Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are now compulsory for new British Horse Society (BHS) registered instructors.
From 1 January 2006, all new BHS Register applicants are required to produce an enhanced CRB disclosure. Within the next two years the BHS intends to carry out CRB checks on all BHS registered instructors.
Linda Haworth of the BHS Examinations department said: “The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and all its member groups are aware of the importance of child protection issues within sport.”
A CRB disclosure application, Disclosure Scotland application or Department of Health for N.I. disclosure application form will be sent out with the 2006 Register of Instructors application form. This information will then be matched against the CRB database.
The checks will take at least 28 days to be carried out. “If there is any information on the CRB database we will consider what it is and decide whether to accept them,” Haworth confirmed. “Children and young people are the future of the horse industry and any child who participates should be able to do so in a fun, safe environment and be protected from harm.”
At the moment this is a requirement for new BHS registered instructors only. However, instructors who allow their registration to lapse by more than 12 months will be required to produce a disclosure if they wish to renew membership to the register. “We will eventually introduce the new system to everyone but we have to start somewhere,” says Haworth, “With 2,500 accredited instructors it is going to take some time.”
The CRB checks are not yet a legal requirement but the BHS is one of many sports societies to introduce them. “The BHS is committed to devising and implementing policies and procedures to ensure all those involved comply with the Code of Good Practice,” Haworth concluded.