New Vetting & Barring Scheme


The Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS) is a partnership involving the ISA and CRB and overseen by the Home Office. The CRB are responsible for the application and monitoring features and the ISA are responsible for the decision making and maintenance of two barred lists – one for those barred from working with children and one for those barred from working with vulnerable adults.

The VBS is supported by the legal framework of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and in Northern Ireland by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007.

Quick Navigation

  1. Launch of the Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS)
  2. What is a regulated activity?
  3. Exceptions to the Vetting and Barring Scheme

Launch of the Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS)

The new scheme was created following the Bichard Inquiry into the Soham murders and will be delivered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the CRB. Its tighter regulations are at the heart of the Government’s strategy for increasing protection of vulnerable members of our society.

The following increased safeguards will be introduced, further enhancing the protection of children and vulnerable adults:

  • It is a criminal offence for barred individuals to apply to work with children or vulnerable adults in a wide range of posts. Employers will also face criminal penalties if they knowingly permit barred individuals to engage in Regulated Activity;
  • The three current barring lists (POVA, POCA and List 99) will be replaced by the creation of two new barred lists administered by the ISA. From October 2009, checks of these two lists can be made as part of an Enhanced CRB check;
  • Additional jobs and voluntary positions will be covered by the barring arrangements, including moderators of children’s internet chat rooms and a large number of NHS and prison service staff;
  • Employers, social services and professional regulators have a duty to refer to the ISA any information about individuals who may pose a risk to children and vulnerable adults.

In addition, there are also a number of changes to the way that you will apply for CRB checks.

  • A check of the new ISA barred lists is only available as part of an Enhanced CRB check.
  • Standard CRB checks are no longer available for posts working with children and vulnerable adults. For positions involving work with children and vulnerable adults, an Enhanced CRB check will be required;
  • Eligibility for Enhanced CRB checks extends to include anyone working in Regulated Activity with a Regulated Activity provider.

What is a regulated activity?

Regulated activity covers anyone working closely with children or vulnerable adults, either paid or unpaid on a frequent, intensive or overnight basis. Frequent means once a week or more (except in health or personal care services where frequent means once a month or more); Regulated activity can include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Teaching, training or instruction, care or supervision of children
  • Teaching, training or instruction for vulnerable adults
  • providing advice or guidance wholly or mainly for children, which relates to their physical, emotional or educational wellbeing
  • providing advice, guidance or assistance wholly or mainly for vulnerable adults
  • Any form of treatment or therapy provided to children or vulnerable adults
  • Driving a vehicle that is being used only for the purpose of conveying children or vulnerable adults and their carers.

Exceptions to the Vetting and Barring Scheme

The Scheme only affects adults who work with children or vulnerable adults in a defined set of activities or in a defined set of establishments or positions. Interaction between adults and children or vulnerable adults in everyday life is outside the boundaries of the Scheme. This type of interaction includes, for example:

  • Adults serving customers of all ages in shops or restaurants, at events such as fêtes and festivals and in public spaces like museums and libraries
  • Adults whom children meet in the street, and
  • Adults visiting a school, children’s centre or youth centre without working for it in a paid or voluntary capacity.

The Scheme also completely excludes family and personal arrangements.

Global Choices. Contact information

Global Choices, 146 Omega Works, 4 Roach Road, London E3 2GY, United Kingdom
Tel: (+ 44) 208 533 2777 (UK)
Tel.: (+1) 646 929 4656 (USA)
Fax: (+ 44) 870 330 5955

Online near you: Follow Global Choices UK on twitter Global Choices Facebook page

We are glad to be affiliated and associated with the following organisations:
Find out more about Global Choices affiliations