The underlying reason for the review of the VBS and criminal records regimes was that they offered a blanket approach. Ministers consider that this placed the emphasis for safeguarding on the State rather than on employers and individuals, which in turn is encouraging ‘risk averse’ behaviour.
Instead they want to see a move to the effective management of risk as the approach to protecting vulnerable people. Two key points will support this change:
- The number of people considered to be working in ‘regulated activity’ will be significantly reduced, and the Barred lists will only be applied to these roles
- where employers knowingly make unlawful criminal records check applications the penalties and sanctions will rigorously enforced
However as criminal records disclosures will become portable, then an individual with a ‘higher level’ enhanced disclosure could choose to use it to apply for roles that would not otherwise not be eligible.
Employers and voluntary bodies will therefore need to be very alert to the differences in the documents they are shown and will need to check that their policies do not stipulate a higher level of disclosure than is legally applicable to the role as its ‘best practice’.
It is therefore very important to understand which type of disclosure is appropriate for which role. Register now for our briefing paper about eligibility for CRB disclosures, which includes a clear summary table and examples.