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Free portable criminal records checks for volunteers

December 2013

Following the creation of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), on the merger of the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority on 1 December 2012, the Home Office has announced that the new criminal record checking system will be free to volunteers.

The new system enables volunteers, such as charity trustees and school governors, to apply once to the DBS for a certificate and then go online to check that their existing certificate is up to date. This Update Service will mean that criminal records disclosure certificates will become 'portable' for the first time by allowing individuals to re-use their criminal records checks. It is hoped that this new, free and portable criminal records service will encourage more people to volunteer for a variety of organisations, as they will no longer need to apply for multiple checks when applying for different volunteering opportunities.

The Update Service will also be available for paid employees for an annual subscription fee, which will be less than the cost of a new criminal records check.

Individuals and organisations can register their interest in finding out more about the Update Service when it is launched in March at www.gov.uk/UK disbarring - service. CRB certificates that have already been issued will remain valid.

Sue King View Biography

Sue King

Partner
Leeds

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