New Checks For Workers With Children

Tough new checks on people who want to work with children and vulnerable adults are to be introduced in Northern Ireland.

People will in future face more stringent checks on their backgrounds and suitability for the posts under a new scheme introduced today.

Up until now, applicants for posts in hospitals, schools, care centers and sports and community groups in Northern Ireland were screened by the PSNI in an attempt to identify and exclude potential abusers.

In the future, those checks will be carried out by a new body, Access NI.

It will be able to see police records across the UK, with details of convictions and intelligence and these will be disclosed to employers seeking to recruit staff for sensitive positions involving young children and vulnerable adults.

It will also screen applications for jobs in medicine and the law, and expects to process 130,000 inquiries a year.

Employers will be charged £30 for the service, and Access hopes to complete 90% of searches within four weeks.