Roger Singleton will chair the government’s Vetting and Barring Scheme aimed at checking all individuals working with children and vulnerable adults, it was announced this week.
The scheme, expected to launch in 2008 under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, will improve vetting procedures for employers by merging existing safeguard lists such as List 99 and the Protection of Children Act (POCA) list, and use pre-employment vetting to ensure unsuitable individuals are stopped from working with children and vulnerable adults.
The initiative also aims to empower parents, carers and individuals by giving them the ability to check the status of potential employees.
Singleton, the former head of children’s charity Barnardo’s and current adviser to the government on child protection, has a strong background in working with vulnerable people.
He said: “We want to be sure that parents, relatives and the public, as well as children and vulnerable people themselves, can be confident that those working with them are safe and reliable.
“Whether in schools, childcare centres, clubs, youth groups, hospitals, care homes or day centres, safeguarding the vulnerable is our number-one priority.”
The Criminal Records Bureau will process all applications to check potential employees. Responsibility for implementing the scheme, covering about 10.5 million people, lies with the Home Office.