Safeguarding in the Workplace: What are the lessons to be learned from cases referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority?
The Bichard Inquiry, arising from the Soham murders in 2002, questioned the approaches, mechanisms and processes that employers used to recruit people to volunteer and work with children and vulnerable adults. One of the recommendations of the Inquiry was the establishment of a single agency with the responsibility for preventing unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults. The ISA was duly created to fulfil this role in England, Wales and Northern Ireland following the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) and Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order (SVGO) 2007. The ISA replaces previous arrangements under the Protection of Children Act (PoCA), the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) scheme, List 99 and Disqualification Orders.
The role of the ISA is to make independent, well-informed and considered decisions on whether to bar people from working with vulnerable adults and / or children. Previously, this decision making power was held by the Secretary of State. These decisions are recorded through the maintenance of two lists; one detailing those individuals barred from engaging in regulated activity with children, and the other listing those barred from engaging in regulated activity with vulnerable adults.