CRB checks

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CRB checks

Andrew Turvey-2
Thanks everyone for their contributions - you certainly learn a lot getting involved in things like this! I'm glad in a way I've forced the issue - even if I'm probably making more of it than I should!

I realise there is a proposal that Wikimedia UK gets involved in schools educations projects where people go into schools and talk about what we do. Clearly that will involve regular contact with children. My cursory reading of CRB legal advice would draw me to the conclusion that the Board would be legally obliged to ensure that anyone involved in this - whether or not they were members of the Board - were appropriately checked and passed those checks. Clearly if someone refused, they could not be allowed to participate in these projects - but I see no reason why they should be forced off the Board - particularly the initial Board whose focus will be elsewhere.

The second issue is regarding junior members. Clearly we are inviting membership applications from all age groups - indeed there is a 17 year old participating in the email list (welcome by the way!). I am a little bit concerned that the person responsible for processing membership applications and recording details will end up with names, addresses, contact details and possibly more for children. I'm not sure it would be responsible - even if it were technically legal - giving someone access to this information who is potentially a risk to children. For that reason I'm inclined to the conclusion that we probably should require the membership secretary (or whatever office ends up doing this job) to be CRBed. If the person refused or failed they should also be relieved of the office - but not kicked off the Board.  Having said that, I can't see why the entire board would get involved in every application - perhaps the odd contentious one if the application is refused - or even having access to this information. So again, I don't see why this should require every Board member to agree to a CRB.

The third issue is regarding junior Board members. We have sidestepped this issue at the moment by requiring all candidates to be above 18 but under Company law we could actually accept 16 and 17 year olds as directors. The Charity Commission may have issues if the entire Board is 16 but I'm not sure that's likely! As I've said, it's not an issue at the moment but I don't know if it would be in the future if this policy changed.

All of these issues are details of a CRB policy which ultimately needs to be agreed by the Board in consultation with the community. I don't think any of them are grounds for forcing all Board candidates to agree to a CRB before they are even elected.

On a side issue, if everyone agrees with me on the second issue - needing to CRB the membership secretary - we may need to change the timetable and possibly push back the AGM for a month, because we wont be able to accept membership applications until after the CRB is received back.
 
Andrew Turvey


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Re: CRB checks

joseph seddon
Quote: The third issue is regarding junior Board members. We have sidestepped this issue
at the moment by requiring all candidates to be above 18 but under Company law we could
actually accept 16 and 17 year olds as directors. The Charity Commission may have issues
if the entire Board is 16 but I'm not sure that's likely! As I've said, it's not an issue at the moment
but I don't know if it would be in the future if this policy changed.

As a further point, if we have junior board members, then i assume that the rest of the board
would required to have a CRB check done?


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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
> As a further point, if we have junior board members, then i assume that the
> rest of the board
> would required to have a CRB check done?

I don't know - no individual member of the board would be with the
child member(s) alone, so it might not be a serious issue. I do,
however, think it's best to avoid child trustees - the charity
commission's advice talks about having them when the organisation is a
"for the children, by the children" type thing (I paraphrase). We
don't need child trustees in order to achieve our goals properly, so I
think it's best to avoid all the hassle that would go along with it
(has everyone read the CC's advice on the matter? I believe I linked
to it somewhere, it's on their website under "Guidance", near the
bottom of the sidebar.)

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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Andrew Turvey-2
> Having said that, I can't see why the entire board would get
> involved in every application

I think the board, or at least a committee of the board, needs to
rubber stamp each application. I would imagine the membership
secretary would attach a list of applications to the agenda, along
with recommendations and the rest of the board would take a quick look
and say "no objection" and then get on with the rest of the meeting.
It's a formality that needs to be done, though, I think.

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Re: CRB checks

Simon Walker-4
In reply to this post by Andrew Turvey-2
2008/9/10 Andrew Turvey <[hidden email]>
indeed there is a 17 year old participating in the email list (welcome by the way!).
 
Actually, there's at least two, if not more signed up to this list.
 
2008/9/10 joseph seddon <[hidden email]>
As a further point, if we have junior board members, then i assume that the rest of the board
would required to have a CRB check done?
 
I'm pretty sure it's under 16's that makes the CRB required, unless there is a "vulnerable person" on the board too.

Regards, Stwalkerster

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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
> I'm pretty sure it's under 16's that makes the CRB required, unless there is
> a "vulnerable person" on the board too.

For the purposes of CRB checks, a child is defined as someone under 18
(according to the charity commission).

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Re: CRB checks

joseph seddon
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
> I think the board, or at least a committee of the board, needs to
> rubber stamp each application. I would imagine the membership
> secretary would attach a list of applications to the agenda, along
> with recommendations and the rest of the board would take a quick look
> and say "no objection" and then get on with the rest of the meeting.
> It's a formality that needs to be done, though, I think.
>
Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
members however would probably not need to go through the same process
as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats something the first board
needs to decide upon.


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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
> Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
> members however would probably not need to go through the same process
> as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats something the first
> board
> needs to decide upon.

True. I tend to forget about supporting membership, since it's a
fairly meaningless thing - it just means you're a regular donor and
get an email every so often. I would hope that most people become
guarantor members, otherwise they're not really involved (I think
anyone representing the chapter at official chapter activities ought
to be a full member of the charity - they're the people best placed to
be voting at AGMs, etc).

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Re: CRB checks

Chris McKenna
In reply to this post by Andrew Turvey-2
Looking at the application for membership forms for WMUK v1 (WER), I note
that applicants for guarantor membership must be 18 or over (presumably
for legal reasons). So the handling of personal data for under 18s is a
non-issue for this.

For supporting members the form also asks for a date of birth, but I don't
understand why this is needed? The acompanying text states:

I hereby apply to become a supporting member of Wikimedia UK
and by signing this application confirm that I support the
aims of Wikimedia UK and shall not bring the organisation
into disrepute.
I am aware that being a supporting member of Wikimedia UK
does not confer any rights regarding the actions and
decisions which may be taken by Wiki Educational Resources
Ltd.

I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that the signature of a
parent or guardian is not requried for this type of agreement for those
aged 13 or over. And, even if it is required, I do not beleive that we
need to know that it is a parent/guardian's signature rather than the
applicant's signature.

I say this because if we do need to know whether someone is under 18 or
not, there is no need for us to ask about it. If there is no way of
knowing the age of a person from their form, then I cannot see that
requiring a CRB check of those processing the forms is legal.

Alternatively we may state that we cannot accept applications from those
under 16, but we are able to accept applications from parents/guardians of
under 16s on their behalf (and word the form apropriately so we don't know
when this is the case)

(I know that this may not be exactly the same as for WMUK v2, but they are
likely to be similar)

On Wed, 10 Sep 2008, Andrew Turvey wrote:
On a side issue, if everyone agrees with me on the second issue - needing to CRB the membership secretary - we may need to change the timetable and possibly push back the AGM for a month, because we wont be able to accept membership applications until after the CRB is received back.

Unfortunately it isn't that simple. From discussions with people I know
who work in the childcare sector, and thus have had many CRB checks and
dealt with requiring CRB checks of others, the time taken for the results
of a CRB check to come through can vary between about 14 days and 7
months. I do not think it reasonable to hold up the progress of WMUK in
this manner for a CRB check that is not legally /required/.

Chris

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Re: CRB checks

Alison M. Wheeler
On Thu, September 11, 2008 01:27, Chris McKenna wrote:
> Looking at the application for membership forms for WMUK v1 (WER), I note
> that applicants for guarantor membership must be 18 or over (presumably
> for legal reasons).

Yes.

> For supporting members the form also asks for a date of birth, but I don't
> understand why this is needed? The acompanying text states:
> I am not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that the signature of a
> parent or guardian is not requried for this type of agreement for those
> aged 13 or over. And, even if it is required, I do not beleive that we
> need to know that it is a parent/guardian's signature rather than the
> applicant's signature.
>
> I say this because if we do need to know whether someone is under 18 or
> not, there is no need for us to ask about it. If there is no way of
> knowing the age of a person from their form, then I cannot see that
> requiring a CRB check of those processing the forms is legal.

iirc the reasoning was along the following lines ...

If someone is under 18 then by asking for the actual date we could do a
follow-up inviting that person to guarantor (member) status when they
turned 18. As regards the actual signature I believe it is required to
know whether it is the individual or someone signing on their behalf in
order that we retain a signature for comparison purposes on subsequent
forms (votes, proposals, etc).

So far I've seen nothing proposed that would seem to *require* CRB checks
to be carried out prior to getting everything started (as opposed to the
long delays that would likely ensue if that route were taken)

Alison


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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Chris McKenna
2008/9/11 Chris McKenna <[hidden email]>:
> Looking at the application for membership forms for WMUK v1 (WER), I note
> that applicants for guarantor membership must be 18 or over (presumably
> for legal reasons). So the handling of personal data for under 18s is a
> non-issue for this.

To the best of my knowledge, there are is no legal requirement for a
member of a company limited by guarantee to be over 18. 16 and 17 year
olds can become directors (if we chose to allow them to), so surely
they can become members? I don't know why WER chose not to allow under
18s to be guarantor members, but I don't think it's a simple matter of
them not being legally able to.

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Re: CRB checks

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 23:32 +0100 10/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:

>  > Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
>>  members however would probably not need to go through the same process
>>  as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats something the first
>>  board
>>  needs to decide upon.
>
>True. I tend to forget about supporting membership, since it's a
>fairly meaningless thing - it just means you're a regular donor and
>get an email every so often. I would hope that most people become
>guarantor members, otherwise they're not really involved (I think
>anyone representing the chapter at official chapter activities ought
>to be a full member of the charity - they're the people best placed to
>be voting at AGMs, etc).
>

I disagree with this approach. I would suggest that approximately 10%
of Wikimedia UK Chapter are guarantor members.

Gordo



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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
2008/9/12 Gordon Joly <[hidden email]>:

> At 23:32 +0100 10/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>  > Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
>>>  members however would probably not need to go through the same process
>>>  as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats something the first
>>>  board
>>>  needs to decide upon.
>>
>>True. I tend to forget about supporting membership, since it's a
>>fairly meaningless thing - it just means you're a regular donor and
>>get an email every so often. I would hope that most people become
>>guarantor members, otherwise they're not really involved (I think
>>anyone representing the chapter at official chapter activities ought
>>to be a full member of the charity - they're the people best placed to
>>be voting at AGMs, etc).
>>
>
> I disagree with this approach. I would suggest that approximately 10%
> of Wikimedia UK Chapter are guarantor members.

Why?

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Re: CRB checks

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
2008/9/10 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
>> Having said that, I can't see why the entire board would get
>> involved in every application
>
> I think the board, or at least a committee of the board, needs to
> rubber stamp each application. I would imagine the membership
> secretary would attach a list of applications to the agenda, along
> with recommendations and the rest of the board would take a quick look
> and say "no objection" and then get on with the rest of the meeting.
> It's a formality that needs to be done, though, I think.

I know this is a stupid question, but how do large-scale organisations
do it? I can't imagine a charity the size of the RSPB, say, doing this
for their membership applications.

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Re: CRB checks

Sam Korn
On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 12:27 PM, Andrew Gray <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I know this is a stupid question, but how do large-scale organisations
> do it? I can't imagine a charity the size of the RSPB, say, doing this
> for their membership applications.

That would be for supporting membership, rather than for guarantor
membership of the company.

I think the issue is confused by the fact that we are having elections
where everybody can vote for this initial board, but the long-term
election of the board will be done by a rather more select group of
people -- i.e. the members of the company.  I guess there could be a
system where some board members are elected by supporting members, and
others by guarantor members?

--
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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
> I guess there could be a
> system where some board members are elected by supporting members, and
> others by guarantor members?

No, I don't think so, at least not without drastically changing from
the model articles. Directors are elected at an AGM and all members
(which legally speaking means guarantor members) have a vote at AGMs.
If we wanted to change that we would need to get a solicitor to write
it all up properly, I think (at the moment they just need to rubber
stamp it).

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Re: CRB checks

Sam Korn
On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> I guess there could be a
>> system where some board members are elected by supporting members, and
>> others by guarantor members?
>
> No, I don't think so, at least not without drastically changing from
> the model articles. Directors are elected at an AGM and all members
> (which legally speaking means guarantor members) have a vote at AGMs.
> If we wanted to change that we would need to get a solicitor to write
> it all up properly, I think (at the moment they just need to rubber
> stamp it).

Even then it could be the board rubber-stamping a community vote...
I'm hypothesising -- it may well be that anyone who is interested to
vote would be a guarantor member anyway, so the point would be moot.
I assume this is your intention?

--
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Re: CRB checks

Thomas Dalton
2008/9/12 Sam Korn <[hidden email]>:

> On Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> I guess there could be a
>>> system where some board members are elected by supporting members, and
>>> others by guarantor members?
>>
>> No, I don't think so, at least not without drastically changing from
>> the model articles. Directors are elected at an AGM and all members
>> (which legally speaking means guarantor members) have a vote at AGMs.
>> If we wanted to change that we would need to get a solicitor to write
>> it all up properly, I think (at the moment they just need to rubber
>> stamp it).
>
> Even then it could be the board rubber-stamping a community vote...
> I'm hypothesising -- it may well be that anyone who is interested to
> vote would be a guarantor member anyway, so the point would be moot.
> I assume this is your intention?

It would be all guarantor members rubber-stamping a community vote,
but yes, that's possible if people want to do that (that can be
handled informally). My intention is for anyone that wants to be a
guarantor member to be one (obviously the board would reserve the
right to reject people, but I don't think it's likely) and I can't
really see why people wouldn't want to be one (the liability is
limited to £1, it's just a token gesture, the admin cost of actually
claiming those £1's would make it completely pointless anyway so
there's really no liability at all). Gordon Joly seems to have a
different intention and I'm curious to hear his reasoning - there may
be some issue I've missed.
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Re: CRB checks

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 11:36 +0100 12/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:

>2008/9/12 Gordon Joly <[hidden email]>:
>  > At 23:32 +0100 10/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>>   > Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
>>>>   members however would probably not need to go through the same process
>>>>   as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats
>>>>something the first
>>>>   board
>>>>   needs to decide upon.
>>>
>>>True. I tend to forget about supporting membership, since it's a
>>>fairly meaningless thing - it just means you're a regular donor and
>>>get an email every so often. I would hope that most people become
>>>guarantor members, otherwise they're not really involved (I think
>>>anyone representing the chapter at official chapter activities ought
>  >>to be a full member of the charity - they're the people best placed to
>>>be voting at AGMs, etc).
>>>
>>
>>  I disagree with this approach. I would suggest that approximately 10%
>>  of Wikimedia UK Chapter are guarantor members.
>
>Why?
>
>______________


One reason is the management of the AGM. With say 400 members and a
25% quorum, you have to get a hundred people (or more) in one place
within a very fixed time frame.

Also governance issues, in that everybody must understand their
responsibilities and liabilities.

Calls for an EGM could happen from time to time as well.

Gordo

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Re: CRB checks

joseph seddon







> Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 21:47:22 +0100

> To: [hidden email]
> From: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] CRB checks
>
> At 11:36 +0100 12/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
> >2008/9/12 Gordon Joly <[hidden email]>:
> > > At 23:32 +0100 10/9/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
> >>> > Gaurantor Membership i believe would need to be overseen, Normal
> >>>> members however would probably not need to go through the same process
> >>>> as it isn't a legally binding position. I suppose thats
> >>>>something the first
> >>>> board
> >>>> needs to decide upon.
> >>>
> >>>True. I tend to forget about supporting membership, since it's a
> >>>fairly meaningless thing - it just means you're a regular donor and
> >>>get an email every so often. I would hope that most people become
> >>>guarantor members, otherwise they're not really involved (I think
> >>>anyone representing the chapter at official chapter activities ought
> > >>to be a full member of the charity - they're the people best placed to
> >>>be voting at AGMs, etc).
> >>>
> >>
> >> I disagree with this approach. I would suggest that approximately 10%
> >> of Wikimedia UK Chapter are guarantor members.
> >
> >Why?
> >
> >______________
>
>
> One reason is the management of the AGM. With say 400 members and a
> 25% quorum, you have to get a hundred people (or more) in one place
> within a very fixed time frame.
>
> Also governance issues, in that everybody must understand their
> responsibilities and liabilities.
>
> Calls for an EGM could happen from time to time as well.
>
> Gordo
>

I still dont see the reason to restrict the number of gaurantor members?



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