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May 2007

Children's Parties and CRB Checks

At the North West Weekend Conference held in Windermere Mr. Les Horton of the High Lane Conservative Club raised a question during the weekend's Club Law and Management Question and Answer Session asking whether it was necessary for adults supervising a children's Christmas Party in a Club to be CRB checked.

At the time, I was unable to give a definitive answer and undertook to research this matter and to publish the results of this research in the
Magazine.

The CRB is an Executive Agency of the Home Office set up to help organisations make safer recruitment decisions. CRB stands for Criminal Records Bureau. Organisations that wish to use CRB checks must comply with the CRB's code of practice and must register with the CRB. Information concerning the CRB can be found on the website under www.crb.gov.uk.

I raised Mr. Horton's question with our own Solicitors and print below the answer which I received:

"The answer to this question will vary depending upon who the supervisors are and what their role is.

"If the supervisors are merely parents of the children in question then no checks will be required for a one off event such as this. This will also be the case if it is volunteers that are being used and it will ultimately be up to the organiser of the event to be satisfied that they are all suitable to work with children. The lack of prescribed legislation emphasises that it will be at the organisers' discretion, if they feel further checks against an individual are necessary then they should not hesitate in requiring them.

"If on the other hand the supervisors are hired and they host this type of event for a living then they will have already had to disclose any convictions when applying for a job that involved working with children. All organisations that provide these types of service will require a CRB of all their prospective employees before

they are allowed to work, needless to say though it will always be a good idea to request confirmation that this is the case.

"Other points to be wary of will include ensuring that the building itself is suitable for the type of activity, that the numbers do not exceed
the club's capacity and that there are suitable protocols in place for first aid emergencies etc."

I trust this information will be of assistance to Clubs and I acknowledge our thanks to Mr. Horton for raising this important matter.