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CRB opens the umbrella

New database for criminal checks

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The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has launched a new database of bodies that can run checks.

The move is part of an effort to reduce the number of organisations registered to run checks on potential employees through the CRB. Under the system organisations that become umbrellas are able to run checks for others that are not registered.

A spokesperson told Government Computing News that about 14,000 bodies are currently registered and that the CRB wishes to reduce this in order to increase efficiency. According to CRB figures, about 10,000 registered bodies carry out less than 100 checks per year, and 4,000 have not submitted one over the past 12 months. Eighty nine per cent of all checks are carried out by 22 per cent of bodies.

"Doing this was a key recommendation of the recent Bichard Inquiry and of the 2002 Independent Review," the spokesperson said. "The intention of setting a threshold is to make the registered body network one that is more manageable, more professional and more experienced in the disclosure process.

"This will allow the CRB to assure itself and others that the network of users is proficient in the security and policies of the CRB."

Following a consultation on the plan, the CRB does not expect widespread opposition from organisations that would be deregistered.

"People knew it was coming," the spokesperson said. "We won't do anything quickly. It will be a gradual streamlining of the networks, likely to take about 18 months.

"Looking at the response to the consultation it was very good. A lot of organisations see the benefits of the new system in making it more efficient."

The CRB has expanded the amount of information on the umbrella organisations, and set up a new search facility to help organisations make an informed choice on which one they should choose.

Each umbrella body now has a dedicated web page where they can market their services and provide potential customers with full contact details and information about:

  • their organisation;
  • their target markets e.g. educations, health care;
  • the range of services they offer e.g. consultancy, on-line services, support and guidance;
  • their fees;
  • the geographical coverage of their service– e.g. whether they offer a national, regional or county based service.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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