Care sector blames CRB inefficiencies for checks price rise

The
price of criminal record checks for people applying to work with children or
‘vulnerable’ adults will increase by up to 140 per cent from today.

Since
April 2002, businesses such as children’s nurseries, care homes and taxi firms
have had to carry out the check via the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in
Liverpool, with applications first going through an umbrella body such as a
local council or trade association.

Charges
for criminal record checks will rise from £12 to as much as £29, following an
announcement last month by Home Secretary David Blunkett, who blamed the costs
of running the CRB for the increase.

Nigel
Dua, care sector spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said
employers’ profit margins were already incredibly tight and the fee increase
would cost the care industry around £14m.

"The
CRB failed at the outset to understand how people would apply for criminal
record checks and completely misjudged the capacity it would need.

"
With problems as fundamental as this, it’s not surprising that the system
degenerated into chaos and businesses and their employees are now picking up
the bill," he said.

By Michael Millar

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