What sort of jobs require a CRB check and what does it involve?
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), an agency of the Home Office, has a checking service that gives access to criminal record data which is especially useful for employers when hiring new staff. Following a CRB search, a CRB certificate is issued to the applicant and employer. When applying for certain jobs, a CRB check is required by law and, in other circumstances, your employer may ask you to undertake one even though it is not obligatory.
What sorts of jobs require a CRB check?
There are certain types of job that will require you to apply for a criminal record check when you apply for them. Generally, these are likely to be jobs where you will be:
- working regularly with children or vulnerable people;
- working in healthcare;
- a potential foster carer, adoptive parent or childminder (i.e. you have made an application to be one)
- working in an establishment that is wholly or mainly for children
- working in certain other professions, for which you can find further information from the Home Office.
What is a criminal record check?
The CRB searches through police records (the Police National Computer and other data sources) and, in relevant cases, information held by the Independent Safeguarding Authority, who is responsible for maintaining lists which bar certain individuals from working with children and vulnerable adults. Your details will be matched against those held on record.
The check may reveal cautions, reprimands, warnings and convictions, and if applicable can confirm whether you have been barred from working with vulnerable groups. The search will also bring up information that may be relevant about other run-ins with the law you may have had, even if they were not convictions, such as fixed penalties. Both the job applicant and the employer will see the results and the employer will decide whether they can still employ the applicant in question.
You can currently apply for one of two levels of CRB check: standard and enhanced. The job which you are applying for will define which level of CRB check you will need, and the criteria for this is set out in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations.
Can you refuse to apply for a criminal record check?
You do not have to comply with a request for a CRB check. For example, if you do not think that a check is appropriate but you have been asked to apply for one, you should contact the Ministry of Justice, Nacro, Apex or Unlock.
However, if the particular job you have applied to requires a criminal record check by law, your refusal will mean that your application will not be taken any further.
Will you need another CRB check if you change jobs?
If you move to another job that involves working with children or vulnerable adults, you may need another CRB check. The new organisation may be willing to accept any existing CRB checks you may have from a previous job. They will take into account: the length of time since the check was undertaken, the level of the check needed and the comparability of the two roles.
The CRB do not replace lost or damaged certificates, so look after it or you may have to reapply and pay the fee again.