Now we are into 2021 and thinking of the possibility of life after lockdown, it is a good time to review safer recruitment practice. In particular, review the wording of self-disclosure questions for job applicants and seek quality references.
Because from 28 November 2020, the filtering rules for DBS checks changed.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will no longer disclose youth reprimands, youth warnings, or youth cautions. And where an individual has more than one conviction – they will no longer be automatically disclosed. Instead each individual conviction will be assessed against the appropriate rules.
The egislation has changed as are the result of a Supreme Court Judgment which identified that some elements of the existing filtering rules were disproportionate.
More information about these guidelines, can be found in the following government filtering guides:
Regulated activities are the activities that the DBS can bar people from doing. It is a criminal offence for a barred person to seek to work, or work in, activities from which they are barred. It is also a criminal offence for employers or voluntary organisations to knowingly employ a barred person in regulated activity.
The CQC provides guidance on which activities are considered regulated.
This is their quick reference guide, showing how regulated activities and service types are likely to link to each other. It is important to review the regulated activities
regulations, decide which regulated activities your service carries out, and then apply to register for those activities. If you carry on a regulated activity without being registered for it, you may be prosecuted and liable to a fine.
The Department of Health has also published information on the scope of regulated activity in relation to adults.
A ‘Deaths in custody’ corporate manslaughter crime has been created so that Police and other authorities can now be prosecuted over deaths in custody in England, Scotland and Wales.
BBC News highlights that the new legislation of The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act, which has now come into effect means police forces, the MoD, UK Border Agency and private firms managing people held in custody can be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter. Corporations can already be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter or for the equivalent offence (corporate homicide) in Scotland. The extension of these offences to public bodies involved in detention means they could be prosecuted if they failed to ensure the safety of someone in their care. Examples could include deaths during an immigration removal or when someone has been restrained using an unauthorised or badly taught body hold.
The law does not cover incidents abroad, such as where someone dies in the custody of British forces. However, British nationals can be convicted of causing a death through gross negligence, even if the fatality occurred overseas. The provisions are not retrospective, meaning the law could not apply to cases such as Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man who died during his deportation in October 2010.
Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act of 2006, priosoners were included as ‘vulnerable adults’. However the Protection of Freedoms Bill will remove this status when it becomes law.
Continue reading ‘Death in Custody’ crime created
There will be a review of vulnerable adult protection in Northern Ireland.
Edwin Poots,The Northern Ireland Health Minister is looking into creating new policy to ensure the protection of vulnerable adults in care. His announcement of a review of the system came after the number of people alleging abuse against vulnerable adults was revealed to be 1,184 referrals to health trusts in 2009-2010, the last year for which there is accurate data. Of these 1,184 referrals almost two-thirds, 750, were considered serious enough for a protection plan to be put in place.
Responsibility for child protection falls to the department of health and the five health and social care trusts who are individually responsible for providing residential care services to children and young people within their areas.
There were also 1,271 child protection referrals for the quarter ending 31 March 2011, which was almost 20% higher compared with both the previous quarter and the same quarter in 2010. Continue reading Review of vulnerable adult protection in NI
A Bill to promote awareness of abuse of elderly people entitled ‘Support and Protection for Elderly People and Adults at Risk of Abuse Bill 2010-11’ has been introduced under the Ten Minute Rule motion by Nigel Dodd MP.
It is expected to scheduled to have its Second Reading debate on 21 October 2011. It’s objectives are:
- to promote awareness of abuse of elderly people and adults at risk,
- to promote training on how to recognise and respond to such abuse amongst those who are likely to encounter abuse in the course of their work,
- to promote greater awareness and understanding of the rights of victims of abuse amongst agencies with responsibilities for providing, arranging, commissioning, monitoring and inspecting care services,
- to promote the development of local strategies for preventing abuse of elderly people and adults at risk and for ensuring that victims are assisted in recovering from the effects of abuse’
The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) will be handing over its regulatory functions to the Department for Education in April 2012, from which time Mr Gove will become accountable for cases of teacher misconduct and maintaining the list of those barred. The changes were outlined in the recent Education Bill, which is currently being scrutinised by Parliamentary committee. Continue reading GTCE handover responsibility for teacher misconduct and barring in April 2012
In a Parliamentary Question Anas Sarwar asked what steps the Home Office is taking to increase sharing of criminal records files with other EU member states. Lynne Featherstone replied in a written statement as follows:
Criminal record exchange within the European Union takes place within the framework of Council Decision 2005/876/JHA on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record. Between 2007-08 and 2009-10 the amount of criminal convictions exchanged has increased:
- Notifications received of UK nationals convicted in the EU increased from 3,120 to 6,298.
- The number of notifications from the UK to other member states about the convictions of one of their nationals here has increased from 12,736 in 2007-08 (when only the first conviction of an EU national was sent) to 33,583 in 2009-10 (when all convictions were sent).
- The number of requests received for the criminal record of UK citizens subject to criminal proceedings in other member states has increased from 190 to 341 in the same time period.
- The number of requests made by the UK police and law enforcement agencies in relation to EU nationals subject to criminal proceedings here increased from 2,372 to 6,513.
Continue reading PQ on EU Criminal Record exchange
Ofsted has launched a consultation on the inspection of maintained schools and academies in England, following proposals announced in the 2011 Education Bill. This Bill aims to re-focus school inspection on the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, backed by leadership and good discipline in schools. The consultation seeks views on how Ofsted will implement these changes, including when Ofsted should inspect.
Outstanding schools will no longer be subject to routine inspections unless concerns about their performance are identified, and the consultation asks for views on the factors inspectors should consider when assessing whether an inspection is needed. In addition, it asks for views on plans to carry out more frequent inspections of weaker schools and on the circumstances in which schools may request an inspection. Ofsted will also be testing the new inspection arrangements in pilot inspections, with a view to introducing the new system in January 2012, subject to the successful passage of the Education Bill. Continue reading Ofsted Consultation on School Inspections
CRB has announced an £8 increase for Enhanced Disclosures to £44.00, effective from 6th April 2011 . The Standard CRB Check (£26.00) and ISA Adult First check (£6.00) remain at existing prices and CRB checks will remain free of charge for volunteers .
The justification for the increase is a direct link to the Government’s decision to scale back the Vetting and Barring Scheme andwill fund the retained elements of the Scheme without the income which would have been raised through the £64 fee for registration. This will cover the ISA’s budgeted costs of £17.1m per year – with the remaining money covering the other retained elements of the Scheme and contribute towards the development of the current criminal records regime, including portability.
The Daily Mail reported on a press release by the Manifesto Club about the scale of volunteer vetting. “Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that almost a million checks were made last year, a six-fold increase since the CRB was launched in 2002.”
The Club, which campaigns against over-regulation, claims that many local authorities – even Tory ones – are still demanding ‘blanket’ vetting of volunteers. Josie Appleton, director of the Manifesto Club, said: ‘The Government has made some fine statements criticising over-use of the CRB checks but these haven’t affected anything on the ground. ‘CRB checking is leading to the collapse of valuable community services and the loss of the best and most generous volunteers in our communities.’
A Home Office spokesman said the CRB was working to restore ‘proportionality’ to its service and added: ‘We are also clear that there are occasions that these checks are vital to protect public safety.’
Daily Mail Article
Sunita Mason, the Government’s Independent Advisor for Criminality Information Management, is reviewing the Criminal Records Regime in Northern Ireland and is seeking stakeholders opinions.
The Northern Ireland Criminal Records Regime (NICRR) review will examine the use of the criminal record disclosure system for employment vetting in Northern Ireland to determine whether this is proportionate ,while still protecting the public and vulnerable groups.
It will consider specific aspects of AccessNI’s work , how criminal records are currently managed in Northern Ireland and consider whether there are any improvements that could be made. The consultation will be open until 13 May.
Terms of Reference
Submissions to Consultation
Policing Minister Nick Herbert has indicated that details of sentences handed down to criminals could be published online in future, making public access to sentencing records much easier.
He said he hoped to build on the success of the new crime-mapping website which shows how many offences have been committed in particular streets: “This website is a strong example of this government’s commitment to greater transparency in public services, giving communities the information they need to hold their local police to account.” Continue reading Public access to Sentencing Records
An alliance of Sports Governing Bodies are challenging the new definition of Regulated Activity that is emerging from study of the Protection of Freedoms Bill. Some of the proposed details are open to interpretation and will have significant impact on established practice and policies. For instance :
- Regulated Activity will no longer include any supervised teaching, training or instruction. In a sporting context, this requires clear definition. as the environment is so different to a school. The Faith sector are also likely to be unhappy with the implications of this change.
- Current proposals are that only the applicant will receive the CRB disclosure. Clarity is needed on how National Sports Governing Bodies, and other professional regulators will receive this
- There will be a charge for the updating service. How this will work for volunteers and whether they will still be able to get checks for free is not clear.
Continue reading Sport challenges safeguarding changes
The second reading of the Protection of Freedoms Bill will take place on Tuesday 1 March in the House of Commons. This is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson then responds with their views on the Bill. Key points from the debate will be added here.
Continue reading Second Reading of Freedoms Bill
A parliamentary question by Frank Field was answered by Lynne Featherstone and indicated that there were 4,294,977 certificates issued to Registered Bodies in 2009-10. 933,271 applications were for voluntary positions which the CRB issues free of charge. Full text below Continue reading PQ about CRB income
The Protection of Freedoms Bill is the first time that a new element called a “Public Reading Stage” will be introduced. It means that members of the public can comment directly on clauses of the Bill. These comments should contribute to the points made by MPs across all parties during the debates and committee stages – so it is an important opportunity.
The website can be found here – http://publicreadingstage.cabinetoffice.gov.uk – do add your perspectives with practical examples from your sector as this a very complex area which has been subject to sweeping misrepresentation in the media. Since only very low level stakeholder engagement is likely this is the best opportunity to amend some aspects of the legislation such as the availability of disclosures, scope of regulated activity and the level of guidance available.
Also register with us so that you receive our briefing papers on each of these topics and more.