REC responds to Vetting and Barring Scheme deferment
The REC has responded to Home Secretary Theresa May’s announcement today that the Government is putting the Vetting and Barring Scheme on hold while it carries out a review into its current provisions.
Registration was due to start on July 26 for those people working with children and vulnerable adults in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in what the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) which administers the scheme, describes as “regulated activity”. This covers those activities where there is greater interaction between workers and children or vulnerable adults.
Commenting on the Home Secretary’s decision, Tom Hadley, the REC’s Director of External Relations, said:
“We welcome the Government's comments that the scheme needs to be cut back to ‘common-sense levels’. Safeguarding vulnerable groups is an absolute priority but any system must also be workable and proportionate.
“The original premise of the scheme, following the Bichard Inquiry into the Soham murders, was welcomed but there were a number of practical concerns including the extra bureaucracy it would generate by duplicating the existing safeguarding measures for many roles where CRB checks are also required.
“Additionally, there was a huge amount of confusion generated by the wide-reaching scope of the scheme because it would have extended to roles where it was questionable as to whether safeguarding concerns would arise. These issues we believed had not been properly addressed which is why we welcome the opportunity to take a step back and take stock of its contents.”
“In the short-term, we need to ensure the existing CRB system is as efficient as possible but in the longer term, there is need for a radical overhaul. The principle of a regularly updated list which employers can reference is sound, but this must be implemented in a way that replaces the existing CRB system rather than running alongside it.
“Recruitment professionals in sectors such as care and education play a key role in making sure the correct checks have been made. The recruitment industry will continue to be at the forefront of the safe recruitment debate and is committed to working with the Government to get this right.”