The vetting scheme for nine million people working with children and vulnerable adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has been halted.
Home Secretary Theresa May has announced that registration, due to begin next month, has been put on hold.
There will be a review of the entire vetting and barring scheme, with a scaling back to “common-sense levels”.
A statement from the Home Office also said the proposed scheme “unduly infringes on civil liberties” and will now be “fundamentally re-modelled”.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has today (15th June 2010) issued a statement to the House of Commons which confirms the stated intention of the coalition Government to review the Vetting & Barring and criminal records regimes to ensure that they are scaled back to common sense levels.
The Written Ministerial Statement reads:
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Vetting and Barring Scheme
Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May):
I am announcing today that the commencement of voluntary registration with the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which was due to begin on 26 July, will be brought to a halt as of today.
The Government has made clear its intention to bring the criminal records and Vetting and Barring regimes back to common sense levels. Until this remodelling has taken place, we have decided to maintain those aspects of the new Scheme which are already in place, but not to introduce further elements.
The safety of children and vulnerable adults is of paramount importance to the new government. We will therefore maintain the current arrangements under which the Independent Safeguarding Authority is able to bar from “regulated activities” those considered unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults, and appropriate cases must be referred to them. Criminal records checks will also remain available for those eligible to receive them, and will continue to be required for certain posts where regulations are already in place.
However it is vital that we take a measured approach in these matters. Vulnerable groups must be properly protected in a way that is proportionate and sensible. The remodelling of the VBS will ensure this happens.
The terms of reference for the remodelling of the VBS and of the criminal records regime are currently being considered and a further announcement will be made in due course.
Commenting on the decision, the Home Secretary, Theresa May said:
“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. This redrawing of the vetting and barring scheme will ensure this happens.”
Various sources have been used to compile this post – see links below.
Leading article: Database of distrust – Independent – Jun 15, 2010
Charities warn against scaling back vetting and barring scheme too far – The Guardian – Jun 15, 2010
Theresa May halts ‘draconian’ child worker vetting scheme – The Guardian – Jun 15, 2010
Vetting plans for parents are scaled down by ministers – Daily Mail – Jack Doyle – Jun 14, 2010 –
Anti-paedophile database halted weeks before launch for ‘commonsense’ reasons – Telegraph.co.uk – Christopher Hope – Jun 14, 2010
‘Unfair’ vetting system for healthcare staff to be reviewed – Healthcare Republic
Vetting and barring scheme changes ‘are common sense’ – People Management Magazine Online – Jun 16, 2010
Changes to vetting rules for working with vulnerable people -Directgov – Jun 15, 2010