Vetting & Barring Scheme

The Vetting and Barring Scheme was designed to protect children and vulnerable adults by preventing people who are judged to present a risk of harm from working or volunteering  with them.  It was developed following the recommendation of the Sir Michael Bichard in his 2004 report.

The Vetting & Barring Scheme is currently being reviewed (terms of reference are here) and the report is expected early in 2011. The News blog contains the milestones to this point. As soon as the results of the review are announced we will be able to brief those registered with us in more detail about the practical implications for their organisation.

Sir Michael Bichard’s  recommendation 19 said: “.. New arrangements should be introduced requiring those who wish to work with children or vulnerable adults to be registered. The register would confirm that there is no known reason why an individual should not work with these client groups.”

By creating this positive register of appropriate people,  it enabled anyone ‘unsuitable’ to then be barred from working in the sector, in the same way that withdrawal of a driving licence enables banned drivers to be prevented from driving.

It was planned that this would be done by enrolling all those who wish to work with vulnerable groups in specified settings or in specified ways (known as ”regulated activity’).  Where information showed that someone posed a risk of harm they could be barred, and this information would be continuously updated.  In general, an employer would not have been able to employ someone in regulated activity if they were not registered with the Scheme and coud not knowingly employ someone in regulated activity who was barred.