Skip to main content

Criminal Records Bureau

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who had already obtained Criminal Records Bureau clearance were required to apply for a further clearance after changing jobs in each of the last five years. (243593)

Disclosures are primarily designed to be used by an employer at the point of recruitment for a particular position. Ultimately it is for each employer, and not the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), to decide whether a new disclosure should be applied for, bearing in mind their legal and other responsibilities and subject to any statutory requirements.

There are a number of reasons why an employer may not wish to accept a disclosure that has been processed for a previous employment position, including:

The disclosure may not be at the right level (there are two different levels of CRB check; standard & enhanced);

Information revealed through a CRB check reflects the information that was available at the time of its issue—a person may have committed a crime in the intervening period;

The disclosure process may also include a search to establish whether an individual is subject to a direction under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002, or a check against the Protection of Children Act and Protection of Vulnerable Adults PoCA and PoVA) lists.

The CRB does not hold data to show the number of people who are required to apply for a further clearance after changing jobs.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will estimate the financial effects on the economy from effects on the length of time taken to complete Criminal Records Bureau checks in the last 12 months; (243807)

(2) if she will estimate the average financial effects on individual employees caused by the length of time taken to complete Criminal Records Bureau checks in the last 12 months.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) does not record the financial loss to the economy or individual employees arising from delays in the completion of CRB checks and therefore this information is not available.

The CRB cannot assess the financial impact of any delays within its service for the following reasons:

Not all individuals checked will be employed.

Not all individuals that experience a delay will request an ex gratia payment.

The CRB is unaware of what other pre-recruitment checks are being undertaken by employers and whether these are completed prior to the issue of a disclosure.

The CRB has no way to assess the financial impact a new employee would make in any industry.

Delays in the CRB Disclosure Service do not disbar an individual from being employed under supervision.

The Police Act gives the employer the eligibility to apply for a disclosure for a potentially new employee but does not state that there is a requirement to do so.

The CRB operates to a set of published service standards (PSS) which include to issue 90 per cent. of standard disclosures within 10 days and 90 per cent. of enhanced disclosures within 28 days. In the financial year 2007-08, the CRB exceeded these targets, issuing 99.7 per cent. of standard disclosures within 10 days and 93.4 per cent. of enhanced disclosures within 28 days.