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Independent Safeguarding Authority to launch in 2009

Independent Safeguarding Authority to launch in 2009

The authority, which will vet those wishing to work with children or vulnerable adults, will begin work in October 2009. When fully up and running, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will be part of the biggest overhaul of vetting and barring arrangements ever undertaken in the UK.

The ISA was first established in January after being called for in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. The ISA is an independent body with its own remit and barring criteria. Its overriding aim will be to help protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. It will do this by:

  •  working in partnership with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), which will gather information on those who want  to work with vulnerable groups;
  •  using that information to decide on a case-by-case basis who poses a risk of harm to vulnerable groups;
  •  securely storing information about people’s ISA status for employers and voluntary organisations.

The Authority will be largely self-financing. Anyone wishing to take a job working with vulnerable groups will pay a one-off fee of £64 for the ISA work, although there will be no cost for those who want to work as volunteers.

Sir Roger Singleton, ISA Chairman said the October launch date was reached “after consultation with key strategic partners to make sure that it is not only operationally feasible, but that it also gives employers enough time to fully prepare for the introduction of the scheme.”

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