dylan Sharpe, the Campaign Director for Big Brother Watch, said: While the new Government's tackling of vetting and barring is welcome, this cannot be just a temporary halt.


23rd February

Update: Loners to be Banned from Working with Kids...

'Better safe than sorry' guidelines at the vetting agency

People could be banned from working with children because of their attitudes or lifestyles.

Workers judged to be loners or to have a chaotic home life could be barred from working with vulnerable people, even though there is no evidence that they pose a risk, according to guidelines from the Government's new vetting agency.

Decisions about staff will be taken by officials who have never met them, based on details passed on by their employers.

Experts claimed that the Big Brother approach meant innocent people could have their careers wrecked on the basis of cruel rumours or ill-informed moral judgements.

The row is the latest controversy to hit the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), which was set up to vet millions of people working with vulnerable people.

Guidance seen by The Sunday Telegraph, which has been given to more than 100 case workers at the ISA reveals that those referred could be permanently blocked from work if aspects of their home life or attitudes are judged to be unsatisfactory.

It says case workers should be minded to bar cases referred to them if they feel definite concerns about at least two aspects of their life, which are specified in the document.

It means, for example, that if a teaching assistant was believed to be unable to sustain emotionally intimate relationships and also had a chaotic, unstable lifestyle they could be barred from ever working with children. If a nurse was judged to suffer from severe emotional loneliness and believed to have poor coping skills their career could also be ended. ISA's case workers are expected to establish the person's relationship history and emotional state based on the file passed on by their employer.

Psychologists, professional regulators and health and teaching unions last night expressed horror over the guidance. Harry Cayton, chief executive of the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, which oversees Britain's nine health regulators, said: My concern is that judgements are being made not on the basis of facts but on opinion and third party perceptions.

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, said: This Government is creating a society where everyone is treated as guilty unless they are proved to be innocent. These changes contravene any principles of natural justice and will destroy the lives of decent innocent people. Gordon Brown is creating Government by thought police .

Adrian McAllister chief executive of ISA said no one would be barred purely on the basis of their lifestyle or attitude, given that all referrals had to identify either harm done, or a future risk of harm . He said: One of the understandable concerns we have heard from people is that they could be barred for private interests like pornography, or liking a drink. That isn't the case. We only look at these risk factors if relevant conduct [actual harm] or a risk of harm has been identified.

The organisation was unable to explain the reasoning behind its instruction to staff that definite concerns in two areas should be sufficient to be minded to bar staff. It would only say that the protocol follows advice from a forensic psychologist.


13th September

Update: Vetting even the Nanny of the Nanny State...

British hostility to vetting required for adults to interact with kids

Ministers are under intense pressure to scale back plans for a big brother child protection database which will force millions of parents to undergo paedophile and criminal checks.

In a major blow for the Government, Britain's largest children's charity, the NSPCC, criticised the regulations for parent helpers which it said threatened perfectly safe and normal activities and risked alienating the public.

Esther Rantzen, the founder of the Childline charity; paediatricians; teachers; children's authors; politicians and members of the public also joined the growing coalition opposing the Vetting and Barring Scheme, which could lead to one in four adults being screened.

Barry Sheerman, Labour chairman of the Commons' children and families select committee condemned the way the policy was being implemented and demanded that Children's Secretary Ed Balls get a grip on this.

Next month parents in England and Wales who take part in any formal agreement to look after children even if it is as little as once a month will be told they have to register with the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) at a cost of £64. From next summer, parents who have failed to register with the ISA could face prosecution.

Critics claim parents will be wrongly labelled as criminals. Others fear that those who currently give up their time to help out in schools and clubs could give up rather than go through the hassle of registering.

Wes Cuell, director of services for children and young people for the NSPCC, said: The warning signs are now out there that this scheme will stop people doing things that are perfectly safe and normal, things that they shouldn't be prevented from doing.

When you get this degree of public outcry there is generally a good reason for it. I think we are getting a bit too close to crossing the line about what is acceptable in the court of public opinion. We don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.


5th August

Update: Vetting the Vetters...

CRB who vet people working with children got it wrong in 1570 cases

More than 1,500 people have been wrongly branded as criminals or mistakenly given a clean record by the government agency set up to vet those working with children.

The number of errors by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has more than doubled in the past 12 months, despite intense pressure for it to improve its performance.

Many of the victims of mistakes would have been intending to take up jobs as teachers, nurses and childminders, or become youth volunteers.

Hundreds of innocent people have been accused of wrongdoing by the CRB. They are likely to have faced career problems or stigma from their communities as a result. They will also have had to go through an appeals process to clear their names.

The worsening figures are an embarrassment for the Home Office, which faced criticism after the number of errors by the bureau was first highlighted by The Daily Telegraph last year.

The latest figures show that 1,570 people being checked by the CRB were wrongly given criminal records, mistakenly given a clean record or accused of more serious offences than they had actually committed in the year to March 31.

This compares with 680 people in the previous 12 months. The disclosure is likely to deter innocent people from applying for positions that require scrutiny, for fear of being labelled a criminal.

A copy of the CRB's annual report, which will be formally published next month, shows that 3.9 million certificates were processed by the agency: an increase of 500,000 on 2007-08 and the highest figure since the agency's creation.


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