Vetting and Barring Scheme

A new Vetting and Barring Scheme is currently being put in place to vet all individuals who want to work or volunteer with vulnerable people. The scheme will help to prevent unsuitable people from working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults.

Anyone who works with, or recruits people to work with children or vulnerable adults needs to know about the scheme and the new legal responsibilities it brings for employers and employees, whether paid or voluntary.

The first phase of the scheme launches on 12 October 2009.

Why do we need a new Vetting and Barring Scheme?

Following the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley (a school caretaker) in 2002, the Bichard Inquiry was commissioned. The Inquiry looked into the way that employers check the background of job applicants and made recommendations for improvements.

One of the recommendations was that a single independent agency should manage a Vetting and Barring Scheme which would vet all individuals who want to work or volunteer with vulnerable people. This recommendation became law through the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) has been set up to manage the scheme in partnership with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Independent Safeguarding Authority
Criminal Records Bureau

What is changing under the new Vetting and Barring Scheme?

A lot of changes will be introduced in the coming years, starting with the first phase on 12 October 2009. The changes will include:

  • Two new barred lists, the ‘Children’s List’ and the ‘Vulnerable Adults’ List’ will replace the PoCA and PoVA Lists and List 99
  • A Standard CRB check will no longer include a search of the barred lists, so an Enhanced CRB check will be needed for anyone working with vulnerable people
  • Criminal penalties will be introduced for barred individuals who seek work with vulnerable people, and for employers who knowingly employ them
  • A new definition of vulnerable adults which includes people and jobs not previously covered e.g. health workers
  • A legal duty to refer information about people who may pose a risk to children and vulnerable adults to the ISA
  • Activities which allow access to vulnerable people will be ‘regulated’ and there will be a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to work in ‘regulated activity’ to be ISA-registered before they start work

You can find further information about what is happening, and when, in the guidance document attached to this page.


Microsoft Office document icon ISA Guidance Document.doc68 KB
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