New guidance on Criminal Records Bureau checks for volunteers

04 JUN 2008

The Cabinet Office today published guidance to help organisations that use volunteers to be clear about when they do and don't need to carry out Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on volunteers. The guidance will help cut unnecessary red tape and responds to concerns voiced by the voluntary sector that potential volunteers can be put off if they are asked to undergo a CRB check without good reason.

People volunteering or working with children or vulnerable adults are sometimes legally required to have a CRB check. Where contact with vulnerable people will be limited or perhaps the person has recently been CRB checked for a different role, a decision about clearance must be made. The guidance clearly explains how the check works as part of a proper risk management process. Other safeguards such as interviewing, training and taking references from potential volunteers can also be employed.

The Government has made sure that CRB checks are free for volunteers, saving volunteer involving organisations £26.6 million in 2007/08.

The Guidance on CRB checks and volunteers is available from the Cabinet Office by clicking here.

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