Press release

The changing face of disclosure and barring

Changes to the criminal records and barring systems.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


We know that good safeguarding practices should involve more than just a criminal record check, such as rigorous reference checking and face-to-face interviews, on-going training and day-to-day management.

While as an employer you are best placed to maintain safeguarding practice on the ground, from September 2012, the government is scaling back the criminal records and barring systems to ‘common sense’ levels whilst ensuring that they continue to provide effective safeguarding. These changes will impact on organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and it is important for employers to understand what the impact of these changes might be in their organisation.

The most important changes will be to reduce the numbers of people requiring criminal record checks by reducing regulated activity and scrapping controlled activity. This means that criminal records checks will only be mandatory for those working in close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups including children.

The Home Office has produced a leaflet explaining these changes, as well as letting you know about other changes happening over the next six months.

There will also be a number of seminars on the changes during June and July.

Published 15 June 2012