Criminal record checks will cost £64

The new screening system for people who work with children and vulnerable adults will begin in October 2009 and cost £64 per person, the Independent Safeguarding Authority has announced.

The £64 fee will include the existing £36 fee for clearance from the Criminal Record Bureau. Applicants will only have to pay once and will not need new clearance when changing jobs or places of work.

For volunteers and the organisations taking them on, the process will be free. However, if a volunteer with ISA clearance later begins paid employment, they will be required to pay.

The CRB will be responsible for gathering information on applicants and transferring it to the ISA. The ISA will then decide whether a person should be barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

The ISA assessment will include ‘soft information’, including details of allegations made against applicants, even if they were proved false. It will also include details of disciplinary procedures in former employment.

Adrian McAllister, chief executive of the ISA, said the new system would not allow every detail about a person’s life to be passed to the ISA.

“If someone was found not guilty in court, or a case was discontinued, there are many possible complex explanations – it may have come down to the vulnerability of a witness, for example,” he said. “The decisions about what information to pass to the ISA will be taken very seriously and will be appropriate, proportionate, carefully considered and consistent.”

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