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The Protection of Freedoms Act Receives Royal Assent

The Protection of Freedoms Act contains amendments to the ‘vetting and barring’ scheme, which are of particular interest to health and social care organizations. The amendments were brought in by the previous Government under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and were put on hold by the coalition in June 2010. In the meantime, health and social care organizations and individuals have been left dealing with a partially implemented scheme. The Act restricts the scope of the vetting and barring scheme and makes changes to the system of criminal records. In addition, regulated activity relating to children will no longer include any supervised teaching, training or instruction of children or the provision of care or supervision of children by a person who is being supervised by another. The Act also makes provision for the setting up of a new service, the Disclosure and Barring Service, which will take over the roles of the ISA and the Criminal Records Bureau. It remains the case that all institutions still need to carry out checks on individuals before allowing them to undertake regulated activity.

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