Under regulations that came into force last week, organisations that fail to meet a minimum annual quota of 100 applications will be de-registered from the Criminal Records Bureau. They will have to apply for checks on volunteers and staff through a larger 'umbrella' organisation registered specifically for the purpose.
Some umbrella bodies will perform this service free of charge, but others have set prices at £70 per person or higher. Voluntary organisations that are not registered with the CRB will have to meet application costs themselves, in addition to the price of the check - £31 for a standard check and £36 for an enhanced check.
The regulations have been brought in even though nearly two-thirds of voluntary groups voiced concern about the annual threshold in a consultation last year.
The CRB has created an online database of umbrella bodies that will enable those affected to search for a suitable umbrella organisation.