The Policing and Crime Bill – changes to CRB practice

A new piece of legislation, the Policing and Crime Bill was introduced to Parliament in December.

This Bill, in clauses 62 – 72 proposes to make various amendments to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) and to the Police Act 1997 Part V which concerns listing and crbs. The main effects are:

Clause 62: Renaming of Independent Barring Board – formally effects the change of name of the Independent Barring Board (IBB) to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). It also amends sections of the SVGA where references to the IBB appear substituting the name Independent Safeguarding Authority. It similarly amends references to the abbreviations “IBB”with “ISA”, this change applies to subordinate legislation as defined by the Interpretation Act 1978.

Clause 64: Monitoring application – amends provisions in section 24 of the SVGA, the purpose is to allow the Secretary of State to determine the form, manner and content of the application form. This will allow the Secretary of State to amend the application form without needing to use secondary legislation allowing improvements to be made to the application form more quickly and efficiently.

Clause 65: Monitoring: additional fees – makes provision for the payment of a fee by persons who are registered as volunteers, and therefore benefit from a free-of-charge registration, to be subject to a fee, if they subsequently enter paid employment in a regulated activity. This removes a loophole which would enable persons to apply solely as volunteers and avoid any fee when moving into paid activities.

Clause 68: Criminal conviction certificates to be given to employers – section 112 of Part V of the Police Act 1997 provides for Basic Disclosure certificate to be sent to the applicant only. However, when Basic Disclosures are to be introduced by the CRB the majority of applications will be made for the purposes of employment. This clause allows that, where an application is made in connection with employment or voluntary work, the CRB must also send a copy of the Disclosure to the specific employer.

Clause 69: Disclosures: right to work information provides for “right to work” information to be recorded on Basic, Standard and Enhanced Disclosures where a request for such information is made. This follows a request from the Home Secretary in early 2008 to explore the incorporation of “right to work” checks within the CRB service following concerns about the employment of illegal workers in sectors requiring a CRB disclosure. The amendments will enable an employer to request details of any restrictions on an individual’s “right to work” in the UK.

Clause 71: Registered persons – will enable the CRB, when checking the suitability of individuals to be registered to countersign and receive Standard and Enhanced Disclosures to be checked against the new barred lists established under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

Clause 72: Criminal Records – applications – Part V of the Police Act 1997 sets out the form in which the CRB must issue criminal conviction certificates and criminal record certificates; this clause amends Part V so that the CRB may determine the “form, manner and contents”in which applications for such Disclosures are made.

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