‘It’s ridiculous’ – row over changes to criminal checks

Claire Phillipson of  Wearside Women in Need concerned about new CRB checks
Claire Phillipson of Wearside Women in Need concerned about new CRB checks
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COMPANY bosses paying for criminal record checks on prospective employees have branded as “ridiculous” new plans which delay them from seeing past convictions.

Changes to the vetting system will mean that from next month records of criminal convictions will be sent to the applicant rather than their potential employer.

Claire Phillipson, from Wearside Women in Need, was left stunned when she heard she will not get to see criminal records’ checks that her business has paid for.

Ms Phillipson added: “We pay £55 for each of these checks, and we don’t even get to see the results.

“So the very people who may pose a risk to our service users are the ones we will be paying to not ‘be told directly they have a criminal record.

“What’s the point of a check on a prospective employee that doesn’t give us the information we need?”

The changes have come about after a shake-up in the criminal records check system. Last December, the Criminal Records Bureau merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The new organisation is called the Disclosure and Barring Service, meaning CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

A spokeswoman for the Disclosure and Barring Service said: “Following a review of the criminal records regime in 2011, the Government announced that in future the disclosure certificate would be sent to the applicant first, before being shared with the prospective employer.

“This allowed any irrelevant or incorrect information to be challenged by the applicant before it reached the employer. This is due to be introduced by the Disclosure and Barring Service in Spring 2013.”

But Ms Phillipson argues the changes do not make any sense.

She added: “It seems to be a disproportionate response to a few cases where people have had incorrect information disclosed.

“This is not going to make life easier for companies and, presumably, the records could be open to fraud if they are only being opened by the applicants.”

Twitter: @craigjourno