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Frequently Asked Questions
What is CRB?
A question that is frequently asked by customers is ‘What is CRB?’
CRB is an abbreviation for the government organisation called the ‘Criminal Records Bureau’.
The CRB helps organisations and employers make suitable and sound recruitment decisions about their staff and volunteers by carrying out Criminal Record Bureau Checks. A CRB Check is a search on an individual’s criminal history, the employer or organisation must make a sound recruitment decision based on the information provided by the search.
The CRB offer 2 levels of Criminal Cecord Checks:
Both these checks search the PNC (Police national computer) and will show any Cautions, Warnings, Reprimands and Convictions an individual may have on their criminal record.
The Enhanced CRB Check will also check to see if the applicant is listed on the ISA (independent safeguarding authority) barred lists for working with children and vulnerable adults. The Enhanced CRB Check also has the facility for the chief executive at the applicants’ local police force to write any comments that they have on their records that they think is necessary to put on the CRB result.
The Criminal Records Bureau work in conjunction with the ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority). The CRB and the ISA have now merged to become the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). This merge became official from the 1st December 2012. Personnel Checks are a registered umbrella body for the CRB.
What is CRB? – If you would like further information about the CRB or any other issue relating to CRB Checks call and speak to one of our experienced advisors on 01254 355688
how can employees gain portable CRB Checks?
Following the government announcement that portable CRB Checks are to be made available in 2013, here’s how the new system will work for employees;
You will apply for a Standard or Enhanced CRB check through their employer as normal. You should keep a record of the form reference number given on application.
You will be able join an online update service before the application form has been received by the CRB. This online service will enable you to allow employers to search your application for any updates on your criminal record. You must sign up to this service within 28 days of sending off your CRB application form.
There will be a charge for subscribing to the online service but the fee is yet to be confirmed. You will be able to enter the form reference number, together with some other personal details, to apply to join the service. Payment will be required at this point and you will be given the opportunity to opt for auto annual renewal.
You will then receive a unique ID number, which should be retained at this point as you will not receive any further communication from the CRB detailing this number. This number can then be used by you to access your online account. You will also receive an email confirming your subscription when the certificate has been dispatched by the CRB. Once you receive your certificate you will be able to present this to any prospective employer.
Annual payment for portable CRB Checks
If you opted for auto renewals, you will be informed of when the payment will be taken automatically from the credit or debit card details used when joining the scheme. If you did not opt for auto renewals you must access your online account prior to the expiry date and renew your annual subscription.
You will also receive an annual statement which will give details of which employers have accessed your CRB online account. Failing to renew will result in your annual subscription being cancelled automatically.
For further advice and information about portable CRB Checks, call Personnel Checks on 01254 355688
how will employers gain portable CRB Checks for their staff?
Following the recent government announcement that CRB Checks are to be made portable, here’s how employers can gain portable CRB Checks for their staff;
An individual will present their CRB certificate to the prospective employer. The Employer will then need to gain permission from the applicant to log on to the update service.
This will be possible only if the applicant provides a certificate, associated reference details and their personal data to the organisation. The Employer will not be able to access the online system if they have not received the applicants consent to do so.
The Employer will be required to enter some details about themselves and the individual to log onto the online service. They will then be presented with a status update in relation to that individual’s criminal record.
If new information is available, the employer will be advised to apply for a new CRB check to obtain the latest information. It is the employer’s decision to do this; the CRB can only provide guidance. If the employer decides not to ask the individual to apply for a new CRB check, they must accept the associated risks in doing so.
The Employer will not be able to access the applicants online details should they leave the company.
For further advice and information about portable CRB Checks, call Personnel Checks on 01254 355688
What can I expect from an Umbrella Body carrying out my CRB checks?
An Umbrella Body offers a valuable service which can save you considerable time. It can help your employees complete their CRB checks, ensuring you have peace of mind the application forms are filled in correctly and don’t come back to you, adding to the never ending pile of work on your desk.
If you decide to get rid of the hassle and outsource your companies CRB checks it is essential you carry out relevant research prior to selecting an Umbrella Body. Here are 10 simple questions to ask yourself and the Umbrella Body before making your decision.
1. Is there a company representative always available to talk to?
Obtaining CRB checks for your staff or for yourself can often be a little confusing if you are not familiar with the process. The Umbrella Body must be aware of this and offer help straight away over the telephone from an experienced advisor. Nobody likes talking to a machine!
2. How much help are they offering?
Are they keen to save your time by ensuring your applicants have all the help they need to complete their CRB checks? Does the Umbrella Body have a plan in place where your employees can call and speak to an advisor or go online for help with their application forms?
3. Do they offer an online service – eBulk?
Having a service which allows you to complete CRB checks online makes the task less time consuming and more streamlined. An automated system (eBulk) links electronically with the Criminal Justice System meaning signatures and forms in the post are no longer necessary. An electronic form will not allow you to submit an application if it has been completed incorrectly and tell you where you have made a mistake. Ebulk is the most efficient way to submit applications and the fastest way to obtain a Criminal Record Check.
4. What other services do the Umbrella Body provide?
The levels of service provided by an Umbrella Body can vary widely. An Umbrella body should provide help, advice and guidance throughout the whole CRB check process to both employer and employee to ensure the application in processed in the most streamlined and efficient way. There may be additional services which they are able to offer such as ID Checking, legislation Interpretation, conviction interpretation, disclosure tracking and even recruitment and appointment consultancy.
5. Will I have my own dedicated Account Manager?
All employers carrying out CRB checks on their staff, no matter how small or large the company should have an Account Manager. This is somebody you can call and ask for by name. Somebody who knows your name, position, what your company does and understands what level of CRB Check your employees need. You should only have to explain your needs once; there is nothing worse than being passed around on the telephone having to explain your situation numerous times to various people.
6. How long does it take the Umbrella Body to process CRB Checks?
Ask the Umbrella Body for their average turnaround time. It can take the CRB up to 6 weeks to process a CRB Check but they should keep their own records of how long their applications are with the CRB. This will give you an idea of the speed of the service you will receive. Many of the delays are caused because applications are not sent to the CRB for processing as soon as they are received by the Umbrella Body. It may be worth asking them how long they keep hold of your application before they send it off. The answer shouldn’t be more than 24 hours.
7. Does the Umbrella Body have an aftercare plan?
It’s all very well obtaining CRB checks for your staff, but what do you do with the information once you have it? Once you have received the CRB Certificates for your employees or potential employees, the service shouldn’t stop there. A good Umbrella Body should provide guidance on what information you need to take into account based on the results given to help make sure you are abiding by the law and making the correct recruitment decision for your company.
8. What do the Umbrella Body’s current customers think of them?
Research the companies’ testimonials page and find out more from their current clients if you are still unsure.
9. Is the Umbrella Body successful?
Successful businesses work with other successful businesses. Carry out a credit check before giving them your custom. There is nothing worse than completing numerous applications for CRB checks for your staff only to find out the company you have been using have gone bust and you now have to start the process all over again with somebody new.
10. What impression do you get from the Umbrella Body?
And finally and more importantly, use your instinct. Have a look at the company’s website, twitter and Facebook accounts, give them a call. What feeling did you get from the advisors? Did they just want to make a quick sale or where they happy to take time to help and offer their advice about CRB checks?
If you would like any information about obtaining CRB checks for yourself or your employees call Personnel Checks today for advice from a dedicated advisor on 01254 355688
What changes are the CRB making and why? What is the DBS?
The UK Government is committed to protecting vulnerable groups including children. We want to see a focused and effective safeguarding system, where harm or risk of harm is identified, acting upon effectively and ultimately prevented. We also want a better sharing or responsibility for safeguarding between the state, on the one hand, and your organisations, on the other. We think that arrangements up until now over-emphasised protection by the state and did not sufficiently emphasis the vital role which you play.
Clear, well managed arrangements for safeguarding are important, whether in a large hospital, a school or a small local charity. This includes ensuring that all staff are appropriately recruited, trained and managed. Vigilant, ongoing, day to day management is crucial, in order that unusual or concerning behaviour is picked up at the earliest opportunity. Safe, careful recruitment makes an important contribution. You are best placed to decide if someone is suitable for the role that you have and in doing so it is crucial that you take all sensible steps to identify the right person – including undertaking reference checks and conducting face to face interviews. All of this is just as important as a CRB check.
The state has a key role to play in, for example, barring unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups including children, and in ensuring that organisations can access criminal record information on individuals when the role justifies it.
We are scaling back the criminal records and barring systems to more proportionate levels whilst ensuring that they continue to provide effective protection for those who need it. The changes to those systems are included in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which recently received Royal Assent. The changes in the Ace have not come into effect yet – but some of them will come into effect on 10 September 2012. Until then, you should carry on as before. This leaflet tells you more about the changes which will be happening on 10 September.
Not everything is changing. Your organisation will still, for example, have a duty to make referrals to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and it still must not knowingly engage a barred person in regulated activity.
Major Changes in September 2012
- New definition of regulated activity
- Repeal of controlled activity
- Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring
- Repeal of additional information
- Minimum age (16) at which someone can apply for a CRB check
- More rigorous ‘relevancy’ test for when the police release information held locally on an enhanced CRB check.
- You must make appropriate referrals to the ISA
- You must not engage in regulated activity someone whom you know has been barred by the ISA
- Everybody within the pre-September definition of regulated activity will remain eligible for enhanced CRB checks, whether or not they fall within the post-September definition of regulated activity.
The Future and the DBS
After September 2012 there will be further changes covering other measures within the Protection of Freedoms Act.
Further information will be provided nearer the time but a summary of them are:
- The functions of the ISA & CRB will be merged to form a single new body in December 2012
- The new body will be called the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)
- Single Certificate
- A new update service providing portability will be introduced early in 2013
Changes commencing September 2012
- Coalition Government stated its intention in May 2012 to scale back regimes to more proportionate and “common sense” levels
- Government halted the delivery of the VBS, commissioned an internal review into the scheme and also an independent review of the Criminal Records Regime. Why? Because …
VBS would have meant 9m people needed to register, as their work would fall within the definition of regulated activity
- Sunita Mason, Independent Advisor for Criminal Information Management, published Phase 1 of her review in February 2011. The VBS Review was published at the same time
- Phase 2 of the Mason review was published in December 2011
- The reviews into the VBS and Criminal Records Regime recommended changes
- Government committed to scaling back, to be more proportionate whilst safeguarding vulnerable groups including children
- The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 is enabling delivery of recommendations from these reviews
- That the changes taking effect from September 2012 include:
A new definition of regulated activity
Repeal of registration & monitoring, and of controlled activity
Introduction of a minimum age (16) at which someone can apply for a CRB check
More rigorous relevancy test for when police release information held locally on an enhanced CRB check, and repeal of additional information
- Not everything is changing (referrals, etc)
- New organisation, the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), will involve merging the functions of the ISA and CRB in December 2012.
- Further developments being rolled out early in 2013, including the update service and single certificate
More information about the DBS and the changes being made coming soon……..
What CRB Check does a Registered Manager of the Dental Practice need when applying for the CQC?
If the Dental Practice is registering with the CQC then the registered manager as part of their application must use the CQC to process their CRB. If there is a change to the registered manager then the new manager must also use the CQC to process their CRB Check. The CQC check needs a visit to the post office to verify ID. All other staff within a Practice can have their CRB checks carried out by us, Personnel Checks and NO visits to the Post office are required as the Verifier can be an internal member of staff.
How often should Dental staffs’ CRB Checks be renewed?
Guidelines from Personnel Checks and best practice is for dental practices to renew existing staff CRB’s every three years. With our knowledge and trends in the Dentist, Medical, Care and Education Sector the majority renew them every 3 years. The CQC does not stipulate a renewal period and relies on Practices to use their judgement on the importance of having staff checked.
Which level of CRB check do Dental Practice staff need?
All dental staff are eligible for the Enhanced Check, which is what the CQC prefer. This is the most thorough and highest level of CRB Check and in addition to the Criminal history it also checks the ISA vulnerable adult and/or Children’s Barred List for offences. The Enhanced shows an applicants’ entire criminal history whilst living in the UK; listing unspent and spent convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings and non-convictional information held by the local police force.
How can our Dental Practice apply for CRB checks?
- All staff within the Practice are eligible to apply for the highest level of CRB Check; the Enhanced level. To find out further information about each level of check please click on the links – Basic Disclosure, Standard CRB Check, Enhanced CRB Check.
- Call us on 01254 355688 to open your account; You do not need to go into the Post office or send us any ID documents, we simply ask someone within the Practice to confirm they have seen the ID documents and verified the ID of the applicant.
- Your team can either apply for their CRB online or you can complete a paper based CRB application form which we would send in the post to you First Class.
- We will then check your application form for any mistakes and send to the CRB for processing to avoid any delays.
- The CRB certificate is then issued and sent to you in the post.
To get started with the CRB process call us on 01254 355688 7 days a week or apply online
I am a Student, What Address Should I use to Complete the Current Address Field?
When applying for a CRB Check as a student and you live on campus or in other student accommodation during term time but reside with your parents (or a similar permanent home address) in the period between academic years, put the address where you want us to write to you and send the CRB certificate to:
- If this is your parents’ address (or similar permanent home address), you should complete question B37 with the details of the month and full year you originally moved into that address.
- You must still provide details of all the student addresses you lived at during the last five years in section C so that we have your full address history for that period.
- In addition, if you moved into your parents’ address (or similar permanent home address) less than five years ago, you must also include in section C any previous family homes that you have lived at outside term-time during the last five years.