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Electronic applications mean faster criminal record checks

Electronic applications mean faster criminal record checks

HOME OFFICE News Release (066/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 17 April 2009

A new electronic application system bringing faster results to its largest customers was launched today by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Customers who make more than 3,000 checks a year can now use e-Bulk to send multiple applications and receive the results electronically.

Annually the CRB completes more than 3.5 million checks against criminal records and lists of those barred from working with the vulnerable, with 50 per cent of applications coming from just 265 organisations. Those high-volume customers have been offered use of the e-Bulk system - bringing many benefits, which include:

* faster results - the e-Bulk service will reduce the average processing time by around five days;

* fewer forms to complete - customers can integrate the CRB requirements into their own recruitment processes and application form;

* reduced inaccuracy - all information sent via e-Bulk is automatically checked for completeness reducing errors; and

* electronic results - certificates that do not contain conviction information are returned electronically.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker, said:

"The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) plays a vital role in helping deliver increased protection of the vulnerable, having stopped more than 80,000 unsuitable people working with children and vulnerable adults in the past four years.

"The launch by the CRB of its new online application process e-Bulk for its core customers shows it continues to actively listen to their needs and has delivered a service that meets those needs."

Since 2002, the CRB has helped organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors identify those who may be unsuitable to work with the vulnerable. It has issued more than 18 million checks stopping more than 80,000 unsuitable people working with these groups.

Adele Townsend, CRB Director, said:

"The launch of our first electronic application system represents a significant milestone for the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and demonstrates our commitment to make all of our services accessible electronically.

"This is an exciting time for the CRB and I am proud to have Girlguiding UK as our first customer of this new service."

The e-Bulk service was developed in response to customer feedback in 2007, which revealed more than two-thirds of customers wanted to be able to submit multiple applications online and more than four-fifths would like to submit single applications via the website. The launch of the service is a step towards delivering the CRB's objective to make all of its services available electronically.

Of the 34 customers who have signed up to the new service, Girlguiding UK is the first one to use it.

Denise King, Chief Executive of Girlguiding UK, said:

"Parents trust our organisation because we have a sound recruitment process which includes Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks. This new service will provide real benefits, not only to us as an organisation but also to our young members and volunteers. This new e-application channel will help us reduce bureaucracy, improve quality and speed up the process."


1. The CRB launched its Online Tracking service on 14 January 2008. For more information about this, visit the CRB website at http://www.crb.gov.uk/tracking/

2. The CRB provides access to criminal records information through its disclosure service. It 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 that involving children or vulnerable adults.

3. Research has shown nine out of ten people say anyone working or volunteering with vulnerable groups should be checked and more than 70 per cent think the CRB helps protect the vulnerable. In addition three out of four people are more likely to use a business if staff have been CRB checked.

4. For more information on Criminal Records Disclosures, visit http://www.crb.gov.uk/

5. For more information on the Girlguiding UK, visit http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/

6. Organisations that have signed up to use e-Bulk:

* Allied Healthcare Group Ltd
* Alphacare Logistics Ltd
* Association For Real Change
* Assuramed Healthcare
* Atlantic Data
* Buckinghamshire County Council
* Capita Education Resourcing
* Care Check
* Cheshire County Council
* Churches Child Protection Advisory Service
* Churches Safeguarding Agency
* Disclosure Services
* Due Diligence Checking Ltd
* East Riding Of Yorkshire Council
* East Sussex County Council
* Girlguiding UK
* Harwin Associates Limited
* Mg Care Executive
* Nestor
* Norfolk County Council
* Reed Education
* Reed Health Ltd
* Reg Nursing Home Assoc Ltd
* Solicitors Regulation Authority
* Staffordshire County Council
* The Scout Association
* Tmgcrb
* United Kingdom Home Care Association Ltd
* United Medicare Ltd
* Vt Support Services Limited
* Wales Council For Voluntary Action
* Wandsworth Borough Council Children's Service
* Wcva Cru
* Wiltshire County Council Social Services Department

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