Criminal Records Bureau (CRB Checks)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Roger Thorne, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Following on from a comment in the 'Auditioning for a new MD' thread, there was a reference to MD's undergoing CRB checks prior to being appointed - an interesting question! But the CRB topic was recently raised at my own band, with the suggestion being made that every member of the organisation should now be checked?

    We have two Youth Bands at Wem and everyone involved with the organisation/running of the Youth Bands (including parents) are checked through this system, but with the large majority of Senior Bands having youngsters within their ranks I feel that the original comment that everyone should be checked is not such a bad idea.

    Unfortunately in this day and age we can't be too careful, especially where children are concerned, so do we continue to presume that all adults in the band don't have Criminal Records and do we consider changing our audition process to include the words 'pending the CRB check'?

    I would certanly be interested in reading your opinions on this one.

  2. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    Part of my job involves ensuring that CRB checks are done and then re-done every twelve months. In my opinion it's essential that anyone involved with children and vulnerable adults on a regular basis should have a CRB check; however to extend that to every member of the band is perhaps excessive. Anyone under the age of 18 in a band needs an adult member who will be responsible for their care and wellbeing, this individual should have a CRB check but can act as guardian to several under 18's in the band.

    Another factor to consider is that maybe there are members within the band who do have a criminal record but the offence/s are non-child related; the band would still receive a full, or enhanced, disclosure regarding this individual. Would the member be happy knowing that at least one band official knows their previous history? People have to consent to CRB checks, maybe members don't wish give their consent, how would the committee deal with that? Have they something to hide or do they consider the matter to be unrelated to their musical activities.

    Finally there's the cost, they don't do them for free, maybe the band consider it to be an unnecessary expense and would much rather spend the money on something more band related.
  3. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    I thought that if the organisation was a registered charity then CRB checks were done for free?

    I also thought that CRB checks were transferable, I have one that is still valid but I still have to have another one from Buckinghamshire County Council for my new job. I don't mind, except everytime I manage to fill something wrong in on the form!!
  4. Lewis Chris

    Lewis Chris Member

    I have several CRB checks, as far as I'm aware you should have one done for every job/organisation that you are in that involves working with children because they are not transferable. Although if you don't help regularly or have just changed job/organisation then if you have one from before then that is fine until a new one is done.

    To be honest though, although it is important to protect children, providing someone is CRB checked in the senior band I feel it is a costly and pointless exercise to have everyone CRB checked.

    I also echo barrytones' sentiments in regards to some people may not want people to know their past. Their offence may not be child or sex related. I know someone who was involved in a nasty car accident in which another person was killed. This came up on their CRB and they were then asked to leave the organisation.
  5. Lizzy :)

    Lizzy :) New Member

    I have to be CRB-d for working at the Hospice (so it's not just for kids, it's for all vulnerable people) but also for when I do GB which is working with 8-11 year olds - but for GB as I've already got a CRB I can transfer it, all that was needed was to contact the countersignatory as written on the form and cross reference the details and numbers etc.
    Also you can have different types you can do the normal one or advanced ones.
    Finally (lol!) both mine were done for voluntary organisations so they could do the checks for free.
    I know at my band there's been loads of confusion over all this stuff. And I know it's a pain, but if anything were to happen and the checks hadn't been done it would be awful!

    Aren't I full of useless information!

  6. mcmacca69

    mcmacca69 New Member

    I completely understand the concerns and issues regarding cost and administration etc... but as an organisation (and more specifically the trustees) you would still be seen to have a duty of care to any minors within your band (or wider organisation). The organisation should have a child protection policy specifically detailing the bands view point as to whether you deem a child / sex offence to be prohibitive to whether that person is entitled to join your organisation.

    I fear that this issue will crop up more and more, and it will only take one or two public instances of a child having been taken advantage of, or for someone to have been groomed through tuition or brass band forums (as others may be unmoderated) to wreak havoc, and cause a huge administrative dilemma. We either take the stance, write the policy and procedures and be prepared now or accept the consequences if and when something does go wrong.....

    An under 18's football team coach now has to be CRB checked. Why should the Brass Band fraternity be any different? How do we, or the Brass Band Association cascade the requirement to bands, and how is it enforced?

    It's going to be a very complicated and in some cases intrusive issue.
  7. Col

    Col Member

    Solution is to bury your head

    I work with The Boys Brigade and other junior sports organisations as well as my banding connections and not only are most far in advance of the Banding world with CRB checks most have compulsory training on child welfare for volunteers.

    I've visited many Bandrooms but here are a couple of "Head in Sand Solutions to Child Protection"

    1. Put a sign up in the Bandroom stating that it is parents responsibilty to supervise their own children. [​IMG]

    2. Try and appoint the Conductor as Child Protection Officer for a weekend residential trip. [​IMG]

    3. Allow youngsters into cars for trips to concerts with unchecked adults.[​IMG]

    4. We don't need to have checks the Council say so!![​IMG]

    5. We don't need to do anything if it is a woman adult[​IMG]

    Organisations like the Scouts and The Boys Brigade still are regularly turning down applications for leadership for individuals with past problems and they have quite effective system. We in the Banding world are barely at first base in getting to grips. The BBBF Guidelines are a very good document. It is even better when read and acted upon.
  8. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I think CRB checks may be free for volunteers, but not for employees of the band.

    I agree with the problem mentioned earlier, that convictions other than child-related ones may become common knowledge. You would have to ensure that your child protection officer was able to keep a secret. There is a legal requirement to do so surely under data protection laws.

    If your CP policy is up to scratch, no child should be in danger provided it is adhered to. If it is nor adhered to, then at least the band cannot be sued.

    I Don't know whether you should check helpers every year. Once they are trusted surely they are still trusted after a year
  9. Bob Thompson

    Bob Thompson Member


    I think it is essential that Bands have in place protective measures to ensure, as far as possible, that children and young people are protected. Obviously these safegaurds are not infallable. However, the very fact that they are in place sends a clear message that you do value the welfare of the younger members. It should also give parents increased confidence in your organisation.

    There are a number of companies on the internet who will process the checks for an administration charge of approx £5.00 per person. You should also consider a child protection and equal opportunities policy, for apart from the obvious, many charitable trusts/grant bodies will now insist upon these policies being in place before consideration is given to your application.

  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

  11. kierendinno

    kierendinno Member

    We have recently incorporated a commitment to ensuring all persons working with youngsters or vulnerable adults have undergone CRB checks in to our constitution. Our MD is a teacher, so will have undergone the checks, and we had our Training band MD and Chairman CRB cleared.

    Obviously, where children are concerned, you can never be too careful and while it can be costly, it is definately worth it. Alot of our members are teachers, nurses, civil servants etc, where CRB checks are part of their jobs. As for the others, they generally don't come into contact with under 18's or vulnerable adults without 2 CRB checked adults present, therefore it would be pointless to check them.

    It's a difficult area, but one which our movement is not exempt from.
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    But aren't CRB checks specific to each separate organisation? If you've got one for one organisation it cannot be used for another - if your constitution now says that you have to get them, then that's what you have to do. Before recent changes individuals had their own CRB check which could move with them to new jobs - I think this was changed 2 or 3 years ago so if you were a teacher and changed jobs your new employer would have to get a new check.
  13. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    A CRB check is valid until the next day. Basically, a piece of paper that was created two weeks, two months, two years ago and states no criminal record does not mean that an offence has been committed since.

    In my job, I have enhanced CRB as do several members of my band. This satisfies the Children's Services (formerly Social Services for Children) criteria - I know because I work in a child protection team ;)

    Historically, the CRB came in to replace the bizarre Police Check system which only checked the local force's records for a job in that area. Thankfully lessons have been learned from the many documented cases both in and out of the statutory sector.

    I may be wrong, but I think that the organisation that requests a CRB at enhanced (which for working with children you MUST have) level should get notified if an offence occurs. However, I am not sure if this is happening and in the meantime, each new position needs a new CRB clearance.

    The golden rule of child protection is trust absolutely nobody. Just because XYZ has got kids is not good reason to leave them alone with a child in the bandroom. An open door rule is the only way and a well documented and enforced child protection policy which is followed and referred to regularly is the only way this important and potentially dangerous area can be upheld.

    As for checking helpers every year, the best people to talk to would be your local child protection duty worker who should be able to advise / assist you on this. It does differ under each local authority and it is unfortunately a grey area. However, once a CRB gets to 3 years old, a new one needs doing anyway.
  14. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    As to who requires a CRB the BFBB Child Protection Policy states

    "All band personnel (including non-member helpers) who will have significant access to children must be checked. The band Welfare Officer should keep a record of all such people and ensure that they have been vetted through the CRB or have completed a self-disclosure form"

    I'm not sure exactly what they mean however by "significant access" - any suggestions?
  15. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    This will be one of those things which gets decided in court I fear. When an incident arises, and it only a matter of time before it does, the court will consider this rule in amongst the other procedings. If a band has allowed someone significant access, and has not CRB checked, then this will be the benchmark.

    Good point though, significant access? Sits next to a child player in the band? Gives their neighbour's son a lift to band?
  16. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    The policy of the BFBB is just that... a policy - it's not the law!

    According to a CRB www site PDF document I read recently, it is up to the requesting organisation (a band in this case) if they choose to accept an existing CRB report from someone who they need one for.

    One should obviously take into account the age of any existing CRB report.

    Pragmatic band policy though, would of course be to get a new CRB report issued for whoever is joining.
  17. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Think they would both be a no no - again from the BFBB Policy

    2.3 Poor practice
    The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel.
    • Unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others
    • Taking children alone in a car on journeys, however short
    • Taking children to your home where they will be alone with you"
    Plus I don't think having a CRB check entitles you to do this either.
  18. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

  19. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I quite agree that to ignore it would be extremely folly Pete, and all bands should take heed of this in setting up their policies regarding CRB and welfare of children in their care. However, the BFBB policy couldn't be used against someone in law, it has no legal standing nor legal precedent.

    That's all I was saying.
  20. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    Fair enough.

    Next issue and one I will look into tomorrow...

    "What is the law in this regard?"

    More grey than an accountants convention ;)

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