Vetting potential employees

The Criminal Records Bureau’s mission statement is to help protect children, vulnerable adults and society in general by providing a first-class service of criminal records information for employment and other vetting purposes.
The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is an Executive Agency of the Home Office and provides access to criminal record information through its Disclosure service.  
This service enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially work that involves children or vulnerable adults. The CRB was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and was launched in March 2002 under a public-private partnership with Capita.

How the CRB works
Organisations who wish to use the service can register with the CRB as a registered body or can use the services of an umbrella body.  
Organisations can ask successful job applicants to apply for one of two types of check, the results of which are displayed on a Disclosure. Employers cannot request a check on an individual without their consent and similarly, the results of the check are issued to the individual who can then challenge the information released if necessary.
The type of check required will depend upon the nature of the position applied for. These are called Enhanced and Standard checks; both require a fee but are free of charge to volunteers.

CRB services
A Standard CRB check will reveal any information held on the Police National Computer and will include current and spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.
An Enhanced CRB check will reveal the same information as a standard check but in addition will include any relevant and proportionate information from each police force where an individual has lived in the past five years. It can also include, if requested, a check of two barred lists administered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
The CRB offers an Online Tracking service to allow customers to check the progress of their application online via the CRB website In addition to this, in 2008/09, the CRB implemented its first electronic application channel, e-Bulk which allows its largest volume customers to submit multiple applications online. The CRB is also developing another e-service, e-Applications which will allow all Registered Bodies to make an application online via the CRB website.

CRB key facts

  • The CRB has processed more than 20 million Disclosures since 2002, of which approximately 20 per cent have been issued free of charge to volunteers
  • 98,000 unsuitable people have been prevented from working with children and the vulnerable as a direct result of a CRB check in the last five years
  • 94 per cent of CRB organisational customers are satisfied with the service provided
  • There is overwhelming public support for CRB checks on anyone working with children in a paid or voluntary capacity
  • The CRB is making a positive difference in protecting children and vulnerable adults and CRB checks are useful as part of recruitment processes and improve confidence in organisations’ recruitment decisions.

For more information
For more information about the CRB, visit