Independent Safeguarding Authority report expected to clarify terms

Review by chair Sir Roger Singleton will outline what constitutes 'volunteering'

An Independent Safeguarding Authority report that is due to be released in the next few days will clarify which activities will be classed as volunteering in its new vetting and barring scheme.

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, asked the ISA in September to provide more details on its vetting and barring scheme, which says that parents who have "frequent" contact with other people's children will be counted as volunteers and will have to register for Criminal Records Bureau checks.

Under the new rules, volunteers will face fines of £5,000 if they fail to register for the checks by July 2010.

It is understood that the report, by Sir Roger Singleton, chair of the ISA, will provide more clarity on what will count as volunteering and what will be classed as an "informal agreement" that will not require a check.

Volunteering groups have for some time expressed concern that the new vetting and barring scheme would deter people from getting involved with voluntary work.

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