The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has called on the new coalition Government to create a more efficient common sense approach to criminal vetting.

In responding to four separate government consultations, the REC highlighted members’ concerns that recruitment agencies often have to process repeat CRB checks, which is both costly and time-consuming.

Commenting on the response, Anne Fairweather, the REC’s Head of Public Policy said: “The new Government offers an opportunity for a root and branch review of criminal vetting. We need a system which is thorough but can also respond to the day to day reality of temping, which requires speedy placement of staff to cover for sickness or staff on leave. CRB disclosures and checks on barred lists are just one part of effective vetting.

“Recruitment agencies also carry out checks on identity, professional qualifications and references, which along with interviews, are also a vital part of assessing if someone is safe to work with children or vulnerable adults.”

She continued: “It is common for supply teachers, agency nurses, locum doctors and other agency staff to register with more than one agency to find work, taking out a criminal disclosure with each new agency. This leads to constant re-checking of the temporary workforce, to no great gain. The REC believes that this can be tackled through greater portability of criminal disclosures, within strict guidelines, and through considering the necessity of continuing to apply for criminal disclosures once the Vetting and Barring Scheme is up and running.”

Fairweather concluded: “The REC fully supports measures to encourage safe recruitment but the CRB must also respond to a workforce that moves frequently.”