Head way made on criminal checks

The Criminal Records Bureau claims it is finally reducing the backlog of
checks for those wanting to work in education.

It reported to the inaugural meeting of the CRB’s Education Users Group that
it is returning 50 per cent of enhanced checks within a three-week period and
80 per cent of standard checks.

The bureau said that in the past few weeks it has been able to process more
checks than it receives – meaning it is reducing the backlog at last.

However, it admits there is still a problem with old applications submitted
before it put adequate checking mechanisms and quality control measures in

It estimates that there are 270,000 checks outstanding – 100,000 with local
police forces, 90,000 with the CRB and 70,000 still waiting to be processed.

The CRB wants to change its system by February by providing regional support
via passport office premises, expanding a dedicated account manager system for
all registered bodies, creating a tracking system for applications, and ending
the system of call centre operators only dealing with four issues per call.

Commenting on the announcement, Marcia Roberts, director of external
relations at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: "Some
welcome changes seem to be on their way at last. We remain vigilant in our
monitoring of the CRB’s performance and will be pressing for compensation for
members which have been victims of its failure."

CRB improvements include

– The employment of a dedicated account manager for all
registered bodies

– A new tracking system for application forms

– Regional support for CRB checks via passport offices

– Increasing the number of queries CRB call centre staff can
deal with per call

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