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The safeguarding vulnerable groups act 2006

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The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006: An Essential Guide

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006 brought about significant changes to the vetting process for individuals working with children or vulnerable adults.

Purpose of The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act

The core purpose of the Act is to limit the interaction between children and vulnerable adults and those who might pose a risk to them. The barring aspects of the Act were enforced in October 2009, while other components, such as the provisions requiring employees to be ‘ISA-registered’, are currently under review by the Government.

The Role of The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA)

The ISA oversees decisions regarding who should be barred from working with vulnerable groups. It operates the Vetting and Barring Scheme, dealing with 'regulated' or 'controlled' activities, encompassing both paid and voluntary work.

The ISA Barred Lists

There are two distinct but aligned ISA Barred Lists: one for individuals barred from working with children and another for those barred from working with vulnerable adults. Depending on the case, barred individuals will be included on one or both of these lists.

Automatic Barring and Appeals

Some offences will lead to automatic barring, with no option for appeal or presentation of mitigating evidence. However, in some cases, those on the ISA Barred Lists may have the right to appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal on a point of fact or law but not against the ISA's decision itself.

New Criminal Offences

The Act introduces new criminal offences to enforce the scheme, applicable to both employers and employees.

Key Principles of The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act

Despite its complexity, the 2006 Act is guided by a few key principles:

  • Protection: Individuals deemed unsuitable should be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Verification: Employers should have a straightforward means of verifying that a person is not barred from working with vulnerable groups.
  • Ongoing Assessment: Employee suitability checks should be ongoing to identify any wrongdoings committed after the initial check.