work or to work as a volunteer should be a straightforward business for the vast majority of people. It isn't.
That does not mean that the vast majority of people have some nasty incident lurking in their post. They don't.
I have no problem with the general idea of a police check. It is a good thing if it saves even one vulnerable individual, particularly a child, from being at risk.
But I think our system goes too far. A friend of mine is, at 76, a keen knitter and always willing to pass her skills on to others. She obtained a police clearance to work at a church craft group. Then she was asked to work at a school. She required another police clearance for that - because she was working with children. That may seem fair enough. She had to pay for both clearances although I feel that those asking her should have paid for the second if they specifically wanted her.
But she was telling me that someone else volunteered for the same programme in the same school. The other woman, a similar age, had a police clearance to work in another school - but not in the second school. If she wanted to work in the second school she had to obtain yet another police clearance. The students in both are in the same age group and from similar backgrounds.
My question is, why does the other woman need a new police clearance to work in the second school? My own view is that the system should be able to cope with such things. You should be able to get a police clearance to work in all schools of one type or another. You should not need a clearance to work in Red primary school and a new clearance to work in Blue primary school. The clearance should cover both schools.
Many organisations are exceptionally short of volunteers now. Some volunteers are working close to full time. Some volunteers are in their eighties and nineties. Often they have to do Occupational Health and Safety training as well as get the police clearance. They have to learn new ways of doing things because of new rules and regulations.
We want people to volunteer. We want them to be safe. We want the people they are working with and for to be safe. There is now a delay in the handling of applications. They want to put the application fee up again.
Surely one way of handling this is to make the application process situation specific rather than location specific?