Relaxed CRB Checks

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The Home Office has announced changes to CRB checks following a Court of Appeal ruling in January that blanket checks did not comply with Human Rights law. The new system will be implemented in just weeks following Parliamentary scrutiny.

Under the proposed legislation, old and minor cautions and convictions will be filtered out of the information revealed in applications for jobs in England and Wales. All serious violent and sexual offences will continue to be disclosed.

After 11 years convictions resulting in a non-custodial sentence will be filtered from record checks for adults and five and a half years for young offenders. Cautions will be filtered from record checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) after six years for adults and two years for young offenders.

The Minister for Criminal Information said, “the protection of children and vulnerable groups is of paramount importance to this government. Criminal records checks are an important tool for employers to use in making informed safeguarding decisions. This new system of checks strikes a balance between ensuring that children and vulnerable groups are protected and avoiding intrusion into people’s lives“.

Criminal record checks became more through following the case of Ian Huntley and the 2004 Bichard Report into the case which recommended that applications for positions in schools should be subject to a requirement for enhanced disclosure criminal checks.

An Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC) is usually sought in cases where people are applying for work that includes training, caring for or supervising children or vulnerable adults.

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