Monday, August 17, 2009

The madness of the CRB check.

If you do any kind of work where you come into contact with children you are required to complete a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure application form or to give it its more common name a CRB check. This form is submitted by the organisation that wants you to do the work i.e. a School, Church etc.

If you were to design a system with the aim of making it the most bureaucratic and idiotic system ever created then you could do worse that create a system like the CRB check.

So what are the problems with the CRB check?

Firstly you have to make a separate application for each organisation. I have already filled in at least two CRB forms as a Governor at my local infants school and as someone involved in youth work at a local church. I now am required to fill in a further two CRB forms providing exactly the same information because I am a substitute member of the new Children services committee and because I am no a Governor with another local school.

Secondly the organisation that you work for has to process the form and send it off to the CRB people. This is time consuming and any error on the form will find it rejected and cause even more paperwork.

There has to be a simpler less bureaucratic way of protecting children. There is one centralised list so it would make sense for anyone who is required to work with children to register on that list and provide the information and proof of identity once. Any organisation wishing to employ someone to work with children could then apply to the CRB with a simple consent form to see if the person they are employing is registered or not. If they are then the additional organisation that they are going to be working for can be added to the database. Far less work for everyone.

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