- New definition of regulated activity
- Repeal of controlled activity
- Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring
- Repeal of additional information
- Minimum age of 16 to apply for a CRB check
- More rigorous “relevancy” test for when the police release information held locally on an enhanced CRB check
New definition of Regulated Activity
Regulated activity in relation to children now only comprises the following:
(i) Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children;
(ii) Work for a limited range of establishments (“specified places”), with opportunity for contact: eg. schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers.
(iii) Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional.
(iv) Registered childminding; and foster carers.
Work under (i) and (ii) must be done regularly.
The Government are intending to produce guidance about supervision of activity which would be regulated activity if unsupervised.
Repeal of Controlled Activity
Controlled activity category no longer exists although people who are still in those roles may still be eligible for a CRB check depending on the role.
Repeal of Registration and Continuous Monitoring
This part of the Act never came into force and will now not become law.
Repeal of Additional Information
Police Officers used to be able to disclose additional information to organisations but not to applicants themselves. This will now no longer be legal but the police may be able to use other powers to forward on information directly to employers to prevent crime or harm to others.
Minimum age for CRB checks
Someone under 16 will no longer be able to apply for a CRB check.
More rigorous “Relevancy Test”
The police currently provide information locally on enhanced CRB certificates when they consider it to be relevant to the purpose for which the certificate was requested. The police will now need to apply a more rigorous test before deciding whether to disclose information. They will now need to decide if they “reasonably believe [it] to be relevant” and consider that it ought to be disclosed.
If that information is then included on the certificate the applicant has the right to ask for a review of it from the Independent Monitor.
Other people apart from the applicant can now challenge information held on a CRB certificate.
Elements of the VBS that will remain unchanged are:
- The barring function will be maintained.
- There is still an obligation on organisations to make appropriate referrals to the ISA.
- Organisations still have an obligation not to engage in regulated activity someone who they know has been barred by the ISA.
- Everybody within the pre-September definition of regulated activity will remain eligible for enhanced CRB checks, whether or not they fall within the post-September definition of regulated activity.
The changes to the VBS also mean that the services of the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority will be merged and a single, new non-departmental public body created. The new organisation will be called the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The planned operational date for the DBS is December 2012. It has been recommended that only those who present a risk of harm whereby a bar is necessary and proportionate will be barred.
The Criminal Records Bureau will continue to be responsible for the disclosure of criminal records and the Independent Safeguarding Authority for the barring function.