LEAD DIRECTOR:                   Martin Munro, Executive Director of Human Res

POLICY APPROVED BY:              Executive Management Team

DATE POLICY APPROVED:            February 2009

IMPLEMENTATION DATE:             February 2009

REVIEW DATE:                     March 2012

Date Equality Impact Assessment carried out: February 2009

                                                                   Policy No: HR004
                                                                        Page 1 of 13
                          Document Control Sheet

Policy Title                 Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Policy

Purpose of                 , To identify procedures for the recruitment of new
Policy/Assurance             staff and ongoing procedures for existing staff

Lead Director                                 Martin Munro,
                                      Executive Director of HR & OD

Lead                                        Frances El-Baze,
                                         Associate Director of HR

Version (state if final
 or draft)                                   FINAL VERSION
                                                (Version 2)
                                                August 2008

Circulated for               Safeguarding Children and Adults Group,
Consultation to:             Operational and Assistant Directors, Ward
                             Managers, Human Resources Department,
                             Executive Management Team

   If draft                           [only complete remaining boxes]
Draft Number

Comments to

                                                                    Policy No: HR004
                                                                         Page 2 of 13
                                 Contents Page

     Assurance Statement

1    Introduction                                                    4
2    Aims and Objectives                                             4
3    Duties and Responsibilities                                     5
4    Process of Implementation                                       8
5    Monitoring Arrangements                                         8
6    Equality Statement                                              9
7    Policy Number – to be issued by Communications Manager          9
8    Training                                                        9
9    Links to Other Policies                                         9
10   Appendix 1                                                     11

                                                              Policy No: HR004
                                                                   Page 3 of 13
                                 ASSURANCE STATEMENT

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust) is committed to having
transparent, fair and equitable recruitment and selection processes in place and to
ensuring that they are sufficiently robust to ensure the employees it recruits are
trustworthy and reliable.

1.     Introduction

1.1    It is mandatory for all appointments covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders
       Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 to have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
       checks carried out. Pre-employment checks are part of the Secretary of State’s
       Standards for Better Health which covers all NHS organisations.

1.2    Disclosures are an important tool in ensuring safer recruitment practices and
       patient safety. Although a criminal conviction does not preclude anyone from
       working in the NHS, certain offences involving violence or sexual abuse may
       indicate an applicant’s unsuitability for employment within the Trust. Failure to
       carry out these checks could put the safety, and even lives, of patients at risk.

2.     Aims and Objectives

2.1    The CRB Policy will apply to the recruitment and selection of all existing Trust
       staff and prospective employees and will incorporate good practice guidelines
       issued by the NHS.

2.2    The definition of all staff is:

              Substantive employees
              Temporary/fixed term
              Secondments
              Bank/Agency workers
              Clinical placements/attachments
              Honorary appointments
              Volunteers
              Work experience
              Advocacy Services

2.3    The policy sets out the Trust’s commitment to the protection of its patients, carers
       and employees.

2.4    The policy provides clear guidelines on the management actions in response to
       the non-disclosure of criminal convictions for both prospective and existing

2.5    The policy provides guidance on the appropriate application of the CRB process
       for prospective and existing employees.

                                                                           Policy No: HR004
                                                                                Page 4 of 13
2.6   The Trust will not unfairly discriminate against candidates with a criminal
      conviction but will consider the nature of any conviction in relation to the post
      applied for.

2.7   The policy will ensure confidentiality of information disclosed by candidates on a
      disclosure form at all times. The information will be restricted to those who need
      to see it as part of the recruitment and selection process and those authorised to
      do so.

3.    Duties and Responsibilities

3.1   The Trust Board has a responsibility to ensure that safe employment practices
      exist to protect patients and staff which are achieved through a robust
      recruitment and selection process, thus meeting its legal obligations as well as
      strategic NHS obligations.

3.2   As Lead Signatory for the Trust, the Director of HR and OD is responsible for:

            Overseeing the introduction, operation and monitoring of the policy
            Ensuring the provision of briefings on the policy, guidance and support for
             managers on the operation of the policy
            Ensuring the provision of accurate and regular statistical information as

3.3   Human Resource Managers are responsible for:

            Providing advice and guidance to managers in the implementation of the
            Monitoring the implementation of the policy
            Assisting managers in dealing with non-disclosure of criminal convictions

3.4   The Recruitment Team are responsible for :

            Ensuring that all job adverts include a reference to CRB Disclosure
             checks, if required for the post, and an indication of the level of Disclosure
            Ensuring that all information packs, electronic or paper based, include
             information on the CRB Disclosure process, the secure handling and
             storage of CRB Disclosure information, CRB Recruitment of Ex-Offenders
             Policy Statement and CRB Code of Practice.
            Ensuring that CRB Disclosures received indicating a conviction are
             brought to the attention of an appropriate Human Resources Manager.
            Ensuring all CRB Disclosures are kept centrally and securely and
             destroyed after six months in line with CRB guidance.
            Ensure that all candidates are questioned regarding the Rehabilitation of
             Offenders Act (1974) and candidates’ responses recorded on the
             interview recruitment documentation and signed as an accurate record.

3.5   Interview Panels should:

                                                                           Policy No: HR004
                                                                                Page 5 of 13
            Ensure that candidates are not unfairly discriminated against during the
             recruitment and selection process on the basis of criminal convictions
            Ensure that confidentiality is maintained regarding any convictions
             disclosed by candidates at any stage of the recruitment process.

3.6   All employees must:

            Inform the Trust, in writing, of any criminal convictions they acquire during
             their employment with the Trust.
            Attend meetings to discuss non-disclosure of criminal convictions when
             requested to do so.

4.    CRB Checks for Prospective Employees

4.1   The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 provides for anyone who has been
      convicted of a criminal offence and has been sentenced to less than two and a
      half years in prison, to be regarded as rehabilitated after a specified period of
      time with no further convictions. After this period of rehabilitation, the conviction
      is considered as “spent”. In normal circumstances, once a conviction is spent,
      the convicted person does not have to reveal this to future employer when
      applying for a job. However, in order to protect the vulnerable, the Rehabilitation
      of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order1975 exempts some professions within
      the health and care sectors from this approach. Where posts have been
      identified as exempt under the Exceptions order, employers are entitled to know
      about all previous convictions regardless as to whether they are considered
      “spent” or “unspent”.

      By law, employers cannot request a standard or enhanced disclosure on any
      position that is not identified as exempt from the Act. For all other positions,
      employers may only request details of any unspent (current) convictions. This is
      known as a basic disclosure and is currently not a mandatory criminal records
      check within the NHS.

4.2   All external applicants who are applying for a post that requires a CRB
      Disclosure will not be permitted to commence employment with the Trust until a
      satisfactory CRB Disclosure has been received by the Trust. In certain
      circumstances, a risk assessment may be carried out by the relevant Operational
      Director to allow an applicant to commence employment before receipt of the
      Disclosure. This does not apply to posts in Specialist Services which involve
      working with children and/or adolescents. For these posts, an additional
      Protection of Children Act (POCA) check is required and employers are legally
      required to carry these out. A PoCA check must be requested as part of a
      standard or more usually, enhanced disclosure by ticking the relevant box on the
      CRB application form. Please note it is illegal to appoint a prospective employee
      to one of these posts until the PoCA check has been received.

      N.B. For the purposes of this policy, any reference to the term ‘criminal
      conviction’ is generic and also applies to cautions, reprimands, bindings over or

                                                                           Policy No: HR004
                                                                                Page 6 of 13
      warnings in the UK or any other country and also includes any of the above if t
      hey are ‘pending’ and have not been disposed of at the time of disclosure. This
      does not include minor traffic offences which do not result in disqualification.

5.    CRB Checks for Existing Employees

5.1   Where an existing employee is appointed to a new post within the Trust, a CRB
      Disclosure at the appropriate level will be obtained where this is a requirement
      for the post.

5.2   Existing employees will be able to commence in post prior to receipt of a
      satisfactory CRB Disclosure. This does not apply to staff transferring to work in a
      position or area that involves working with children from a current position
      outside this area.

5.3   Existing employees will not normally be required to have a CRB Disclosure check
      if they are moving to a new post within six months of a previous CRB Disclosure
      being issued and where the existing CRB Disclosure is at the same level
      required for the new post.

5.4   For certain areas and roles within the Trust, for example but not exclusively
      people working with children, we will routinely obtain a new CRB Disclosure
      every 36 months.

5.5   The Trust’s Human Resources Team will be responsible for maintaining a
      register of CRBs issued, and if requested, are able to advise which staff, in good
      time, will need a new CRB disclosure.

6.    CRB Checks for Agency Staff

6.1   Before taking on agency staff, it is the appointing manager’s responsibility to
      ensure that the employee has had a CRB check (and POCA check in childrens’
6.2   When negotiating contracts with external agencies, it is to be ensured that
      agencies used must be aware of these requirements and only recommend staff
      to us who can provide the following documentation.

7.    Levels of Disclosure

7.1   Enhanced

      Posts which qualify for enhanced disclosures are defined as:

      ‘where the post involves regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole
      charge of vulnerable adults’


                                                                            Policy No: HR004
                                                                                 Page 7 of 13
      ‘where the post involves working with children in a regulated position and the
      position involves regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge
      of those aged under 18’.

      In NELFT such posts include:

      Nurses (qualified and unqualified)
      STR Workers
      Social Workers
      Adult Psychotherapists
      Child Psychotherapists
      Family Therapists
      Adult Counsellors
      Schools Counsellors
      Occupational Therapists (qualified and unqualified)
      Drug & Alcohol Workers

7.2   Standard

      Posts which qualify for standard disclosures are defined as:

      ‘any employment or other work which is concerned with the provision of care
      services to vulnerable adults and which is of such a kind to enable the holder of
      that employment or the person engaged in that work to have access to
      vulnerable adults in receipt of such services in the course of their work’


      ‘any employment or other work in a regulated position which involves regular
      contact with children during the course of such work’.

      In NELFT such posts include:

      Clinical management posts
      Medical Secretaries
      Admin/clerical staff with access to service users
      Domestic staff
      Catering staff

8.    Non-disclosure of Criminal Convictions

      The Trust expects honesty and integrity from all its employees and potential
      employees. Consequently, those employees or potential employees who fail to
      disclose convictions may be considered by the Trust to have compromised this
      element of the employment relationship.

                                                                            Policy No: HR004
                                                                                 Page 8 of 13
8.1    External Applicants

       Where a disclosure indicates any criminal convictions which have not previously
       been declared by the candidate, the HR Manager/Adviser will inform the
       Assistant Operational Director/Appointing Manager of the non-disclosed

8.2    Existing Employees

       Existing employees are required to advise the Trust in writing, via their line
       manager, of any criminal convictions, cautions, warnings or bindings over
       received during employment with the Trust. The Trust will determine any action
       necessary according to individual circumstances. Where concerns arise
       regarding the possible non-reporting of a conviction obtained whilst employed by
       the Trust, the Trust will reserve the right to require the employee to undergo a
       CRB check. If the CRB disclosure reveals that the employee has undeclared
       criminal convictions, this will be dealt with under the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy.
       Similarly, if an undeclared conviction comes to light during recruitment to a post
       internally, this will be dealt with under the Trust’s Disciplinary Policy.

9.     Process for implementation

    The Human Resources Department will implement the necessary changes
immediately and will be the main point of guidance for managers. Relevant training will
take place in house.
    The policy will be placed on the Trust website and our standards will be placed in all
recruitment literature.

10.    Monitoring Arrangements

       The Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development has
       responsibility for the overall monitoring of the Policy. This policy will be
       monitored by

              Policy Review
              Internal audit arrangements within Human Resources

11.    Equality Statement

11.1 The Trust’s vision is to have in place a sustainable people driven service system
of care which is best of class and values based on hope inspiring environments an
embracing diversity. The Trust will ensure that all staff and service users, carers and
visitors to the Trust are treated with dignity and respect and no individual is treated
differently on grounds of their race, gender, disability, age, religious belief or sexual

                                                                            Policy No: HR004
                                                                                 Page 9 of 13
12.    Policy number: HR004

13. Training

       The Trust does offer a management skills development programme for team
       managers. Issues regarding CRBs will be covered in this training as well as at
       local HR surgeries.

14.    Links to Other Policies

14.1   This policy is related to the following:

          Recruitment and Selection Policy
          Equal Opportunities in Employment Policy.
          Recruitment of ex-offenders guidelines
          CRB guidelines
          NHS Employers Guidelines: Criminal Record Checks

                                                                      Policy No: HR004
                                                                          Page 10 of 13
                                                                                Appendix 1
           Equality Impact Assessment Screening Tool
                         (Please include this as part of your policy)

Directorate/Department                              Human Resources

Policy or Procedural Guidelines Title/Service       CRB Policy

New or Existing Policy/Service?                     New

Name and role of Assessor

Date of Assessment

Please complete the following questions
                                                      Yes/No            Comments
1    Does the policy/guidance affect one              NO
     group less or more favourably than
     another on the basis of:
           Race, Ethnic origins (including,
              gypsies and travellers) and
           Gender
           Age
           Religion, Belief or Culture
           Disability – mental and physical
           Sexual orientation including lesbian,
              gay and bisexual people
2    Is there any evidence that some groups           No
     are affected differently?
3    Is there a need for external or user             No         JNCC
4    If you have identified potential
     discrimination, are any exceptions valid,
     legal and/or justifiable?
5    Is the impact of the policy/guidance likely      No
     to be negative?
6    If so, can be impact be justifiable?
7    What alternatives are there to achieving
     the policy/guidelines without the impact?

8    Can we reduce the impact by taking
     different actions?

Recommendation Full Equality Impact Assessment required:            NO      ■ YES        □
Assessor’s Name:      Frances El-Baze                  Date: September 2008
Name of Director:  Martin Munro
Assessment authorised by: Name:        Harjit K Bansal   Date: September 2008
(member of the Equality and Diversity Group)

                                                                            Policy No: HR004
                                                                                Page 11 of 13
 (Completed at the time of Recruitment by HR Advisor)

JOB REF --------------------------------

POST ------------------------------------------------ BAND ------------------------

DEPT/ WARD--------------------------------------- HOURS ---------------------

MANAGER’S NAME & NO. -----------------------------------------------------

ESTABLISHMENT FORM & JOB PACK (Date)----------------------------                      ----------------

REFS APPLIED FOR (Date) 1------------- 2.------------- 3. ------------------          ----------------

REFS RECEIVED (Date) 1-------------- 2.--------------3. ---------------------         ----------------

MANAGER ADVISED ON CONTENT OF REFS (Date) -------------------                         ----------------

CONDITIONAL OFFER SENT (Date) ----------------------------------------                ----------------

OCC.HEALTH CLEARANCE (Date) written---------------verbal --------                     ----------------

CRB CHECK Yes/ No                                 Date sent --------------------      ----------------

                                                Date received ----------------        ----------------
Form No: ------------------------------------

WORK PERMIT Yes/ No                                Date sent --------------------     ----------------

                                                Date received ----------------        ----------------

ACCEPTANCE RECEIVED (Date) --------------------------------------                     ----------------

UNCONDITIONAL OFFER SENT (Date) ---------------------------------                     ----------------

BIRTH CERTIFICATE/ PASSPORT ON FILE -----------------------------                     ----------------

QUALIFICATIONS COPIED-------------------------------------------------------          ----------------

PIN NO----------------------------- CHECKED (Date) -------------------------          ----------------

EXPECTED START DATE -------------------------------------------------------           ----------------

CONTRACT ISSUED (Date) ------------------------------------------------------         ----------------

TRANSFER FORM / IAT SENT (Date) -----------------------------

                                                                                                         Policy No: HR004
                                                                                                             Page 12 of 13
Checklist – Recruitment
(Completed after Recruitment and used as an audit tool to ensure that all
checks have been completed)

Payroll Number
First name:                              Surname:

Job Pack: JD
Application Form
Establishment Control Form
and EMT
Successful Candidate Form
CRB / Risk Assessment
References 1)
Offer Letter – conditional letter
Occupational Health
Work Permit
Qualification Certificates
TICS Qualification
Passport/ Birth Certificate
NMC / HPC Number checked
Unconditional Offer Letter
NI Number
Starter Form / Change form
Contract / amendment to
Return Contract Letter signed

HR Advisor

Name                                Signed

HR Assistant

Name                                Signed

                                                               Policy No: HR004
                                                                   Page 13 of 13

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