CRB research says volunteers welcome CRB checks to protect the vulnerable

The CRB have just published research saying that nine out of ten people say that anyone working or volunteering with vulnerable groups should be checked.

They say that this ‘shatters the myth’ that CRB checks put people off volunteering.  I’ve not read the full research report yet, so I don’t know what their sample size was, or how they chose them.

However, it does strike me that just because people believe checks should be in place, doesn’t necessarily mean that having to be checked themselves isn’t putting them off offering time.

In my experience supporting ex-offenders to volunteer, most completely agreed that roles where they would be working with vulnerable people should be checked, but having to disclose their record did put some of them off applying for that type of role, even when they hadn’t really done anything which would make them a risk.

Anyway, the press release and full report are here:

http://www.crb.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=5215

3 thoughts on “CRB research says volunteers welcome CRB checks to protect the vulnerable

  1. In my experience its not having the CRB check that puts people off, its that they get fed up waiting for the CRB to be processed, and move on to other things, or to organisations where CRB is not required, whilst most people see CRB checks as being part of the process, it would help things a great deal if the process could be speeded up, and CRB’s were seen be organisations as being transferable, as many organisations seek them even though a person already a recent one.
    Some would argue… Ah, well what if they have commited an offence since?, which is a fair comment, however its worth rembering that CRB’s only ever provide a snapshot, a moment in time in relation to a persons behavior, as such CRB’s do not identify those who havent been caught, as such you could have a person with a clear enhanced CRB working with you/for you, but is a serial peodophile who simply hasn’t beem caught yet!
    Equally once a person has a CRB, the very next day they could commit a serious offence and the organisation, staff and everyone that person comes in contact with will never know until they are found out, assuming they will be, non the less, they have a clear and seen as being a fit person
    CRB’s provide one counter measure, however to rely on them in isolation would be folly in relation to recruiting volunteers, re risk.

  2. Hopefully some of this will be ironed out when the Independant Safeguarding Authority starts in the autumn (http://www.isa-gov.org.uk for those who aren’t familiar with it).

    The individual will only have to register once, and organisations will be informed if someone they’ve checked has done something to warrant them being taken off the register. Organisations who are currently allowed to CRB be check will still be able to, but legally they will only have to check if someone’s on the register, which should be enough to satisy most organistion’s duty of care. Unfortunatly we’ll probably still have the same timelag problem for people who haven’t previously been registered, from what I can gather a new registration will take about the same time as a CRB check to process. However, at least once someone’s registered, they won’t have to do it again.

  3. Seems they polled a few thousand people on their database and did some face to face polling too. A couple of things from the report with observations:

    ‘Nine in ten respondents agree (with seven in ten strongly agreeing) that:

    – they personally would be willing to be CRB checked and

    – they would expect anyone else to be willing to be CRB checked’

    I think most people if asked would be willing to be CRB checked would say yes. However, saying so and actually volunteering for a role that requires CRB checks is surely very different. Instead of polling the general public, would it not have been better to poll people who have recently volunteered and ask them if they’d been put off particular roles because of CRB checks.

    ‘Indeed, almost all respondents with first-hand experience of the CRB (because they have been checked by the CRB or employ staff who have been checked) say they are willing to be checked (97%).’

    Isn’t this a bit obvious and doesn’t really back up the claims the report makes?

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