CRB checks, vetting and barring

I, like many others, am sickened by the news today of a nursery worker who was convicted of enabling the assault of children in her care, as well as abusing them herself.

This is a case that came to light by coincidence and not because any of the children concerned made any complaints or comments that aroused suspicion. The nursery worker had been subject to CRB checking, and was clear.

It once again highlights the need for safe recruitment processes for anyone who will be engaged with children and or vulnerable adults, and to follow these up with regular and robust supervision.

CRB checks or indeed the vetting and barring scheme is no replacement for these.

I believe that in order to avoid a similarly explosive incident involving volunteers we MUST call on our employing organisations to properly invest in the management of volunteers. Please get in touch with AVM if you need us to support your call for help within your agency, and to share with us what has been happening in your organisation to help to develop and maintain safe recruitment and ongoing support of volunteers.

You can do this anonymously if you prefer by creating a new ID name.

3 thoughts on “CRB checks, vetting and barring

  1. The issue of CRB checks again has come to the fore in the shocking events in Plymouth. The comments made I totally agree with. I have found that often staff in organizations are very hung up about volunteers having up to date CRB checks etc and almost believe them to be the “be all and end all” when screening potential volunteers which is certainly not the case. I always remind them that a CRB is only a snapshot and can easily be circumvented by changing a birthdate, leaving out an initial in the name etc.and should anyone commit an offence after the CRB has been done it will not show up. A CRB check showing no relevant offences does not compensate for good volunteer management, being in regular touch with them and supervising them properly. My husband was a Prison Governor for over 30 years dealing with a variety of offenders from youth offenders to those with life sentences, so I often quote his off-the-cuff, but important comment, “It’s the ones that haven’t been caught are the ones you want to worry about”. How true this has proved with the Plymouth case

  2. I heartily agree that any form of retrospective records check on an individual is only as illuminating as the integrity/accuracy of the information recorded and indeed can give no indication of any unrecorded/undetected activities let alone hidden intent.Only in conjunction with an integrated, rigorous and ongoing volunteer management system can CRB/ENhanced Disclosure checks be truly effective.The advocacy movement in Scotland is currently being consulted on the latest “Guide to Commissioners” (of independent advocacy services) and this is a point we are again stressing – the effective management of volunteers is both human and financial resource intensive and cannot be overlooked if an appropriate and effective service is to be provided to our client groups.

  3.  I recently read of a case where an individual gained employment with The National Association for Young People with Epilepsy by using a false name. Of course he was CRB checked and this brought up no convictions.The individual turned out to be a drug dealer and had a string of offences under their real name which he did not declare.It is becoming more and more important to not solely rely on a CRB check but to verify other details. Employment history checks, credit checks and Passport verification checks would have found out the real name of the above individual and would have uncovered his previous convictions.My company are an ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accredited provider of vetting and background checks. We would be willing to offer assistance in the form of a ‘free vetting checklist’ against which you can compare your current vetting process. This checklist will take only a few minutes but will hopefully provide you with a way to see which vetting checks you currently conduct compared to those you don’t, which if adopted in the future, would definitely increase the likelihood of identifying dishonest individuals early on in the recruitment process.If, on review, you have answered no to any of the checks described, then I would certainly welcome your contact to discuss how we might be able to help you further.Please contact me to receive your ‘free vetting checklist’Gary McGahon 0191 280 

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