Access NI Service

The AccessNI Service supplies criminal history information to organisations that employ people in certain types of work or voluntary roles. A criminal history check, also known as a disclosure, will search your details against UK criminal records and other police information and may disclose details of your criminal history. The checks can also include a search of barred lists which are kept by central government
The Department of Education provides guidance on pre-employment checking and safer recruitment practices on the link provided

Boys & Girls Clubs is registered as an umbrella organisation with AccessNI and provides our member clubs with the facility to carry out pre-employment checks for both paid staff and volunteers. AccessNI checks are free to volunteers.

Who Should be Checked?

In September 2012, new regulations came into place in relation to pre-employment checks for staff and volunteers who work with children and young people. The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 provides the definition of Regulated Activity as the basis for eligibility for an enhanced disclosure certificate with a check against the Barred list.

Applications for an enhanced disclosure certificate must be based on an assessment of the position to be filled, ensuring that it meets the legislative requirements for a criminal record check. Employers should be aware of their legal obligations and consequences in asking about criminal history that they have no entitlement to view. 

What is Regulated Activity relating to children and young people?

  1. Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing caring for or supervising children, providing advice/guidance on well being, driving a vehicle only for children;
  2. Work for a limited range of establishments (specified places) with opportunity for contact with children for example schools, children’s homes, childcare premises, children’s hospital. Work undertaken by supervised volunteers in these places is not regulated activity
  3. Work under 1 or 2 is regulated activity if undertaken regularly. Regular means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more) or on 4 or more days in a 30 day period or overnight.
  4. Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing, or health care by or supervised by a professional; (even if carried out once).  Click on Flow Chart below to enlarge.


When an organisation decides to supervise a person, in that they do not fall into the definition of Regulated Activity, the law makes three main points

  • There must be supervision by a person who is in regulated activity
  • The supervision must be regular and day to day
  • The supervision must be reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the protection of children.

Staff /volunteers in a role which falls outside the scope of Regulated Activity can access an Enhanced Disclosure without a Barred List check if they meet the definition of regulated activity prior to the Protection of Freedom Act 2012.

Regulated activity prior to the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 is defined as:

  •  Activity involving contact with children or vulnerable adults and is of a specified nature (e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, medical treatment or in certain circumstances transport) on a frequent, intensive and/or overnight basis
  •  Activity involving contact with children or vulnerable adults in a specified place (e.g. schools, care homes etc), frequently or intensively
  • Fostering and childcare
  • Certain specified positions of responsibility (e.g. school governor, director of children’s services, director of adult social services, trustees of certain charities)

These positions are set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (NI) Order 2007.

Statutory guidance in relation to regulated activity, supervised activity and enhanced disclosures can be found via the links below:

Regulated Activity:
Supervised Activity:
Enhanced Disclosures:

There are also Access NI checks surrounding working with young people and adults:

Access NI checks: Working with children

Access NI checks: Working with adults


Access NI Code of Practice


To find out more about our Access NI Service, e-mail