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.
ACRO and the International Child Protection Certificate
ACRO's Lucy Saunders talks more about ACRO and the ICPC below:
"ACRO is a national policing unit, which is hosted by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary. We undertake a number of functions, including the exchange of criminal records worldwide, the provision of disclosure documents for personal use and use in visa applications, immigration and working abroad.
One of our main functions is to produce the International Child Protection Certificate known as the ICPC. The ICPC is a criminal records check for individuals who have lived or live in the UK and are looking to work with children overseas.
Following legislation changes in relation to subject access and the fact that the DBS can provide enhanced vetting checks for regulated activity, although only where the employment decision is made in the UK, the ICPC is now the only safe option for the vetting of employees and volunteers looking to work in these overseas schools.
The certificate is produced in partnership with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and is used in international schools throughout the world. The certificate confirms whether your employee or volunteer has a criminal record, or whether they have been known to the police. It will provide information which includes conviction and non-conviction data.
As recommended by the IICSA report, there are currently no plans to extend the reach of the DBS to enable them to provide checks to overseas employers. Therefore, the Home Office has stated that the information provided on an ICPC is broadly similar to that on an (DBS) enhanced certificate and that the ICPC is simpler and easier for foreign employers to obtain.
The ICPC is also currently being promoted by Project Soteria, a project within Interpol to ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable children who come into contact with representatives from the aid sector.
So, if your overseas school is recruiting UK citizens or individuals who have lived in the UK, then requesting the successful candidates apply for an ICPC ensures the continued safety of the children in your care."
- 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.
COBIS member schools can register with ACRO as an overseas school. This will streamline the process for your employees when applying for an ICPC. Please register by emailing email@example.com
An update from ACRO on a recent cyber safety incident can be found here.
Click on the video below to learn more about the International Child Protection Certificate:
For more information, or to apply for an ICPC, please visit https://www.acro.police.uk/