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New CRB system ends duplication

21 June 2013

by a staff reporter

A NEW service for updating CRB checks will save church organisations and charities thousands of pounds, the Government estimates. The "portable" criminal records check-service was introduced on Monday, in an attempt to speed up recruitment as well as save money.

The change means that people who volunteer for various different organisations or have more than one job will no longer have to make multiple CRB applications. Instead, they will apply once only to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a certificate, and subsequently they will be able to find out whether their certificate is still up to date online.

An employer will have to request a new check only if an online check reveals that new information has come to light since the certificate was first issued.

Also from Monday, the system has been changed to allow certificates to be issued only to individuals rather than to employers.

The DBS estimates that some organisations could save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It cites the Churches Agency for Safeguarding, which carries out more than 20,000 checks each year, half of which can now be done through the update service: this would save about £440,000. A small agency, such as the Association of Christian Counsellors, which carries out about 177 checks a year, could save about £3800.

The chief executive of the DBS, Adrienne Kelbie, said that the system was "particularly ideal for individuals who have multiple DBS checks or are required to be rechecked periodically".

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