back to article UK gov vets the vetting process

After a bit of a false start earlier this month, the official Coalition review of the current vetting and barring system (VBS) – as well as the associated criminal record checks – kicked off last week. According to a release from the Home Office on Friday, the review will consider the fundamental principles and objectives behind …

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Where to Go

"On the surface, this looks very much as though the government wishes to start pushing some responsibilities back toward parents and families."

I've already taken responsibility. If I get asked for information by a government official then they'd better have a damn good reason for needing it or they'll be told where to go. Note that their threshold for 'damn good' is likely to be a lot lower than mine.

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Poor vetting service

not being able to charge through the nose for the same thing ever5y five minutes.

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FAIL

They need to get their ducks in line and pretty quick....

My mother, a 68 year old ex-teacher has volunteered some months ago to assist in my childrens' school on a voluntary basis to help with reading, spelling etc. The school really want her help.

The problem is though that non-essential checks have been suspended whilst the government decide what they are doing with this. So she continues to want to help, and the school still want her help, but they can not have her helping until the checks come back clear.

In short it is a farce.

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Big Brother

Oh great...

My wife wanted to volunteer at a special needs school. Similar story, except that as they were small, they were told to use a CRB submission service, which was useless - the screwed up the application 3 times.

On her own, she applied for an extended CRB check, (for another volunteering post) which came back approved in record time...

Unfortunately at the time, you had to get a fresh check for each post...

Big Bother more like.

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no under 18s allowed anywhere!

Lots of societies and clubs (dog/fishing/beekeeping/... clubs) are now (unoffically) limiting membership to over 18's to avoid the paperwork and insurance costs this legislation requires.

We are now in a situation where no one with half a brain is prepared to volunteer for anything in case the nutters who run this quango pattern match your name with some conviced drug dealer or peado and your home ends up being firebombed. Not every case makes the news!

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Daily Mail?

"There should be a presumption that people wishing to work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults are safe to do so unless it can be shown otherwise"

I was about to say that this attitude will last only as long as it takes the next Daily Mail to hit the news stands, but then I read http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/25/love_life_of_the_average_brit_on_statistics_day/ and found the following paragraph.

"There is the bizarre: the fact that the average Telegraph journalist thinks about sex at least 30 times every day, or 10,950 times a year. This is about three times the frequency at which the average Guardian journalist does. Indie journalists came out as least likely to be sex-obsessed: Daily Mail ones the most."

So the Coalition can now happily ignore everything in the Daily Mail as the ramblings of a bunch of Sex Obsessed middle-aged hacks.

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Alert

What was that?

"There should be a presumption that people wishing to work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults are safe to do so unless it can be shown otherwise."

Holy heck! That sounds suspiciously like presuming someone to be innocent until they are proven guilty. Someone in Government said that?

The NuLabour types must have had a collective attack of the vapours seeing that in the press while tucking into their eggy soldiers this morning.

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Eggy soldiers?

If it's NuLabour we're talking about, more like eggy Volkspolizisten, who were a rung down from the Stasi.

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SO

Does this mean If you work with children in one area you get a CRB that’s fine BUT if u go to some where else to volunteer you wont have to have another sodding CRB check..

Seems stupid you have to have one for everything you do lol..

Yes I hate this cotton wall society is got stupid

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Stop

Let's Not Get Too Carried Away...

...I doubt this will, in the end, result in anything too much to shout about. I'm afraid the history of successive governments and 'child protection' is a complete disaster for civil freedoms - and that other quaint antiquity, 'common sense'.

This has been, in large part, due to the influence of outside factors such as advocates and police, both pushing their own self-interested agendas to get existing law amended or entirely new offences created. I've said it before: Ministers are mere fall-guys; the real drivers are the lobbyists and LEA's behind the scenes.

Will the Coalition 'roll back' some of NuLabour's ridiculous laws? Doubtful. I'm afraid no MP wants to be seen as 'soft' on child protection issues, even though it might make perfectly good sense for the law to stop viewing every grown man as a suspected paedophile - you know, in the interests of a healthy society and all. As long as such spineless acquiescence to the wretched standards of the gutter press persists I'm afraid we, as a nation (and the UK are not alone in this - in the USA I'm led to believe things are considerably worse), are doomed to exist in this regrettable, wholly spectral, atmosphere of moral panic promoted by wicked people with a wicked, entirely self-serving agenda.

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Translation: we need to re-tender the process

So OUR brother-in-laws' businesses can get the work.

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Anonymous Coward

@ac 13:37 GMT

Atleast in the US , if an employer wants a back ground check they have to pay for it. Speeding tickets, rumors and spent convection do not show up on background checks. Only exception to spent convictions are f its government job or you are applying for a some sort of medical license.

Oh you are entitled to see every thing on your back ground check unless its classified which is a rarity. Only time I've seen some thing like this is if they do a back ground check and you worked in a sensitive area in the military . In the US you can get arrest removed from your record.

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Anonymous Coward

Just a little clarification or two

A CRB Check and VBS are not the same thing and are run by two different organisations. CRB and Enhanced CRB checks pre-date VBS by quite some time and are required for each and every organisation that a person may work or volunteer for that may have contact with children or vulnerable adults. My 84 year old mother has one that will need to be renewed this year so that she can continue to volunteer with Age UK, and prior to VBS this registration needed to be renewed every year costing charities and employers a fair amount of money and providing Capita with a hefty revenue stream.

VBS registers the enhanced check, and then monitors the person against incoming information. It also shares the registration across organisations, so you only need to apply once, ever, for clearance and you are then monitored. If the system detects a match it is passed to the IBB for a decision. The IBB will then make a decision about the individuals suitability to work with vulnerable people, if it bars you, it does not mean you are a paedophile, it means you are not trustworthy in that area, so for example a petty thief might be barred from working with the elderly and children because they might steal from them.

The enhanced CRB check is, by the way, also carried out and paid for by many employers, and is mandatory, as I understand it, as a part of the Security Clearance process, which is not included within VBS.

The bit of VBS I find iniquitous is that once you are monitored, you are always monitored and you cannot de-register without the consent of the secretary of state. The rationale behind that, is that, if you are convicted of a notifiable offence all your prior employers can be informed to see if you have offended there as well, basically because, in the case of paedophiles, the offending behaviours will go back a long way.

CRB and VBS are now up for merger and renewal, and it's rumoured that ACPO wanted to merge it with NPIA, so the results of the review are likely to be interesting.

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FAIL

Suspicion, Spies, Lies and Injustice

Calm down! Nothing's changed. All males are still paedophiles and dangerous. Or so the official line is. Other that is than any who may be teachers, doctors, social workers or police officers.

All teachers, doctors, social workers and police officers (of whatever gender) are duty-bound to seek out evidence of such paedophile activity and some are employed with that as their primary role. The child "protection" legislation under which they operate allows them to do so without evidence which would ever stand up to judicial scrutiny.

To change the system meaningfully would require the dismantling of the entire current "child protection" system with its network of suspicion, spies, lies and injustice.

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The VBB is superflous

It will consider who should be barred. Great but in practice that is not the problem. Employers and the volutary sector set much lower threshold than that and it is often founded on paranoia, prejudice, supposition, guess work and fear of the tabloids. The VBB would be much more valuable if they would look at a person's record and remove from it everything that is not relevant. That is the only way to protect individuals against prejudice.

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