Vetting scheme put on hold

Vetting scheme put on hold

THE vetting and barring scheme for people who work with children and vulnerable people has been put on hold.

Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that registration due to begin next month will not go ahead as planned. The entire scheme is now under review after the government expressed fears that measures were “disproportionate and overly burdensome”. The minister said the Government would “remodel it back to proportionate, common sense levels.”

The move will affect doctors, dentists and healthcare employees who were due to be part of the first wave of registration from July 26. The government will now be writing to all those affected, telling them the scheme has been halted. The General Dental Council has also promised to keep its registrants up-to-date with the changes.

The scheme had been criticised for being excessive and an over-reaction as it would have gathered the details of nine million people.

In a statement from the Home Office, Mrs May said: “You were assumed to be guilty until you were proven innocent. All sorts of groups out there were deeply concerned about this and how it was going to affect them.”

It was announced last year that from July 2010 any healthcare professionals who were changing jobs or starting work for the first time would need to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and that by 2015 all would need to be registered.

The Vetting and Barring scheme was devised in response to an enquiry into the 2002 Soham murders which called for better information sharing. It was designed to protect children and vulnerable adults by preventing those who pose a known risk from gaining access to them through their work.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority, which was due to run the database of those who work with children and vulnerable groups, will continue to make decisions about barring inappropriate people from jobs. It will also maintain the separate lists of people barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The existing requirements for criminal record checks will continue to apply. It will also remain a criminal offence for barred individuals to apply to work with children or vulnerable adults. The review is expected to create a much more slimmed-down version of the vetting scheme.

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