Here are my roughly typed up notes from the Independent Safeguarding Authority Keynote earlier today:
Okay, so found the conference centre hall and have been waived through security with a quick routine check, this is my first time using blogger credentials to get into something like this, my badge reads “Media B”. Not sure if that’s for blogger or for “not a real journalist”. Seats are comfy but no wifi and iPhone signal is tetchy at best. The guy next to me can’t even get onto Twitter, may not be live blogging this after all. They’ve been playing a couple of songs over the PA, including the obligatory Michael Jackson number. Now the lights are dimmed and a member of the ISA is on stage. He’s introduced himself, but I didn’t get his name, welcoming everyone for being here, asks if we’ve all been CRB’ed which gets a chuckle. Before we begin he has a special guest for us, introduces on stage, Dizzee Rascal. We’re treated to Dirty Cash and Bonkers, which gets the crowd going, although most of us would probably rather just get on with the keynote.
Dizzee Rascal’s off stage, and now we’re into the real presentation, and we’ve got another faceless presenter on stage to talk us through the launch of the vetting and barring service. Nothing much new here for those of us who’ve been working with CRB’s before. It’s interesting to here the language “barred from working with children or vulnerable adults” though, much stronger than previous language about “not safe to work”.
The first real announcement is the merger of the previous lists of barred people into two svelte stand alone lists, one for those barred from working with children, one for those barred from working with vulnerable adults. Nothing surprising there, but good to here anyway. Next up though, we’re told that the scope of this scheme has been expanded further, increasing to cover things like people working in prisons and hospitals. That means that adults nurses will probably have to be registered even if they weren’t covered in the past. Again, not surprising given the rumours, but will please a lot of those groups.
The man on stage is talking us through how this will all work together in one unified ecosystem, and says he has an exciting method of delivery to tell us about. Coming soon, a new single ISA referral form for recognised organisations to refer people to the ISA when there is harm to a child or vulnerable adults. Theoretically then an organisation could send in information that could get people barred from working, but there are some safeguards in place. Part of these exciting developments we’re being told is the obligation placed upon users to refer to the ISA cases of harm against a child, though for most people this’ll probably going through the child protection team for social services.
And then that’s it, we’re introduced to JLS who perform the latest hit and then the lights go up and we’re filing out the doors.
What’s really interesting from today’s keynote is what wasn’t there. No real mention, of registering to work with children and light on some of the details of the process of vetting and barring. Pie in the sky dreams of organising the entire population according to whether or not they can work with children and moving those who can’t to Wales once again prove false, but there’s no evidence they’ll ever come true. On the ground the average person won’t see much of a difference, but that hides the major changes made below the service. What’s been announced today will have real changes that’ll take a while to understand. The general conclusion is expect major changes come next year, but don’t hold your breath on this update maybe.
What Everyone Else Is Saying
As per normal Youthblog has some brief but wise commentary.
The Church Mouse has some fairly good moaning about the whole thing, while pointing to CCPAS.
The official guidance about the new vetting and barring scheme. is up online here.