The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which implements changes to the vetting and barring scheme and criminal records checks, received Royal Assent on 1st May 2012.

Under the Act:

  • the Criminal Records Bureau (currently responsible for criminal records checks) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (currently responsible for the vetting and barring scheme) will be merged and become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS is planned to be operational from December 2012;
  • the registration and monitoring requirements of the vetting and barring scheme are abolished. This took effect from 10 September 2012;
  • CRB certificates will be provided to the subject of the check (rather than to employers). This will give job applicants the opportunity to check for and dispute any inaccuracies before disclosing the certificate to a prospective employer; and
  • CRB certificates will be continuously updated and transferable between roles/employers.