Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
The key principles
The purpose of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 is to restrict contact between children and vulnerable adults and those who might do them harm. The barring aspects of the Act came into force in October 2009. The Government is currently reviewing the implementation timetable for other parts of the Act, such as the provisions requiring employees to become ‘ISA-registered’.
While the 2006 Act itself is very complex, its key principles are straightforward. They are as follows:
(i) unsuitable persons should be barred from working with children (or vulnerable adults);
(ii) employers should have a straightforward means of checking that a person is not barred from working with children (or vulnerable adults);
(iii) suitability checks should not be one-offs: they should be an element of ongoing assessment of suitability to catch those who commit wrongs following a suitability check.
If these principles are straightforward, why is the Act in parts so complex? This is because of the number of qualifications and conditions attached to the key principles. These qualifications and conditions may be necessary for a properly tailored scheme that takes a proportionate and fair approach to tackling risk, but they certainly make it a challenging Act to get to grips with.
How does the 2006 Act relate to CRB checking requirements?
The regulatory requirements for various kinds of work with children require enhanced or, in some cases, standard CRB certificates to be produced in respect of certain employees, for example, the Children’s Homes Regulations 2001 require providers of homes to ensure that such certificates have been provided in respect of new care workers.