The Vetting and Barring Scheme launched on 12 October 2009, but received widespread criticism due to the low threshold which applied and meant that a substantial number of people would have to register. The Government has decided to make changes following the review by Sir Roger Singleton, the Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

From 12 October 2009, the three previous current barring lists, List 99 (the list of those prohibited from working with children in education), POCA and POVA (the equivalent lists for the health services) were replaced by two new barred lists, the Children’s Barred List and the Adults’ Barred List, both of which are now centrally administered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

Employers should note that:

  • it is a criminal offence for an employer to knowingly engage a barred person, whether as a paid employee or as a volunteer; and
  • a new legal duty is placed upon all employers whose business involves children or vulnerable adults to give full details to the ISA if someone within their business acts in a way that suggests they should not be working with children or vulnerable adults.

Under the scheme, new employees and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults must register with the ISA from November 2010 (and may register from July 2010).

Existing workforces will be registered with the ISA between January 2011 and July 2015. This phasing period is to help manage the operational impact of the scheme both on the system’s infrastructure and on the sectors involved in working with children and vulnerable adults.

The key changes are the relaxation of the definitions of “intensive” and ”frequent” contact and the circumstances where an individual will be required to register.

The CRB has issued guidance on the operation on the scheme which can be found here