You might remember that a couple of weeks ago I had a little rant about CRB forms. A local journalist picked it up and made a bit of a news item of it. Comments were made on the Express and Star article and on the blog – it seems to be an issue that affects many people.
Since my rant I’ve been off to Sandwell Council to fill in my form and have a mini interview where they viewed all my documents. It’s a good thing I took my marriage certificate, cos since I’d retained my maiden name as a middle name they wanted a copy of that too. I’m still waiting for the disclosure to come through. According to the lady at the council, neither the school nor the council pays for my form since I’m a volunteer. I’d like to know how the agency is funded then – it has to be the taxpayer in the end.
From that interview, and from blog comments, I understand that the really important part of a CRB form is not the disclosure you get given yourself, but the ‘soft information’ sent to the applying organisation. But I can’t see why the applying organisation couldn’t see a previous disclosure and then have a system where the CRB takes the number of that form and gives the soft information to the new organisation.
And it seems that the new Independent Safeguarding Authority‘s Vetting and Barring scheme will merely add an additional layer of bureaucracy, not simplify the system. The CRB’s website makes it clear that
…the ISA will prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults The CRB will continue to support employers, through CRB checks by providing them with access to an individual’s full criminal record and other information so that they can asses that individual’s suitability for a particular post or position
So now people who volunteer or work in different organisations will have to have both a fistful of CRB disclosures and an ISA clearance. Joy. At least the ISA are able to make their check transferable. Why not the CRB? This seems to be a case of a total lack of joined up government or maybe it’s just a job creation scheme.