Policy paper

Criminal records regime review – phase one

In parallel with a thorough review of the vetting and barring scheme (VBS), a separate but aligned review of the broader criminal records regime…

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


A common sense approach (PDF file - 954kb)

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In parallel with a thorough review of the vetting and barring scheme (VBS), a separate but aligned review of the broader criminal records regime has been undertaken, led by Mrs Sunita Mason, the government’s independent advisor on criminality information management.

The first phase of this two phase review focused on issues concerned with the extent and demands of pre-employment vetting systems and the role of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Phase 1 of Mrs Mason’s review has now been submitted and will now be given careful consideration by ministers. A government response to the recommendations will be announced in due course.

Summary of the recommendations:

  • I recommend that eligibility for criminal records checks is scaled back (recommendation 1)
  • I recommend that criminal records checks should be portable (transferable) between jobs and activities (recommendation 2)
  • I recommend that the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) introduce an online system to allow employers to check if updated information is held on an applicant (recommendation 3)
  • I recommend that a new CRB procedure is developed so that the criminal records certificate is only issued directly to the individual applicant (recommendation 4)
  • I recommend that the Government introduces a filter to remove old and minor conviction information from criminal records checks (recommendation 5)
  • I recommend the introduction of a package of measures to improve the disclosure of police information to employers (recommendation 6)
  • I recommend that the CRB develop an open and transparent representations process and that the disclosure of police information is overseen by an independent expert (recommendation 7)
  • I recommend that where employers knowingly make unlawful criminal records check applications the penalties and sanctions are rigorously enforced (recommendation 8)
  • I recommend that basic level criminal record checks are introduced in England and Wales (recommendation 9)
  • I recommend that comprehensive and easily understood guidance is developed to fully explain the criminal records and employment checking regime (recommendation 10)

The report is available to download as a PDF.

Date: Fri Feb 11 10:30:00 GMT 2011

Published 11 February 2011