Disclosure and Barring Service to be launched on 1 December

Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone says the body that will replace the Criminal Records Bureau will have a common-sense approach

Lynne Featherstone
Lynne Featherstone

The new national organisation responsible for carrying out security checks on volunteers and others in the charitable sector will be launched on 1 December, the Home Office announced today.

The department said that the Disclosure and Barring Service was part of the government’s continuing shake-up of the screening systems used to prevent unsuitable people from gaining access to children or vulnerable people.

The new organisation will replace the existing Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

The Home Office announced today that Adrienne Kelbie, deputy chief executive of Hull City Council, would become chief executive of the DBS and Bill Griffiths, the former chair of the Forensic Science Service, would become its chair.

The new body, introduced under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which gained royal assent in May, will bring in a number of changes and reforms to the existing system. One will be a reduction in the number of positions requiring checks, from 9.3 million to five million; another will be portable record checks, designed to put an end to applying for repeat disclosures.

Lynne Featherstone, criminal information and equalities minister, said that the "common-sense" approach of the DBS would involve sending criminal records certificates directly to applicants rather than potential employers, and allow people for the first time to challenge information on their disclosures for the first time.

Asked by Third Sector if she felt the reduction in bureaucracy in the current system would help encourage more people to become volunteers, she said she hoped the move would prove "incredibly helpful to everyone" relying on the checks.  

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