The International Child Protection Certificate

The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) is a criminal records check for anyone who lives, or has lived, in the UK and who is looking to work with children overseas. It confirms whether or not the applicant has a criminal history and provides details, including relevant conviction and non-conviction data.

The ICPC is already used by hundreds of schools and organisations around the world to make informed decisions on a person's suitability for employment or continued employment in positions that provide regular access to children.

In May 2019, COBIS and ACRO Criminal Records Office announced a collaboration to enhance international child protection. Together, ACRO and COBIS are working to promote the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) as a rigorous safeguarding tool to reduce risk in British international schools worldwide.

COBIS was a member of the project board that supported the launch of the ICPC by The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in 2012, and is now pleased to act as ICPC Global Ambassador. COBIS is working alongside ACRO to make the ICPC scheme a fundamental aspect of the recruitment process for individuals wanting to work with children overseas.

The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC):

  • A criminal records check for anyone who lives, or who has lived, in the UK and who is looking to work with children overseas
  • ICPCs confirm whether or not the applicant has a criminal history and provide details, including relevant conviction and non-conviction data
  • The certificate is produced in two parts:
    • Part 1 - disclosure of any convictions, impending prosecutions, cautions, reprimands, warnings and current investigations held on UK databases
    • Part 2 - Disclosure of any information deemed relevant in the interest of child protection

Why the ICPC is suitable for international schools:

The certificate provides a wide-range of key benefits to ensure that safeguarding children is at the heart of every recruitment decision made by international schools. 

In providing vital information concerning conviction and non-conviction data – including current investigations and impending prosecutions – the ICPC allows organisations to assess an applicant’s suitability for working with children overseas via a robust background check. 

The certificate also details any information which is deemed relevant in the interest of child protection, giving further evidence with which to make informed recruitment decisions.

A number of built-in security features also mean that the information international schools receive from the applicant is authentic, trustworthy and certified. 

Requesting an ICPC:

COBIS schools and other international schools can require all new eligible employees and volunteers (including both teaching and non-teaching staff) to provide a certified ICPC before beginning employment within the school.

Employees or volunteers will need to apply directly for an ICPC. They can apply online or they can apply by post, stating the name of the school in which they will be employed.

More information:

For more information, or to apply for an ICPC, please visit www.acro.police.uk/icpc