I wrote a few months ago about how JVN welcomed some proposed Government changes to the CRB check and vetting system that were aimed about simplifying the whole process, making CRBs transferable from one organisation to another rather than having to be repeated over and over and so making it easier to volunteer!
The Government has, in fact, been very busy suggesting an alternative online system, which would be created by the Protection of Freedoms Bill currently before Parliament. The way it works is like this: each person who is the subject of a CRB check would be issued with a unique number, then any new organisation wanting to recruit that person – either as an employee or volunteer – would enter the number on a website and only in any new, relevant information had changed their status since their last check was carried out, would the new organisation have to repeat the check. Sounds good to me!
However, reading my daily newsletter from the excellent Third Sector magazine, I saw that our friends at Volunteering England have spotted a problem in this theoretically simple plan, as Theresa May, Home Secretary hasn’t ruled out actually making the very people getting the CRB checks to pay to subscribe to the new system! Which seems slightly counterproductive to Government’s stated aim of getting more people to volunteer!
JVN can only endorse Volunteering England’s recommendation letter! We are very much opposed to any extra barriers to volunteering – particularly in the economic climate we have today.
But what do you think of the new plans? Do you like the idea of an online CRB check system? Should volunteers pay to be declared fit to volunteer? Where should the buck stop?