Criminal records checks to be speeded up

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CRIMINAL records vetting checks are to be speeded up.

Changes to the way pre-employment criminal records checks are carried out have been announced by Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson MHK.

The aim is to speed up processing times without compromising the safety of vulnerable members of the community or compliance with national standards.

From the end of June, people seeking paid of voluntary work with children or vulnerable adults will apply through the Department of Home Affairs for a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

The department has been appointed the Criminal Records Bureau registered body in the Isle of Man and will act as the link to CRB services to ensure employers can obtain relevant information about individuals from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

A CRB check provides a snapshot of a person’s criminal history at any given time and the vetting service is designed to ensure that anyone who presents a known risk to vulnerable groups is prevented from working with them.

The new arrangements will also give the Isle of Man access to the UK Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) list of individuals barred from working in the UK.

Mr Watterson said: ‘These changes will improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the service as well as making it more consistent with national standards.

‘This is part of the department’s commitment to maintaining public safety in the Isle of Man and also helps to deliver one of the Chief Minister’s three national priorities –protecting the vulnerable members within our society.’

He added: ‘This will not increase the administrative burden on employers. On the contrary, they should see an improvement, with faster turnaround times in terms of processing applications.

‘Whilst vetting checks play a crucial part in safeguarding children and the wider community, I would also encourage Isle of Man employers to ensure that they continue to have robust recruitment practices in place.’

Fees are being introduced for processing CRB checks. It will be down to the individual and not the prospective employer to pay.

Costs are £44 for an enhanced check for people who have direct access to children and vulnerable adults and £26 for a standard check for positions with indirect access to children and vulnerable adults.

There is no charge for volunteers.

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