Vetting and Barring Scheme - further information
The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) has been established from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. This legislation follows the Bichard Report on the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
The VBS will be operated by the CRB and a new body created by the legislation - the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Members of the workforce of paid employees and volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults will be required to join the VBS.
The scheme will monitor any relevant information from the police, employers or others, and the ISA will bar those who are unsuitable to work with the vulnerable groups
The VBS implementation will be gradually phased in over 5 years.
1) Vetting and Barring Scheme safeguards introduced.
The first phase of the VBS was launched on October 12 2009 - this is the introduction to the scheme and provides increased safeguards that will further enhance the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
Changes from 12 October 2009:
- It is now a criminal offence for individuals barred by the ISA to work or apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts - including most NHS jobs, Prison Service, education and childcare. Employers also face criminal sanctions for knowingly employing a barred individual across a wider range of work;
- The three former barred lists (POCA, POVA and List 99) are being replaced by two new ISA-barred lists;
- Employers, local authorities, professional regulators and other bodies have a duty to refer to the ISA, information about individuals working with children or vulnerable adults where they consider them to have caused harm or pose a risk of harm.
- VBS Guidance is now available covering the increased safeguards and the duties to refer introduced from October 12.
The next phase - ISA-registration for the Vetting and Barring Scheme - does not start for new workers or those moving jobs until July 2010 and ISA-registration does not become mandatory for these workers until November 2010. All other staff will be phased into the scheme from 2011.
Further information on how to apply for registration will be provided in due course.
Who will it affect?
General VBS Guidance has been made available which covers the changes that commence from October 2009 (further guidance is to follow in due course). The Guidance explains the people, settings and activities covered by the scheme. In sport the main impact will come through people running “Regulated Activity” who will need to be registered with the scheme.
The information below illustrates the principles of Regulated Activity:
Activity involves contact with children or vulnerable adults and are:
Of a specified nature eg teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment or transport
In a specified place e.g. schools, children’s homes & hospitals, juvenile detention facilities, adult care homes
Frequently (once a week or more)
or Intensively (four times or more in a single month) with the same group
or Overnight (between 2-6am)
Also covers Fostering and ‘Defined Office Holders’.
e.g. Directors of Children’s services, Trustees of children’s charities, School Governors.
No distinction made between paid and voluntary work in terms of registration for the scheme.
Note – The scheme does not apply to activities carried out in the course of family or personal relationships, such as driving a friend’s child to cricket practice. Nor will it apply to things done in a private capacity such as watching your child’s cricket match
Volunteers will be able to register for free. Those who receive payment for working with vulnerable groups will be charged to register. Currently the price is set at £64.
Update 18 January 2010:
The ECB still await sports specific guidance relating to the scheme from the Government. This guidance is expected in the Spring of 2010 when the ECB will provide further information on the scheme and its requirements within cricket.
If you have further questions or queries about VBS or the role of the ISA, please call the VBS/ISA contact centre on 0300 123 1111.
See the ISA website for further information and latest updates.
There is also a comprehensive set of FAQs and information now available on the CRB website.
Further info can also be found here.