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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the differences between basic and enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks are; and what guidance she issues to public authorities on which type of check should be commissioned. (219178)

A basic disclosure is the lowest level of disclosure. This would contain details of convictions considered to be unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 or state that there are no such convictions. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) does not currently provide a basic check.

There are two levels of disclosures currently available from the CRB, known as standard and enhanced. The two checks are available in circumstances where an employer is entitled to ask exempted questions under the ROA. This includes any organisation whose staff or volunteers work with children or vulnerable adults.

Standard disclosures are available to anyone working with children or vulnerable adults, as well as certain other occupations and entry into professions as specified in the ROA. They show spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer. If the post involves working with children or vulnerable adults, the following may also be searched:

Protection of Children Act (POCA) List.

Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) List.

Information that is held under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99).

Enhanced disclosures are available to anyone involved in regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. They are also available for certain licensing purposes and judicial appointments. Enhanced disclosures contain the same information as the standard disclosure with the addition of any relevant information held by local police forces and disclosed at their discretion.

It is ultimately for each employer and not the CRB to determine what level of check is required for specific employment positions. Such determination is based on their legal and other responsibilities and subject to any statutory requirements as set by their own regulatory authorities.