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Thumbs UP - Your National Contractor Vetting Scheme Update - July 2018

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Welcome to our first Thumbs Up update - this is our promise to keep you updated on what matters and when it matters. This means we will share information with you when required, rather than waiting for a monthly update.

To get us started we would like to introduce our new Vetting Development Manager Mick Gillick MBE. Over to you Mick...

"I am pleased to say I now have the responsibility for meeting the needs of clients of the National Contractors Vetting Service and our local vetting.

A little bit of background; I enjoyed a 30 year police career and subsequently worked in the facilities management sector as a Contract Manager and a Senior Operations Manager. I'm based at Stratford upon Avon Police Station and can be contacted via michael.gillick@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk please do not hesitate to contact me.

I am very much looking forward to working with you and improving the service we are able to provide. I am dedicated to providing a first class service where we are able to meet your expectations and your demand in a professional and timely manner."

Vetting team update

The role of the Vetting Development Manager was created following an extensive review of the Vetting function within Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police. A number of additional Case Officers and Vetting Assistant roles were also created and have been recruited to. This now means we have a dedicated team solely focusing on our backlog.

The additional roles will help us to provide a first class service and the requirements for these were calculated on the basis of current and potential future demand. Our newest members have already begun to have a significant impact on the backlog of cases. It's anticipated that this backlog will be eliminated in the coming months. Please see our backlog update at the end.

All new applications received since 2 April 2018 are being assessed by a separate group of Case Officers - so we're tackling the demand from both ends. We apologise to those of you who have been inconvenienced, we're working really hard to get our systems and processes in shape so that we can meet our Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

CoreVet Upgrade

CoreVet is the software system we us use to manage the Vetting process. We have been working closely with the developers and anticipate that in early September we will be able to reveal the new system to you.

The system will enable Sponsors (i.e. you) to register their Applicants online. An email link will then be sent to the Applicant who can complete the application online. Not only will this speed up the process (by eliminating paper) a 'portal' has been created which will enable you to login and check the progress of the Application, for example; has the Applicant submitted it; has it been allocated to a Case Worker.

Do not worry, we will be in touch before to ensure you have everything you need to get started such as your 'login' details and a Guide to help you through the improved process.

Revision of Terms & Conditions of Service (new SLAs and prices)

The review which led to the recruitment of additional vetting staff and the Vetting team restructure also revisited the existing Terms & Conditions, which hadn't been reviewed in ten years. Existing customers should have received a letter to advise of these revisions including the new prices 60 days' notice for existing customers to consider acceptance of these.

Please note applications received after the 3 September 2018 will be deemed to have accepted the revised Terms & Conditions.

To prevent the Vetting team being overwhelmed by applications prior to the above September date, existing customers will be limited to the number of applications they can submit. If we didn't do this we could potentially find ourselves unable to meet our SLAs, which have been calculated on our current demand levels.

We are confident that you will be seeing a significant uplift in our service provision over the coming months, that will more than justify the increased prices per application, and mean your Applicants are able to help you meet your objectives.

Appeals Process

Its early days, but we are in the process of reviewing the way Appeals are managed. The objective is to reduce the time Applicants have to wait to have their Appeals heard. Within the next month or so we will be able to share the new process with you...we will keep you updated.

Please Help Us to Help You

Email title for Applications

To help save time and ensure you get a result as soon as possible, while our process is still paper based, when submitting your applications by email can you adopt the following format:

In the title bar of the email please can you provide the following:

Name of the Applicant; Applicants National Insurance Number; level of Vetting Sought, i.e. NPPV2 or NPPV3 or NPPV3+SC.

This will enable the Vetting Assistant, who receives the email, to create the Case File, send the Applicant relevant documentation/login details; and allocate the Application to a Supervisor - without the need to open the email. Thank you.

Appeals Panel

Did you know the biggest reason for refusing Vetting (which was endorsed by the Appeals Panel) is the Applicant's failure to disclose relevant information about previous offending of themselves, family members or spouses/partners. Where possible, please ensure this is communicated and included.

Filtering information

Where possible please avoid filtering information. This may be done because convictions are thought to be spent or covered by the Good Friday Agreement, etc. Can we remind you that failure to disclose will be inferred as an 'Honesty and Integrity' issue.

We will be reviewing the application form to ensure this is reinforced.

As you can appreciate the last two updates lead to failed Applications and Appeals. If we can work together to reduce this we will save time, which can be used to improve the service we deliver and help us meet our SLAs.

GDPR

Warwickshire Police & West Mercia Police have reviewed their approach to Data Protection.

The safety of personal data is treated very seriously and you can be reassured that we will do nothing to compromise that security. Both Forces have published 'Privacy Notices' on their websites which reflect this shared commitment to safeguarding personal data.

The Warwickshire Police Chief Constable, Martin Jelley, (who is the National Police Chief's Council lead for Professional Standards and Vetting) is in consultation with the Information Commissioners Office and the Home Office. This is about how police Vetting departments handle personal data where the Applicant's safety could be compromised, if people they have referred to on their application, knew they were seeking to have access to police assets. We will keep you informed about progress.

Further information can be found on our website at Data Protection.

Last but by no means least our backlog update...

We plan to keep you updated on our backlog and how our dedicated 'Backlog Team' are progressing with this.

The chart below shows April 2018 through to March 2019 (left to right). The blue line is the projected reduction of the backlog during this time, and the amber line is the actual backlog reduction the team have achieved through April and May - this is already 25% of the demand.

Project backlog graphic April 2018-March 2019