Vetting and Barring

What is it?

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) was created to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The Vetting and Barring scheme requires all potential employees and volunteers who take part in regulated or controlled activities with children, young people or vulnerable adults
to register with the ISA.

The ISA will assess each person who applies and decide on a case by case basis whether a person is suitable to work with children, young people or vulnerable adults.

Applicants that are judged not to pose a risk to children or vulnerable adults can be registered with the scheme. Applicants will receive an ISA PIN and will be allowed to take up an
employed or voluntary position.

Applicants that are deemed to be unsuitable based on past employment history or criminal convictions will be barred and not allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults. For more
information about Barring click here.

For more information on the Independent Safeguarding Authority click here

For more information on the Vetting and Barring scheme click here

What does this mean for employees or volunteers?

Anyone wanting to work in a regulated or controlled activity on a frequent or intensive basis will need to register with the ISA and receive their PIN before they can start work. Click here for information on the application process. It will be a criminal offence to work with children or vulnerable adults if you are barred or
do not have ISA PIN.

A regulated activity involves contact with children or vulnerable adults and is:

Of a specified nature - e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment

In a specified place - e.g. schools, children's homes & hospitals, adult care homes, juvenile detention facilities.

Is a specified role e.g. fostering, directors of children's services

and occurs Frequently - once a week or more (or once a month or more for health and social care involving personal care)

Intensively - takes place on 4 or more days in one month

and/or overnight - between 2 - 6 am

Click here for further information on the scope of regulated activity or click here for more information from the ISA on the definition of regulated activity.

Download the Am I Affected? (pdf) flow chart to help you decide whether you need to register with the scheme or not - please note this document contains the old definitions
of frequent and intensive - the definitions given above are correct.

See the glossary.

A controlled activity is work that:

  • Involves contact with Children or Vulnerable Adults but is not regulated activity
  • There are opportunities to access educational records (children only) or Health or Social Services records
  • Day to day management of staff carrying out Controlled Activity

A person barred from regulated activity may still be able to carry out controlled activity with appropriate safeguards.

Click here for more information or see the glossary.

To find out more about what this means for employees and volunteers visit the ISA website.

What does this mean for employers/organisations?

Employers will be required to check that all prospective employees are ISA registered. It will be a criminal offence to employ someone who is barred or who does not have an ISA PIN. Click here for information on how to make checks on prosepctive employees.

From 12th October 2009 employers have a legal duty to make a referral to the ISA when there is harm or the risk of harm to children (or vulnerable adults) or when an individual has received a caution or
conviction for a relevant offence.

For further information about referrals to the ISA including a downloadable referral form - click here.

For more detailed information about employers responsibilities - click here

For advice from Safe Network on ensuring you employ the right people - click here

What about CRBs?

ISA-registration will not currently be replacing the need for ‘Criminal Records Bureau' (CRB) Disclosure.

The CRB check will reveal any convictions a person may have and whilst these may not be related to children, young people or vulnerable adults the information can help organisations makes a decision as to
whether a person is suitable for specific roles.

For further information about CRBs and the ISA please visit the CRB website.

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off fee of £64 to register with the ISA. This is comprised of a £28 fee to cover the ISA's costs and £36 to cover the CRB's costs as administrator of the applications. Once
registered you remain on the ISA's database for the duration of your

Unpaid volunteers will not have to pay the registration fee, however if a volunteer starts paid employment (that requires them to be ISA registered) they will have to pay the fee then. it is down to
individual employers to decide whether they will cover this fee or
whether the individual will be expected to cover the cost.

When is this happening?

  • October 12th 2009 - Employers have a new legal duty to make referrals to the ISA
  • July 2010 - new entrants to work with vulnerable groups can register with the ISA
  • November 2010 - new entrants must register with the ISA before starting work
  • April 2011 - existing workers can start to ISA-register.
For a more detailed breakdown of how the VBS will be phased in click here

Where can I get support?

Attend one of the free information sessions (see training events below for details)

Voluntary and community groups can access individual support for their group/organisation can be accessed through the Group Support Team at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire. They can be contacted
on or by contacting the Helpline on 0116 2575050.

The ISA have their own helpline. Call 0300 123 1111 or email

Further Reading

For answers to some frequently asked questions click here.

For a list of useful links and information put together by NAVCA click here

For explanations of some of the key terms used on this page please see our glossary.

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Comment by Alison J Stevens on April 29, 2010 at 18:43
Parents may have had their names vindicated, after a child protection investigation,but allegations of child abuse in many cases will remain on file, preventing them from working with children or young people,and if any individual wants to work in a hospital as a porter, or a domestic,and have had child protection investigation made about them,this same clause will pertain to them.
Another injustice, a recent Daily Telegraph article stated that 17000 persons could be registered on a enhanced CRB disclosure.

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