Home Office: vetting and barring scheme start is delayed until 2009

Home Office minister Meg Hillier told parliament today that the vetting and barring scheme for people working with children and vulnerable adults would come into force in October 2009, a year later than planned.

In a statement, she said the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which will manage the scheme, will start receiving applications in relation to people seeking work with vulnerable people from then.

However, from yesterday, the ISA will start advising health secretary Alan Johnson and children’s secretary Ed Balls on new cases arising under the existing barring schemes: the Protection of Children Act, List 99 and the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list.

Hillier confirmed that a one-off fee of £64 would be charged for ISA applications. This would include a £28 fee to fund the running of the ISA, continuous updating and the on-line registration checking facility. The remaining £36 is paid to the Criminal Records Bureau to cover its costs as administrators of the application process.

Once registered, employers will be able to run free online checks on possible employees to verify whether they are eligible to work.

The scheme was set up under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and recommended by Sir Michael Bichard in his review of information sharing failures revealed in the case of Soham murderer Ian Huntley.

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