The head of a major UK charity has recently announced that they will no longer be funding the supply of DBS checks to charitable organisations. The Wales Council for Voluntary Action carries out around 10,000 volunteer checks each year and has been funded by the Welsh government to do the work free of charge since 2003. Charities have recently been informed by the WCVA that its service would end on 31 May 2016, however this has been extended to September 30th 2016 so organisations can ensure alternative provisions are put in place.
According to The Welsh government, work will not be stopping in this area, however funding will now be focused on training to prevent people who pose a risk from working with children and vulnerable adults. Although these checks will now come at a cost for voluntary organisations in Wales, volunteer DBS checks are available at a significantly reduced rate in comparison to Checks for paid staff.
A Welsh government spokesperson said: ‘Circumstances have changed since the grant was introduced 12 years ago. In 2003, criminal record checks were expensive and difficult to access – today, such checks are free to volunteers and employers, and cost just £13 a year for employed staff”.
The annual cost of £13 per year, per applicant is due to the update service which was launched in June 2013. For the annual fee (free for Volunteers), applicants can keep their DBS certificates up-to-date and take with them from role to role, where the same type and level of check is required. If applicants wish to join the Update Service, they must do so within 19 calendar days of their DBS certificate issue date.
Personnel Checks are able to offer DBS checks for volunteers in Wales at a special discounted rate in order to try and make the transition as simple and pain free as possible. This will enable voluntary organisations in Wales to concentrate on what they do best; safe in the knowledge that their DBS checks are being dealt with by trained experts.
Personnel Checks are confident that this solution will help ease charities’ fears that procedures around volunteer DBS checks will become less stringent or may not even happen at all.
If you have any questions around the Welsh government decision to stop WCVA being able to fund volunteer DBS checks, please contact Personnel Checks – we have a cost effective safeguarding solution for you. 01254 355688