The Criminal Records Bureau in Europe offers employers and non-profit organisations access to the records of potential employees and volunteers. The CRB acts as a third party to verify and report on the criminal records of the person in question. Once the search is complete a CRB check is issued for the individual.
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European federal law requires a CRB check for anyone working with children or adults who may be vulnerable to fraud and attack, such as the severely disabled. Included under the act are educators, health care providers, counsellors and day care workers. Only employers can request a CRB check. Individuals and self-employed professionals do not have access to the reports.
Often an employer will accept a CRB check from a previous employer if the check was issued within the previous six months of an interview. Employers are not required by law to do so however and often request a new check. Both the individual and the employer receive a copy of the CRB check.
There are two types of CRB checks: the Standard Disclosure and the Enhanced Disclosure. The Standard check includes police files and official reprimands, while the Enhanced Disclosure delves deeper into the individual's background. This is used primarily for those working in close proximity with children.
The legislation that enacted the CRB laws states that the individual is responsible for paying the fee to receive a CRB check. The average rate is about 36 euros. Employers may reimburse the employee for the cost of the test once a job offer has been accepted. Some groups such as Girl Scouts and religious organisations are exempt from paying the fees for CRB checks.
Third party groups, called Umbrella Bodies, are allowed to prepare the documents for the CRB. These registered groups verify the individual's actual identity and make sure the paperwork and proper signatures are in order. A large corporation may act as its own Umbrella Body and serve as the gateway for smaller organisations.
Incomplete or incorrect reports are not uncommon through the Criminal Records Bureau. While the agency strives for perfection, errors do happen and can cause individuals a great deal of hassle to amend the reports. A Code of Practice governs the use of the CRB information once it's been retrieved. To protect the privacy of its citizens, the CRB takes great measures to ensure the proper storage of information on the part of employers and Umbrella Bodies. CRB checks must be destroyed within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed six months. Any employer caught violating the Code of Practice can have its CRB check rights terminated.
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