Vetting will cost council £389,000

NEW VETTING procedures for workers are set to cost Angus Council almost £400,000.

An administration scheme for staff who work with vulnerable groups was introduced last month, replacing the existing disclosure system and the change will cost the authority £389,279 over the next four years.

The new system is intended to ensure people who have regular contact with vulnerable groups through their workplace or other “regulated work” do not have a history of inappropriate behaviour.

Regulated work cannot be offered to anyone who is not signed up and the council will have to carry out checks to ensure they are not barred.

It costs £59 to join the scheme which will be phased in over the next four years.

In the first year, which began at the end of last month, membership and related checks are only required for new employees and existing employees who change their job.

For the three years from February 28, 2012, the authority will be required to arrange for all employees who carry out regulated work to join the PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) scheme.

In the initial stages, few if any applicants for regulated work will be scheme members and the £59 membership fee will be required to check potential appointees.

As the scheme progresses, most applicants for regulated work will be scheme members and only record updates will be needed in the first instance.

In a report last week to the strategic policy committee, council chief executive Richard Stiff said: “The education department acts as an ‘umbrella’ for disclosure checking for volunteers.

“Many of these individuals fall within the terms of the PVG scheme. A further group affected are contractors who provide school transport.

“Individuals involved in providing this service are already subject to enhanced disclosure checks and, as agreed by the education committee on March 3, will now require migration to the PVG scheme.

“Members of council committees/sub-committees concerned with the provision of education, accommodation and social services to children and protected adults fall within the ambit of the scheme, as do members of the children’s panel, the children’s panel advisory committee and ‘safeguarders’ appointed by a children’s panel.

“Currently all those associated with the children’s panel have been subject to enhanced disclosure checks. While new panel members will require to be members of the scheme, others will be migrated during years two, three and four.”

The council will pay for all membership fees/checks for potential and existing employees with a total bill of £49,543 in the first year, rising to £115,582 in the second, £113,600 in year three and £110,555 in the fourth year.