Joint meeting of REC sector groups
Joint meeting of REC sector groups given update on new vetting system
More than 150 members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Childcare, Education, Medical and Nursing and Social Care sector groups were given a comprehensive update on the new vetting and barring procedures due to come into force later this year.
It was the first ever joint meeting between representatives from these groups who will be primarily affected by the implementation of the Independent Safeguarding Authoritys Vetting and Barring Scheme which goes live on October 12.
Nick Smith from the Department for Children, Schools and Families explained how the new provisions under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act which came as a result of the Bichard Inquiry Report into the Soham murders, which would operate. He also gave members the opportunity to feed into the consultation process which will decide how the scheme operates within the recruitment industry.
The Act gives the ISA the power to make all the decisions about who should be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults. Under this, the ISA will handle activities classified as regulated or controlled incorporating both paid and voluntary work.
Nick said the next steps were to circulate information about the scheme including its staffed call centre and training road-shows, while he urged members to start their outline planning on how the VBS will impact on them. In addition, the ISA will be developing detailed guidance for the recruitment industry which will be available in July.
However of concern to members was the 64 cost incurred by each individual applying for ISA registration and the knock-on effect it could have on supplying agency staff to specific roles.
Members also raised concern about the phasing strategy which will see current provisional lists such as List 99 and POVA removed which may result in temporary workers in these sectors being unable to work for several weeks while their applications are processed.
John Dunn, Chair of the Education Sector Group, said: There does seem to be some continuing grey areas within the scheme which need to be addressed further before it goes live later this year. It will result in extra time-consuming administration for members who still need some clarity on how the new system will interact with the Criminal Records Bureau.
Because of the sensitivity of working with children and vulnerable adults, it is vital in the interests of member as well as the authority itself that the system is as watertight as possible. We will ensure our members continue a dialogue with the ISA so that the measures in place are as workable and practicable as possible.