CRB Check

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Postby Tony James » 03 Feb 2007, 10:41

Chris

Talking to someone last night who handles CRB matters for a big locum doctor supply company and she says that you and I are both correct!

Strictly, as you said, it is supposed to be a certificate for one job and that's it. You can't take it with you.

However, everyone inclluding the CRB recognises the impossibility of this and so, in spite of what it says on their website, the CRB supports portability. She handles up to 100 portability requests every week.

The CRB supports this and it is a free service though no further check is involved other than to confirm the certicicate references are correct ie not forged.

In terms of people in a lesser form of contact, it travels with you from job to job - with of course the proviso that it is an increasingly out of date document.

It is for this reason that local authorities prefer to accept the ENHANCED version as the checks have been more extensive and thorough. It makes them feel more comfortable.

And that's what it's about. Allowing civil servants to sleep in their beds more comfortably.
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Postby Chris » 03 Feb 2007, 17:17

I know you know a lot of people Tony. But you will excuse me in this case if I prefer to base my opinion of CRB checks as they relate to children's entertainers on the information on the CRB website coupled with my own experience and that of fellow professionals rather than on the second hand advice of someone in the health service.
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Postby Tony James » 03 Feb 2007, 18:16

It's up to you Chris, what you wish to feel comfortable with.

I'm simply telling it as it is, in day to day practise.
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Postby Nick Jackson » 25 Aug 2007, 09:18

Sorry to dredge up an old topic, but I wasn't aware one could apply for a CRB check/certificate.

I am triply checked – once for the day job and once each for the two churches where I look after the music – each organisation had to make a separate application.

I wasn't aware that I could apply for a check as an individual, I thought employing organisations did that.
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Postby Professor Eek » 25 Aug 2007, 09:38

I've had to have a seperate one done, even if having a current one for one organisation, if working for another.

I think I currently have three active ones and one in preperation for yet another organisation.

I did suggest that the PJF might be a useful organisation to:

1) offer a CRB service to its members
2) provide a reference to individuals/organisations stating that this member had a current CRB check with them

When members needed to supply a CRB they could refer the booker to the PJF. PJF could also make a small profit on the whole thing as well I'd have thought.

I never heard back from them ... but I still think it's a good idea
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Postby billywand » 25 Aug 2007, 13:26

I think Tony made the best point. The check is not to protect vunerable children, but to protect the backs of the officials who seem to sleep easier if wrapped in red tape.

My opinion is that I've got it if anyone asks for it, so what's the problem. I want to make it easy for an organisation to book me, not for them to have to make more checks as to if I really need a certificate. To my maybe suspicious mind it seems like you are trying to hide something.

As to Eeks point about the PJF acting as an umberella orgnisation to aply for enhanced check, I don't think they have the facilities to do that, whowever Equity do. Most pro erformers are in Equity, even if it is only for the Insurence Policy, so it should not be a problem for members to aply for enhanced disclosure through them.

Incidentally is there a check that can protect vunerable Punch and Judy performers from dangerous children. I could have done with it Thursday, I had the job from hell !!!!!!!
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Postby johnstoate » 25 Aug 2007, 14:18

There is a provision for the likes of us, as individuals who are self-employed. In each area there are 'umbrella' organizations who apply on your behalf, In my case, it's a local care agency, - You simply supply them the relevant info. and the fee :( , They then complete the application, and several weeks later! you get your nice certificate, To find your local one, I just asked at the police station, and they told me who to approach straight off.!! -Hope this helps.
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Postby lesclarke » 25 Aug 2007, 17:02

Also some Employment Agencies have a member of staff designated to deal with CRB applications on behalf of self-employed individuals.

The CRB website has a list , though as always you'll need to check if it is up to date. You must apply in person, so it needs to be localish.

Also when I did mine I found a big difference in the fees charged. Several 'umbrella'/charity type organisations were twice the price of a local commercial employment agency, so shop around.
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Postby Mark Andrews » 25 Aug 2007, 18:41

"I did suggest that the PJF might be a useful organisation to:

1) offer a CRB service to its members
2) provide a reference to individuals/organisations stating that this member had a current CRB check with them

When members needed to supply a CRB they could refer the booker to the PJF. PJF could also make a small profit on the whole thing as well I'd have thought.

I never heard back from them ... but I still think it's a good idea"

Hi Martyn

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm not sure when you made the suggesttion to the PJF or to whom. If it was recently then it hasn't been passed on to me as PJF Secretary, which is maybe why you haven't heard anything back from us.

If this is something which you'd like to have discussed at a Committee Meeting or better still at our AGM, then please do let me know.

Each Member can have up to three Motions discussed at an AGM.
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Postby Professor Eek » 25 Aug 2007, 23:10

Oooh it's going back a few years to when I was all sparkly new.

I think it didn't go any further as nobody seemed to think it was practical at the time - i.e. who would do the paperwork required, the chasing of paperwork, the keeping records up-to-date on the database etc.

All these seem very vaild points ...

... however I still think it's a possible opportunity for the PJF to offer as a service for its members and an incentive for folk to join and a possible fund raiser (a tenner for the service?).

I can't make September meet unfortunately as working (why's that unfortunate?) but I'm happy for it to be suggested in my absence.
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Postby Tony James » 26 Aug 2007, 23:14

Nick - you are correct. An individual cannot apply direct to CRB for a personal check. You have to go through a nominated third party.

They will send you the certificate which - regardless of any official 'rules' - you then tout around to any and all organisations requiring you to have a Check Certificate and for a s long as they will accept that certificate.

It would appear that when all this was put in place the people responsible for drafting the rules overlooked the children's entertainment business. They overlooked medical people too, working as locums and reliefs.

That is why, typical of officialdom, the rules remain but the practicality is different. Otherwise, emergency out of hours medical provision would collapse because it would be impossible in the time available to recheck each and every relief doctor, in may cases once or twice a week.

So, yes - you do have to apply through some independent organisation but you will receive a personal check certificate. Most sensible organisations will accept this for anything up to three years.

Some, of course, won't and require one no more than a year old, or six months or even less.. It's unpredictable.

If you read all the conditions you will be surprised. Strictly, the certificate is worthless even before you receive it. It's only good at the moment of issue. It doesn't cover Scotland or Northern Ireland or anywhere other than England and Wales.

There is no guarantee of any accuracy and no responsibility for errors.

It doesn't cover current investigations and in the final analysis it is down to the body wishing to see the certificate whether they accept it or not. there are many categories of people being asked for certificates who the CRB believe don't need them.

CRB has advised local authorities that children's entertainers in general do not require checking as they have no contact with children except in public and with supervising people present. Punch & Judy operatives are particularly highlighted as they normally have no contact with children in any respect. But that's not the point.

The point is whether the authority (local or whoever) will accept such a situation. LA's increasingly ignore the CRB advice and insist on a check.

Some major retailers require a copy of your check along with a copy of public liability insurance. Some major events likewise whilst others do not require either and never ask for them. Lots of schools never ask for them either though if their legal departments knew they'd throw a wobbler.

Personally, I believe it is worth the extra expense of an Enhanced Check which is more detailed and thorough. And it is the usual check used for teachers and others with direct contact with children and vulnerable adults.

It is a level of check recognised as being the ultimate and therefore it raises no questions.

Just to repeat again, none of this has anything to do with protecting children. It is all to do with vulnerable local authority employees having proof positive in years to come that no matter what ugly accusations sit up to bite them, they can prove through their records that they personally took all reasonable steps to establish the suitability of people they authorised to work with children.
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differences

Postby Trev » 27 Aug 2007, 08:04

Not sure if the situation is different in Scotland or whether it has changed in the last few years. When I got married I needed CRB check as it was an international marriage. I just walked into the police HQ in Glasgow and was able to apply for one personally.

Since then I've had them through English language schools I've been working for.
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Postby johnstoate » 27 Aug 2007, 20:09

The thing that I find more than slightly disturbing is the way that in some places, it would seem that one can get into a school with all the gear that we all carry, without a cert being requested, or, presumably, having one's gear searched. In the case of the latter, I have never been challenged about mine, Despite the fact that my curtains, flags, and cloths are all carried in an obvious gun case! - What IS the point of all this bureaucracy?
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Postby Tony James » 27 Aug 2007, 22:17

John

You know what it is. people working in local authorities are afraid of being asked difficult questions in 10 or 20 years time. Just as so many have of late, about events which took place 20 years ago.

They want proof that they took all the required precautions today and if anyone pops up in the years ahead making allegations they want to be in the clear.

That is all that this is about.

their unions have encouraged these requirements and to be honest, if I was in their place and had seen what had happened to their predecessors, I too would want to guard my back.

Trev

What you got from the local police may well still be available but in today's climate I doubt it would be acceptable. That is regarded as a local police check and not a CRB check.

You would need a 'proper' CRB check of the type you cannot obtain on your own behalf. This is the type accepted at face value by local authorities.

You have to remember that it is the local authority legal departments which set the requirements and the people in the events departments are told not to use any entertainer for children's or family entertainment unless they have a fairly recent full CRB check.

You can't argue with that. If you have one you get the job. if you haven't, you don't.

The problem is, as John has highlighted, you never know what a particular local authority will require. Some never ask for anything. half the time I don't think they even consider it. Others - and they tend to be the metropolitans and cities, want the lot. They're big and fat and overstaffed and spend money like it's their own.

And generally, nobody will take any responsibility for anything, ever. They have to be able to point to a book or document which proscribes a course of action. They won't take personal responsibility for anything. It's not in their culture.

To be frank, they are organisations to be avoided. trouble is they often have work available at times when their is precious little else.
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Postby Professor Eek » 27 Aug 2007, 23:18

With regards to the responsibilty issue and finding someone prepared to give direct answers - I find that by taking the initiative and telling 'authority' that you'll send them a copy of the CRB, or bring it on the day, usually suffices - no one ever checks when I do take one along.

It is all beaurocratic nonsense.


On the other hand, as Tony says, considering the National horror of finding folk who shouldn't be any where near children working in schools, nurseries, youth organisations etc - it's no wonder 'authority' requires written evidence that 'they' have checked that 'we' are potentially safe to be working with, or near to, children they have responsibilty for.

So - I can understand the need but the system we currently have is barely credible.
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