CRB, DBS – a fine example of government bureaucracy and waste.

The Disclosure and Barring Service has replaced the Criminal Records Bureau check. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks. This should mean a streamlined and efficient service ready to face the challenge of ensuring no-one is employed to a position that they are unsuitable for.

I hold three recent CRB checks. I am sure that the initial CRB check was deemed to be a defacto standard – like American Express – accepted anywhere, but I was wrong. The CRB that I held from my time as Director of Bondhay Golf Club wasn’t valid when I moved employment to Rotherham Borough Council. They didn’t recognise it. So I obtained another. Then another. Now DBS has replaced CRB and before I (hopefully) start delivering a Code Club in Ramsden Primary School in Worksop I’ll have to go through the check again. I guess that if I delivered Code Club into another school in Rotherham I’d have to get another Rotherham recognised DBS to sit alongside the Nottinghamshire variant.

How can anyone think that this is an efficient way to administer this system? On four separate occasions I’ve had to provide the same forms of identification. Why do I have to do this? It’s a pain the arse for me, more work for school personnel departments, and (the point of the exercise no doubt) more work for government administrators. Why can’t I just provide documentation if any of my details have changed? They haven’t. Why can’t one DBS be valid across the country? What is the difference? Make one DBS fit the needs of each county. It can’t be hard! Just take the information from my previous CRB check (two years old) and run the new check!


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