Circulars and Updates - Northern Ireland Gymnastics

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Circulars and Updates


You are able to apply for your AccessNI check online using the Government’s NIDirect website www.nidirect.gov.uk/accessni.

Checks with EU member states - 12/04/2021
AccessNI currently runs a project to obtain any relevant information on EU nationals who originate from 12 countries.  This additional check is restricted to where the applicant is seeking to work with children in regulated activity in Northern Ireland.  From 12th April 2021, AccessNI has decided to extend these checks to nationals who come from 3 additional countries. 

The full list of countries where checks are made include;

Bulgaria
Czech Republic *
France
Germany
Greece *
Hungary
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Netherlands *
Poland
Romania
Slovakia
Spain

* Additional countries

ID Checking - Expired Documents - 19/11/2020
Due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, there continues to be some delays in processing applications and renewal of passports and driving licences.  In response to this AccessNI will temporarily continue to allow the following expired documentation to be accepted for AccessNI identity checking purposes:-

UK Driving licences
A UK driving licence which expires between 1 February and 31 December 2020 will automatically be extended for 11 months. The extension will start from the date a licence is due to expire.  An expired driving licence can be accepted as a form of ID on condition that it falls within the period of extension.

**The extension does not apply to provisional driving licences that expire in this period.  A provision driving licence can be renewed online.**

Irish Driving licences
An Irish driving licence which expired after 1 March will remain valid for an additional seven months.  An expired driving licence can be accepted as a form of ID on condition that it falls within the period of extension.

In relation to learner permits, those permits which expired between 1 March and 30 June 2020 have all been extended by 4 months and permits expiring between 1 July and 31 October 2020, including those already extended, the validity period of these permits has also been extended by 4 months.  Expired permits can be accepted as a form of ID on condition that it falls within the period of extension.

UK Passports
AccessNI will temporarily allow expired UK passports that are within 6 months of the expiry date to be accepted for AccessNI identity checking purposes.

Irish Passports
Irish passports applications and renewals are still being processed and no extension has been approved for expired licences.  Expired Irish passports cannot be accepted as a form of ID for AccessNI identity checking purposes.

AccessNI circular: 3/2020 - Revised Code of Practice
Revised Code of Practice 3/2020

AccessNI Newsletter 34: Summer 2020
AccessNI Newsletter 34: Summer 2020

The newsletter contains information on the following:

Applicant survey
Home-based positions – AccessNI enhanced disclosure e-application forms
On-line teaching
ID checking during COVID-19
Barred list checks
Activating and Managing NIDA accounts
Training
Positions applied for
AccessNI Registered/Responsible Body review
Referral to Disclosure and Barring Service
Independent Monitor Annual Report

BLC Scheme - 04/09/2020
AccessNI introduced the Barred List Check (BLC) scheme in March 2020 to allow individuals seeking to work in Regulated Activity in Covid-19 related positions to quickly commence work pending a full Enhanced disclosure.  

The purpose of this email is to advise that it has been decided that the BLC scheme will be wound down on 9th September 2020.  The reasons for this are two-fold:-

1. There is very little uptake of the scheme at the moment; and
2. The current quick turn-around of Enhanced applications negates the continuing need of the scheme.

Please be advised that the scheme will close at 5pm on 9th September 2020 AccessNI will return any applications to the scheme after this time, unprocessed.

Should the need arise, the scheme will be introduced again at very short notice to allow employers to benefit from it.

Home Based Positions – AccessNI Enhanced Disclosure E-Application Forms - 04/09/2020
On the AccessNI enhanced disclosure e-application form, the Registered Body is asked the question:-

Will the work be carried out at the home of the applicant? Yes or No

Where the role being applied for, will always be carried out at the home address of the applicant (this is the individual applying for the disclosure certificate) the Registered Body should ‘X’ the ‘Yes’ box.  A prime example of a home-based position is ‘Kinship Foster Carer’ where a child or young person will be cared for in the applicant’s own home.

Where the role being applied for will be carried out at a client’s home address – such as ‘Domiciliary Care Workers’ this is not a home-based position and at the question:-

Will the work be carried out at the home of the applicant? The Registered Body should ‘X’ the ‘No’ box.

AccessNI applications for home-based positions are always referred to Police Service Northern Ireland to allow them to check their records for any relevant information in relation to 3rd parties at the applicant’s address.  This will make the processing time for these applications slightly longer.

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic many roles are temporarily being conducted from the applicant’s home address but this does not mean they are home-based positions.  Where the role would usually be conducted from a work address this is not a home based position and the question:-

Will the work be carried out at the home of the applicant? Should be answered ‘No’.

COVID-19: Access NI - Teaching, Training, Instruction Children Online
Working practices arising from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have been far reaching, and many changes have had to be introduced in double quick time in order to ensure continuity of many services.

One such change is the use of on-line streaming to deliver teaching, training, instruction, etc to children. 

Please note that this type of on-line activity with children is regarded as Regulated Activity if it is carried out frequently (once per week or 4+ times in a 30 day period) and, as such, an Enhanced disclosure with a check of the children’s barred list should be sought.

COVID- 19 Contingency Plan
Coronavirus Outbreak - AccessNI Contingency Plan

Circular 2/2020 – Criminal Records Filtering Scheme
https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/justice/AccessNI%20Circular%20%20%202%202020%20-%20Changes%20to%20Criminal%20Records%20Filtering%20Scheme%282%29.pdf

AccessNI has published newsletter 32: Winter 2020
https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/justice/Winter%20Newsletter%2032.pdf

The Newsletter contains information on the following;
New AccessNI Signatory Training
Working in Premises/establishments regulated by RQIA
AccessN checks – Working with Children and Adults in the Voluntary Sector
Compliance officer Q&A
Re-Prints
AccessNI Updates

Public Services Card as ID Document
We have received further clarification on the use of the Public Services Card (Ireland) as an acceptable ID document.  As AccessNI is not regarded as a ‘Specified Body’ under Schedule 5 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 we can no longer include this card in our Group 2B documentation.

The AccessNI guidance for identity-checking applications at the link below has been updated to reflect this change:-
www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/guide-identity-checking-signatories-0

Fraudulent Certificates
AccessNI digital certificates are designed to be used and shared electronically.  They incorporate a watermark with the wording ***VALID CERTIFICATE – UNLESS PRINTED*** written diagonally across the certificate.  AccessNI has included this watermark as a fraud prevention measure in recognition that a digital certificate is relatively easy to replicate on a word document.  It is for this reason it is absolutely essential that Signatories do not accept a paper version of the digital certificate – Signatories should instead ask the applicant to share their digital certificate electronically.  

Cease of Paper Applications
AccessNI will be removing paper applications from the NIdirect website on 1 July 2019, and we will cease to accept paper applications from 1 October 2019.

AccessNI: EU Referrals
From 3 June 2019 AccessNI will recommence making referrals to Poland and Romania if either of these is the applicant’s country of origin and they have applied to work in regulated activity with children in NI.  

This brings the full list of EU countries to which AccessNI makes referrals to 12 – the list of countries can be viewed here.

Circular 3/2019
We strongly advise all applicants to apply online themselves rather than utilising a third party such as your club verification officer.
Circular 3/2019

Circular 2/2019
Paper applications to cease from July 2019
Circular 2/2019

AccessNI Identity Checking Guidance - 09/05/2019
Please note that the guidance documentation for identity checking AccessNI disclosure applications has been updated.  Please see the link provided below:-
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/guide-identity-checking-signatories-0
The main change reflected in this update is the addition of the Irish marriage certificate.

The PIN notification and ID validation forms have also been updated as detailed in the links below:-
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/pin-notification-and-id-validation-form-responsible-bodies
https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/pin-notification-and-id-validation-form-signatories

Please ensure the new PIN forms are utilised during your ID checking process.

Circular 1/2019
Access NI Fees. From 1 April 2019, Access Ni fees will change. Please see Circular 1/2019 for specific detail.
pdf Cicular 1/2019 (214 KB)

Access NI Update
With effect from February 2019, Access NI will be implementing a phased approach to remove old incomplete applications. All applicants, verifiers and Counter Signatories should be aware that any application created will only have a shelf life of 90 days.  If after 90 days, the application has not been submitted to Access NI, then it will automatically be deleted and the applicant will have to start the process again.  

Immediate action required - New Electronic Certificates and NICS Identity Assurance (NIDA) Accounts
Please be advised that with effect from 17th July 2018, AccessNI will issue electronic certificates. All applications from that date will also require the applicant to create a NICS Identity Assurance (NIDA) account. Further direction and guidance can be found here, Circular 3/2018 and AccessNI Guide to Identity Checking

Important changes for Identity checking procedures
pdf AccessNI Circular 1/2018 (250 KB) , has introduced new requirements for identity checking of applicants, which come into effect from 1st May 2018. They are necessary as a result of circumstances where individuals have obtained certificates from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS), despite having no right to work in UK, which is a breach of law and could lead to vulnerable persons being put at risk. 

The main changes are the introduction of Group 2a and 2b identification documents to replace the current Group 2 documentation and the requirement for Regulatory Bodies to keep copy identity documentation for 90 days. This will require applicants/verifiers to provide copies of each of the documents used in the identity verification process.

In order to meet the requirements that personal details entered on an application match documentation provided to verify their identity, the following documents have been produced by AccessNI and British Gymnastics and must be read and adhered to prior to any application being made on or after 1st May 2018:

AccessNI Guide to Identity Checking

BG Guidance Notes and FAQ

New BG PIN Notification and ID Validation Form - Responsbile Bodies

New BG PIN Notification and ID Validation Form - Signatories

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