Four 17-year-old students mean CRB checks for academic staff

I just received this email, about a university insisting on CRB checks for staff – because there are a handful of 17 year-old students…

‘Since our students virtually all over 18 (There are FOUR out of a cohort of 770 who are not) – and we don’t have ANY unsupervised access to ANY students – the university Safeguarding Policy does not require us to have a check. This was confirmed during a recent OFSTED inspection. The course was given ‘Outstanding’ and the Safeguarding Policy was deemed to be ‘Satisfactory’.

However, lurking in the background was an audit of our Access and Progression courses being undertaken by a child protection organisation. Personnel subsequently emailed us to say that as we work in ‘Access and Progression’ and that there is a ‘possibility’ that we could work with under 18’s we were now required to undergo an Enhanced CRB. I have subsequently found out that even the administrators who book people on courses are now being required to have this check. We do have under 18’s coming on courses, but I am not involved in them in any way and they always come with teachers.’

This account shows the confusion about whether CRB checks are necessary: ‘I checked back with Ofsted and also the CRB itself and both confirmed that a, we did not need a check and b, that as the job was not originally advertised as requiring one, we had no need to have one done.’

It also shows the role that ‘child protection’ organisations play in fuelling CRB checks and other procedures. They carry out a review – and inevitably find that procedures are deficient in some way, that there need to be more checks, more training, more documents written. And no doubt in some cases they are happy to offer their services to help the organisation to comply with the necessaries….