Access Northern Ireland Newsletter October 2015

October 14th, 2015 by Jonathan Bazely

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A brief overview of the key changes

Access Northern Ireland (AccessNI) have produced a Newsletter for all those submitting applications in Northern Ireland. The below is an overview of some of those key changes affecting applications with Due Diligence Checking Limited.

Single Certificates

For those submitting DBS applications this is already in place, however AccessNI will be moving to a Single Certificate system from the 2nd November 2015. This means that the Registered Body who Countersigned the application will no longer receive a copy of the Certificate issued by Access Northern Ireland. There will be a single certificate that is sent directly to the applicant’s home address. For Online applications through the AccessNI portal the Registered Body will not be actively informed when the Certificate is issued and will need to log-in to obtain this information. The portal will confirm where an application has been completed and Certificate  issued and will also confirm, for 90 days from this point, if it contained information that the employer needs to review.

In exceptional circumstances the employer can enter their own details on the current address section of the online form, to obtain this single certificate. To enable this to happen the employer must have the express and individual permission of the applicant.

Appeals to the Independent Monitor (IM) of Police information

An applicant will be able to review the police information on their Enhanced Certificate from the 2nd November 2015. This will be allowed where they believe the information is:

  • Inaccurate or
  • It is not relevant to the type of work being sought (as entered on to the form)
  • It should not have been included on the certificate

This will lead to one of three outcomes:

  1. The appeal will be rejected by the IM and the information will remain on the Certificate
  2. The appeal will be upheld and the Certificate will be amended
  3. The appeal will be upheld and the information removed from the Certificate

Minimum age for applicants

From the 2nd November 2015 the minimum age of application for Basic, Standard and Enhanced AccessNI checks will be 16 years, on the day of application. There will be two exceptions to this rule where the minimum age is reduced to 10:

  1. The application is for a member of a family where an adult within that family is a registered childminder, or seeking to foster or adopt a child.
  2. The applicant is living or working at the same dwelling where fostering, adopting or child-minding will take place.

Information revealed during an application

Chief Police Officers are due to be provided with further guidance about releasing information on to an Enhanced Certificate. This will be aimed at clarifying the relevancy of the information and whether it ought to be disclosed.

Under the previous systems in place the Police were able to attach ‘brown envelope’ information to the Registered Body copy of the Certificate, which contained information that was deemed relevant to the application but would not be passed to the applicant. In reality this option has not been used by the Police for several years however legislation has changed to remove this information channel.

To read more from Access Northern Ireland please visit the AccessNI website directly.

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