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YriSwSfx
Author Dolores Posting date 6/5/2012 11:58:02 PM
On the whole I welcome the prpaosols detailed in both reports following the reviews of the VBS and the criminal records regime and believe that they will in fact improve what had become, in the case of CRB checks, an over bureaucratic, burdensome and at times unreliable system and service. For example as a registered body I received a CRB disclosure on the 8th February 2011 for an application which had been received by the CRB on 1st October 2010.My main concern relates to Recommendation 4 (R4) of Sunita Mason’s report: “I recommend that a new CRB procedure is developed so that the criminal records certificate is issued directly to the individual applicant who will be responsible for its disclosure to potential employers and/or voluntary bodies.”. I do not wish to reject this recommendation out of hand and note that Ms Mason, as she states, did give this issue “a deal of thought and consulted widely”. I would hope that whilst the recommendation is accepted that some form of common sense approach can be adopted for the registered body who initiated the CRB check, in particularly those RB’s who are likely to be undertaking a large number of checks in short periods of time; HEIs are a good example of this group. My local University undertakes approximately 1700 CRB checks per annum, the vast majority of which are on students who enrol on programmes of study that involve regulated activity eg initial teacher training, nursing, midwifery and social work. The majority of these checks are undertaken between August and September being shortly before the commencement of the academic year for entry to the programme, we do not do repeat checks. The University undertook around 1000 CRB checks for September 10 entry across the programmes mentioned above, it may also be worth mentioning that the majority of applicants are aged 18/19. The system used here is not uncommon with other Universities; once, in UCAS terminology, an unconditional firm offer of a place has been given and accepted by the applicant (3rd week in August) they are contacted and requested to complete a CRB form, applicants are then invited to attend a CRB signing session (4th week August or 1st week September) where their identities are checked face to face, the CRB form signed and countersigned. The form is dispatched to the CRB immediately following the session and once the University’s copy of the disclosure is received (usually 4 to 6 weeks later) the number is noted on the student record. By this time the applicant is now a student, attending University and living in accommodation associated with their study(term-time address); however their copy of the CRB disclosure will have been sent to their home address which could be anywhere in the UK. Having received its copy of the disclosure no further action is necessary on the part of the University. R4 must be considered holistically within the two reports and the Protection of Freedoms Bill. Given that, under clause 78, CRB checks may only be undertaken on persons aged 16 and above alongside the scaling back and redefining of ‘Regulated Activity’ I strongly suspect that the number of 18 and 19 yr olds in possession of a CRB check, prior to commencing University, will be drastically reduced (and rightly so). Therefore, their commencement of a University course which includes regulated activity will be the occasion when these 18/19 yr olds initially apply for the portable disclosure, applying through their chosen University as a registered body. In the case of an employer or voluntary organization who may undertake a number of checks throughout the year the burden of asking the handful of applicants whether they have received their disclosure back will be severely limited and clearly manageable. The net effect of R4 on the University will be an increase in workload, bureaucracy, burdensome administrative processes and at a time of financial cuts and encouragement by HMG to manage financial resources better an increase in diverting expenditure and resources from the core function. Clearly, having applied for 1000 or so CRB disclosures and then having to chase and ask a large group whether they had received their disclosure is not a good use of resources.I do not believe that the scenario I have described above was the intention of R4 and suspect that the effect on HE was not considered in the formation of the recommendation. I note that the report refers to employers and voluntary organisations; the SVGA 2006 went some way to recognising the difficulties and experiences of UKHE in defining Universities as personnel suppliers, long discussions took place when it was revealed that RB’s would not be notified that the VBS registration notice had been issued, this matter was reconsidered and had been amended, but of course now will not be implemented. As stated earlier, I do not wish to dismiss R4 out of hand and I do believe that R4 has merit for the reasons given in the report. Unfortunately, a University does not have the luxury of being able to delay the start date of a course for individual students; where a student misses the first few weeks of a course it becomes considerably difficult for that student to catch up. I am sure that part of the rationale behind R4 is to cut costs for the CRB process which will be achieved by not sending the employer a copy particularly if “the certificate becomes akin to other documents that an individual owns and produces from time to time, like a driving licence, passport or a practising certificate.” I am assuming that the disclosure will be somewhat more substantial than the paper copy it is now. I would ask that serious consideration is given to the CRB issuing the RB with a letter, sent at the same time the disclosure is dispatched to the applicant, which states that a disclosure (incl. Number) has been sent to the applicant at such an address. This would not be over costly or burdensome to the CRB and would enable RBs who undertake a large number of check at particular periods in time the opportunity to know who to contact for sight of the disclosure document. Moreover, this proposal is in keeping with R4. 

Replies
Re: YriSwSfx 
Author Luis  Posting date 8/14/2012 1:19:43 AM 
Diane has left a new comment on your post "Blackberry Playbook Review - VLOG #technology #app...": I got one too and love it!!!! what are your fav apps??? my apoolgy to Diane I actually hit reject comment by accident and had to retrieve this.Sorry. 

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