Charity to help smaller brethren with criminal checks

A new service to help small voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland reduce the cost of carrying out criminal record checks will be launched next month.

When AccessNI takes over the role of carrying out the checks from the Police Service of Northern Ireland in April, organisations wanting to request checks will have to pay a one-off registration fee of £150 and will be charged between £26 and £30 per check, depending on the level of the check. Checks on volunteers will be free of charge, but organisations will still have to pay to register.

Arc NI, a charity that supports learning disability service providers, will help smaller charities to avoid the registration costs by submitting applications for checks on their behalf. It will charge charities a £12.50 administration fee on top of the cost of the check.

Siobhan Bogues, national manager at Arc NI, said the service would also offer guidance to voluntary groups on how to react to a disclosure that highlighted a criminal record because it might not automatically disqualify the potential employee from taking the job.

“We will forward the checks to AccessNI and we will also advise voluntary organisations on how to respond,” she said.

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