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N106 Criminal Records Bureau and notifiable occupations

1. Security protective marking

1.1 Not protectively marked.

2. Summary of changes

2.1 The following changes have been made to this policy on 11 January 2010:

    • this policy has undergone a complete rewrite and;
    • has been merged with policy N111 Identification dispute process: fingerprints.

2.2. This policy was scheduled for review in  January 2013. The review for this policy is on hold pending the Kent Police Policy Restructure throughout 2013/14.

3. Application

3.1. This policy applies to:

    • the Central Vetting Unit (CVU), which processes Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and notifiable occupations disclosures;
    • the Legal Services department;
    • any police officer or police staff requiring a knowledge of CRB checks or the notifiable occupations scheme.

4. Purpose

4.1.  The CRB was set up by the Home Office to improve access to criminal record checks for employment-related and voluntary appointment purposes.

4.2.  The CRB offers a service known as ‘Disclosure’ for England and Wales, which comprises ‘enhanced’ and ‘standard’ checks. The level of check will be determined by the employment position applied for. For both enhanced and standard checks, the CRB issues a certificate to the applicant and the organisation requesting the check. The certificate contains the result of the disclosure service. The CRB can obtain controlled access to a variety of information held on the Police National Computer (PNC), lists held by the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Employment (of people considered unsuitable to work with children) and local police records through police forces.

4.3.  The CRB provides access to criminal records to employers and volunteering groups of all kinds and discloses relevant information, which may, subject to the level of disclosure deemed appropriate in the circumstances, include convictions and cautions and relevant non-conviction information from local police records. The employer is able to use this disclosure service to help establish whether a successful candidate has a background that might make them unsuitable for the job or volunteering position in question.

4.4.  Kent police will comply with the Police Act 1997 and the Data Protection Act 1998.


5. Enhanced disclosure checks 

5.1.  The CRB seeks to obtain information from various sources on behalf of prospective employers/voluntary organisations. In order to achieve this the CRB makes requests via the Disclosure Team, CVU for enhanced checks on their databases for non-conviction data.

5.2.  Section 115 of The Police Act 1997 provides guidance on enhanced disclosures. Enhanced disclosure checks are instigated by the CRB for posts involving contact with children or vulnerable adults. Such work might involve regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of such people. They are also issued for other positions such as judicial appointments and some statutory licensing functions.

5.2.1.  For advice on vulnerable adults, see policy N65T .

5.3.  Upon receipt of a request for a check, the Disclosure Team accesses the necessary databases. Consideration is given to disclosing non-conviction information such as impending prosecutions, bind overs and any other relevant non-conviction data to either the registered body requesting the check and the applicant, or, in cases concerning the prevention and detection of crime, to the registered body only. In order to fully risk assess the information the views and endorsements of the Disclosure Supervisor, Disclosure Team Manager, Head of CVU, a lawyer within the Legal Services department, Head of Professional Standards and Assistant Chief Constable are sought as appropriate. When making a disclosure decision, it is considered good practice to use the Human Rights Act 1998 decision considerations; that it is Justifiable, Appropriate, Proportionate, Auditable, and Necessary (JAPAN), when deciding whether to release the information or not.

5.4.  Kent Police have a service level agreement with CRB and will aim to respond to:

    • 75% of application search notifications within 10 days of receipt;
    • 95% of application search notifications within 14 days of receipt;
    • 99% of application search notifications within 25 days of receipt;
    • 100% of application search notifications within 60 days of receipt.

4.5.  Where the CRB have identified a record held on PNC and that person’s current address is within Kent, the Disclosure Team quality assure the accuracy of that record, ensuring elements of information provided on the application form are accurate and up to date on PNC.

5.6.  Any requests for police checks or advice on disclosure made to any member of staff should, in the first instance, be forwarded to the Disclosure Team Manager.


6. Other police checks and CRB disputes

6.1.  On the occasions where the CRB is unable to satisfactorily identify an applicant they may request the force where the applicant currently resides to check the fingerprints of the applicant against fingerprints held by the police. Whilst this will not identify the applicant, it will ensure that persons with convictions are unable to use this as a ‘back door’ route to gain access to children / vulnerable adults. Kent police assists the CRB with such requests.


6.2. When an applicant disputes approved non-conviction data disclosed on their CRB certificate by Kent police, CRB will forward the dispute documentation to the Disclosure Team who will gather all relevant information, including the case file if appropriate, and forward it to Legal Services for their advice. Legal Services will then forward it on to the ACC (HR & Corporate Communications), or another ACC in his absence, with their recommendation to retract the disclosure text, amend it or for it to remain unchanged. The ACC will then make a decision on the outcome of the dispute and authorise it accordingly. The documentation is returned to the Disclosure Team who will notify the CRB of the outcome. The force will aim to reply to disputes within 21 days.

6.3. In cases where the applicant appeals on the basis of the accuracy of a particular PNC data entry for which there is a fingerprint record. Kent police may be asked to assist where the applicant resides within our force area and, in order to resolve the matter, may need to take elimination fingerprints from the applicant.

6.4. Kent police may also be asked by CRB to assist with elimination fingerprints in cases where there is doubt over a multiple of PNC possible (suggested demographic match) in order to ensure that correct information is disclosed, by identification by fingerprints.

6.5. Where an applicant appeals, the CRB will forward to the Force responsible, sufficient data for the enquiry to be made.

6.6. Once the Disclosure Team has received the requested paperwork from the CRB they will be responsible for:

    • logging receipt of the request;
    • notifying the applicant that they will be contacted by their local police station;
    • forwarding the relevant papers, including photograph(s), to the nominated person at that police station.

6.7. The officer nominated to take the elimination fingerprints will:

    • arrange with the applicant to attend that specific police station at an appointed date and time;
    • take elimination fingerprints using elimination fingerprint form NAFIS 3A;
    • request the applicant sign the NAFIS 3A consent agreement of the form to enable a 'speculative search' of fingerprint databases to be conducted by Fingerprint Bureau, Kent police, force Headquarters (FHQ);
    • return all completed paperwork to the Disclosure Team.

6.8. On receipt of the completed forms the Disclosure Team will log receipt of the elimination fingerprints and:

    • liaise with CRB if it appears that the dispute will not be resolved within the service level agreement of 21 days (between CRB & the Disclosure Team);
    • forward the fingerprints to the nominated person within the Fingerprint Bureau, FHQ, together with details of the disputed data entry, name, Criminal Record officer number and arrest/summons number if available.

6.9. The Fingerprint Bureau will:

    • undertake a search on IDENT1 and/or a manual comparison;
    • check respondents as necessary;
    • double check any identification;
    • forward results of the search/comparison to the Disclosure Team with the fingerprint form.

6.10. Upon receipt the Disclosure Team will log the return of the dispute from the fingerprint department and return the result of the dispute from the fingerprint departments and return the result of the dispute to the CRB via electronic transfer.

6.11.  The Disclosure Team will respond to any requests from the CRB which would require a criminal investigation. These may entail cases where the CRB have suspicions that a person has submitted forged documentation in order to obtain a police check such as a birth certificate.

6.12.  Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 provides guidance on the right to access of personal data by the ‘data controller’ and provided that the subject of the police check has consented in writing then the Disclosure Team will conduct such checks and consider disclosing relevant non-conviction data to the appropriate authority.


7. Urgent police checks 

7.1.  In cases where an emergency police check on a person is required, e.g. where an organisation appoints an emergency carer for a vulnerable person, the Disclosure Team may be approached by an organisation directly. The Disclosure Team will conduct a check using its databases and advise the organisation making the checks to subsequently contact the CRB so that a comprehensive check may be conducted by them accessing all the relevant national databases. The Disclosure Team will also contact the CRB and inform them that a check has been conducted for a particular organisation.


8. Notifiable occupations scheme 

8.1.  Where a person holds a professional occupation which is deemed to be notifiable under the guidelines provided in Home Office Circular 6/2006, and that person is either convicted or cautioned, or receives a reprimand, warning or final warning for an offence, the Disclosure Team will receive details via a PNC print and will be responsible for the disclosure of that conviction / caution / reprimand / warning / final warning to the relevant authority.

8.2.  Where a person whose occupation is listed in Home Office Circular 6/2006, is being investigated in connection with, arrested for or charged with an offence which may put children and/or vulnerable adults at risk, the investigation officer in the case should liaise with the Legal Services department regarding disclosure.

8.3.  Officers should also refer to and be aware of policy N96 Disclosure Policy in Relation to the Management of Potentially Dangerous Sex and Violent Offenders . The Legal Services department will advise whether any disclosure to a relevant authority is lawful, before it takes place. Unless it is lawful the information will not be disclosed. Such disclosure will not usually take place unless authority is given by the Assistant Chief Constable, where appropriate, in order to disclose this information to the relevant authority prior to the conclusion of criminal proceedings.

8.4.  In addition to the above, Genesis has been developed to send custody summary details via an e-mail to inform the 'Notifiable Occupations Co-ordinator' when a custody summary details via an e-mail to inform 'Notifiable Occupations Co-ordinator' when a custody record is being updated and the detainee has a ‘notifiable occupation’ or ‘voluntary notifiable occupation’. When an urgent notification (outside of office hours) is necessary to be communicated to the Duty Manager at the Force Communication Centre. The Vetting Team Leader will monitor the Notifiable Occupations Co-ordinator e-mail box and bring to the attention of the Head of CVU any cases where disclosure may be considered necessary. Advice on disclosure will be sought from the Legal services department and authorised by the Head of CVU.

9. Retention and disposal of records

9.1. Documents mentioned in the above policy will be retained for the period specified in the disposal schedule.

10. Equality impact assessment

10.1. This policy has been assessed with regards to its relevance to race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment this policy has been graded as having a medium potential impact.


10.2. Attached is the latest equality impact assessment that forms part of the policy review process.

Policy reference: N106 Criminal Records Bureau and notifiable occupations
Policy owner: Detective Chief Superintendent Crime and Intelligence
Contact point: Policy Unit, 01622 654662
Date last reviewed: 11 January 2010
Document last saved: 15 October 2013