New Criminal Record Checking System a Winner

The government recently announced that criminal record checks will be overhauled. For those who missed the news:

Home Office Announces limit on criminal record checks

Only those working ‘closely and regularly’ with children and the vulnerable would need to be vetted.

Volunteers and staff will need criminal records checks only if they work “closely and regularly” with children and vulnerable adults, under plans for a wide-ranging reform of the vetting and barring system announced by the government today.

Under the proposals, part of the new Protection of Freedoms Bill, about 4.5 million people who would have had to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority under the vetting and barring scheme initiated by the Labour government, would not have to have criminal records checks.

The Labour system, which was never implemented and which the coalition government halted in June, would have involved carrying out the checks on nine million people.

Under the proposed new system, which will be announced today by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, only about 4.5 million people would be subject to criminal records checks.

The new proposal would also make criminal records checks portable so that individuals would not need separate checks by each organisation they worked or volunteered for.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Far fewer people will come within the scope of regulated activity under the new system. The only people needing checks will be those working most closely and regularly with children and vulnerable adults.”

He said the government would also “monitor the scope of criminal records checks” to make sure they were not deterring people from volunteering.

A statement from the Home Office said that, subject to parliamentary approval, the bill was expected to become law by early 2012. It said the new system would be introduced soon after that.

JVN is absolutely committed to protecting those most vulnerable in our society, which means potential volunteers do need CRB and other checks to ensure that they are suitable for a potential volunteering role.

However, unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, which we know puts off volunteers from getting involved and delays the recruitment process in a significant way, has been a real challenge to our sector. We therefore very much welcome the Government’s proposal to facilitate CRB checks by making them portable.

This can only encourage more people to volunteer and get involved in their local community.

Leonie Lewis is Director of the Jewish Volunteering Network.


Categories: Leonie's View


Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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One Comment on “New Criminal Record Checking System a Winner”

  1. R Simons
    February 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    All I care about is if there’s less paperwork, to be honest. As a volunteer, it was horrible. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the organisation itself.

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