View Idea

CRB and reference requirements

Reference ID:

Department Responsible:
Home Office

Problem Description:
All careres and nurses workring in care have to have a crb and 2 written refs in place before starting work. This is time consuming and often means using agency staff as you cannot recruit fast enough to fill essential roles. For example, nursing homes must have a qualifified nurse on duty 24/7, soo if one leaves with a months notice it is almost impossible to replace them as soon as they are gone, similalry with health care assistants who are often only on a week or two notice and can take ages to replace by the time checks are done.

Someone can have a CRB done one week, but then come to you and have to have another one done. Someone can work for you for years and only have to have one done right at the beginning.Both illogical.

You can ring up any agency and use agency staff and they can come and work in your facility, using the crb and refs they got for the agency, even though you dont know them and they dont know the patients., and may never see them again.
Legislation requires two refs before starting from present and last employer- many people now will only confirm the person worked there so that is also very difficult and time consuming too. Often takes even longer than the CRB .

This problem is caused by conflicting regulations or guidance.

Proposed solution:
A new register is being set up, but crb's and refs stil apply.

It would make sense to make employment checks fully transferrable so that care homes, and hospitals could ring up other care homes and hospitals where nurses and carers are already in place, and ask if there are any staff who could fill shifts, whilst they are in the process of recruiting. This is how an an agency works, but both the NHS and the care homes have to pay huge sums for using them.If a nurse or carer is emplyed in the care home next door, with crb, refs, and on the new register, I still could not ask them if they would like to pick up an overtime shift with me, but would have to go out to the agency and pay over the odds. This makes no sense whatsoever. They are already employed in the role and therefore checks have already been done.
It is true to say that people could offend in the meantime and so on, but that applies universally regardless of the amount of crb checks done.

I personally had to ahve one done for this job, one for the previous job, one for each of those jobs for the cqc, one for a temporary consultancy job I took briefly inbetween jobs, another when I was going to go into other homes to do assessing, and so on. My son is in childcare and has acquired already aorund 4, for similar reasons, although still only 18.

Cost or time incurred:
In house nurses for example are around £11 to £14 an hour in their area, By comparioson adn Agency nurse is around £20- £30 per hour, sometimes more.

If there could be reciprocal arrangements between hospitals and care homes, savings could be substantial, and patient care would be better since it is likely you would have the same staff rather than anyone arriving on the front door fomr the Agency, often from very far afield too, thus attracting further transport costs.

Money would also be saved on crb'ing Bank Staff, who are used very occasionally and routinely work in other place, perhaps only doing one night per week for example at the other venue. CRB's are around £60 a time, so the cost of repeatedly doing them is phenomenal in care home, never mind the NHS.

I have nurses working one night a week, or doing the odd filler shift, who have worked at the local hospital for some years, but we still have to go through all the recruiment checks before we can start them.

If you have been cleared to work in place then you should be cleared to work in another similar one, and the new Vetting and Barring register could help considerably in making this work.
The cost of care is constantly rising due to huge amount of regulaitons and now the new registraiton prices which will force more closures and spiralling costs.
There is nothing to be gained by making employers keep on repeating checks. It doe snot necessarily prevent adverse thinsg fomr happening, and unless a check is done on a weely basis, you could never be 100% sure that a person had not offended at spome time during their employment. It is realy just another tax on businesses and facilities providing care.

Home Office

Private Sector , Public Sector , Third Sector

Health, well-being and care

Official response

Thank you for your simplification proposal. The Criminal Records Bureau(CRB) does not specify who should be checked and how often Disclosure checks should be conducted. This decision is determined by the employers and licensing bodies. It is also their responsibility to ensure there is a legal entitlement to carry out such checks and to decide the frequency of any rechecking period

Organisations can choose to accept a previously issued Disclosure, but must be aware of any legislation that prohibits its acceptance. The re-use of a previous Disclosure is often referred to as portability which allows the re-use of a CRB Disclosure obtained for a position in one organisation and later used for another position in a different organisation. This could apply to individuals who move frequently between short-term appointments and who may not wish to apply for a fresh CRB check each time they seek a new position, especially if this occurs on a regular basis. However, due to the limitations and risks attached to making a decision to accept a previously issued Disclosure, CRB no longer facilitates portability. The CRB website,

, provides clear details of the issues concerning portability.