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New vetting and barring scheme - key milestone approaches

7 October 2009

The Governments new Vetting and Barring Scheme is officially launched on Monday 12 October 2009, introducing criminal offences for failing to comply with the scheme.

The changes to the current system of vetting and barring come on the back of Sir Michael Bichards report into the Soham murders, and will impact upon those who work with children and vulnerable adults.

The legal foundations for the new system were laid in 2006 with the passing of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, but since then the timetable for implementation of the new system has been subject to a succession of delays. The system will become fully operational in July 2010, with the full range of sanctions for non-compliance being applicable from November 2010.

However, as of Monday 12 October 2009, the following will be in place:

  • It becomes a criminal offence for a barred individual to seek work, or undertake work with children or vulnerable adults
  • It becomes a criminal offence for an employer to knowingly engage a barred person, whether as a paid employee or as a volunteer
  • A new legal duty is placed upon all employers whose business involves children or vulnerable adults to give full details to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) if someone within their business acts in a way that suggests they should not be working with children or vulnerable adults. Typically an employer will have dismissed this individual following an investigation, and it will need to pass on much of the information generated by that investigation to the ISA
  • The ISA will administer two new barring lists, in place of the current Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) list, Protection of Children Act (PoCA) list and List 99. As of Monday, there will be one list for those barred from working with children, and one for those barred from working with vulnerable adults
  • Individuals who are on the barred lists will be prevented from undertaking a much broader range of activities. They are barred from any activity which falls within the statutory definition of Regulated Activity

If you would like to discuss the full impact of these changes on your business further, and what practical steps you might want to take, please call our team who would be happy to talk you through the changes.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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