The Independent Safeguarding Authority’s role is to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. Their Board and caseworkers assess whether individuals working or wishing to work in regulated activity pose a possible risk of harm to vulnerable groups. They are able to make barring decisions based on information and referrals made.
The ISA considers convictions or cautions which are considered relevant and also referrals made by employers or organisations such as professional regulatory bodies. Where there is concern that a person has caused harm or poses a future risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults the ISA can add them to the Barred lists which they manage. The organisations who are under a duty to make referrals include:
- Regulated activity providers;
- Personnel suppliers;
- Local authorities and Safeguarding Boards;
- Education and Library Boards;
- Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies;
- Professional Regulators and other authorities named in the legislation
Scope & extent of Barring
Parliamentary Questions and Annual Accounts provide some insight into the scope and extent of the ISA’s activity.
Lynne Featherstone provided a holding answer on 17 March 2011 to a question by David Blunkett: How many occasions in the last 12 months the Independent Safeguarding Authority has used its powers under the Policing and Crime Act 2009 to provide information to the police?
She answered: The Policing and Crime Act 2009 amended the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 to include section 50A which allows the Independent Safeguarding Authority to provide any information it has to a Chief Officer of Police for use in connection with: (a) the prevention, detection and investigation of crime and (b) the apprehension and prosecution of offenders. Between 1 March 2010 and 28 February 2011 the Independent Safeguarding Authority responded to 226 enquiries from the police under section 50(A). In addition, the Independent Safeguarding Authority has proactively disclosed information to the police on 14 occasions and provided 184 evidence packs under section 50A.