The Home Office has announced that Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, replacing CRB checks, will be portable from 1 March 2013. This means that, when applying for a new volunteering role, volunteers will only need to get the checks updated rather than obtain a brand new check.
Volunteers will now apply once to the DBS for a certificate. They can then go online for an instant check to see if their existing certificate is still up-to-date.
The Home Office has confirmed that this service will be free of charge. This will reduce costs and administration for individuals and third sector organisations and, it is hoped, encourage more volunteering.
This announcement follows reforms to safeguarding legislation last September, which redefined what type of “regulated activity” fell within the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. For example, being a school governor or a trustee of a children’s charity is no longer a regulated activity under the Act.
If you would like more information about safeguarding, please contact Chris Maddock in our Employment Team on 0191 211 7919.