HC Deb 29 January 2003 vol 398 cc907-8W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research was undertaken by(a) his Department and (b) Capita to determine the (i) likely level of demand for Criminal Records Bureau checks and (ii) Criminal Records Bureau customers' preferred means of submitting applications for checks. [89984]

Hilary Benn

Original research into the likely level of demand for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks was undertaken by the Home Office and CRB. Two comprehensive market research studies were carried out by Coopers Lybrand (1996) and Accent Market Research (March 2000) to determine who would use the service and what likely levels of take up were anticipated. These studies were validated by the Labour Force Survey carried out between September and November 1999. A telephone survey with existing checkers was carried out to validate the baseline information created from the above research. In December 2001, Capita Account Managers conducted their own research to determine which Registered Bodies were likely to be major users of the service and there is ongoing joint Capita and CRB forecasting work based on latest actual demand and outputs from a forecasting model.

An analysis of legislation and its likely impact on CRB demand was also undertaken. The analysis looked at whether or not legislation would increase the number of sectors eligible for CRB checks or whether or not the impact would be neutral. It was determined that the outcome was likely to be neutral.

The original concept for the CRB was based on a call-centre, telephone-based and online application route, with capacity to deal with individual paper applications. That arrangement was expected to be convenient for applicants and would reduce errors. It was also in line