A CRB answer to an FOI request provides a fascinating cost breakdown of CRB checks:
- ‘The CRB as an executive agency of the Home Office is completely self funded and does not receive any government subsidy towards the cost of the Disclosure process. In the event that an employer is required to register their child care services with Ofsted, the payment of Disclosure applications is a matter for the individual or organisation. The CRB does not dictate which party should incur the Disclosure cost. The current cost of a CRB Disclosure to a paid staff member (i.e. not a volunteer) is:
£26 for a standard check
£36 for an enhanced check
The actual year to date cost to the CRB of processing a disclosure is £27. This includes direct processing costs, administration and development costs and services from police and other data sources.
The latest forecast for the notional cost of free of charge Disclosures for those who undertake a voluntary role is £31 million for the year 2009/10. This figure represents the “lost” income from Disclosures issued free of charge. If therefore, the CRB were to receive an annual subsidy to remove the effective levy on the cost of Disclosures for paid workers, it would be £31 million.’
Volunteer checks are often talked about as being ‘free’. Yet the cost is being borne by other CRB checks – £9 out of every CRB check goes to subsidise ‘free’ checks for volunteers.
The whole bureaucracy is not only restrictive and obstructive for volunteers – it is also very costly for everybody else.