International Child Protection Certificate (UK)
Many international schools and child-focussed organisations operating around the world employ United Kingdom (UK) nationals as teachers, workers and volunteers. A police criminal records check is now available for UK nationals and persons who have resided in the UK who are seeking work or are already employed overseas working with children.
In a joint initiative, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) have developed the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) to help protect children from convicted UK child sex offenders who are seeking employment overseas that will bring them into close contact with children.
The ICPC is a criminal records check against police and intelligence databases in the UK that reveals any convictions or reasons as to why someone should not work with children. CEOP will make checks on police intelligence, assess that intelligence and will make a decision on whether or not to issue an ICPC on the basis of that intelligence. If the application is refused, the fee will be returned to the applicant. The ICPC is similar to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly CRB check) that is required for anyone working professionally with children in England and Wales.
The ICPC provides reassurance to those in positions of responsibility in overseas schools and other child focussed organisations that those whom they employ do not have a criminal record in the UK which would otherwise make them unsuitable to work with children. The ICPC can be requested for existing employees or during recruitment of new employees.
The Certificate contains a person’s complete conviction history as recorded on UK police records, including ‘spent’ and ’unspent’ convictions. Additionally, the certificate contains foreign criminal history information where such information has been disclosed to the UK.
The ICPC is available on application to any UK national or non-UK national previously resident in the UK who is seeking to work overseas with children. Schools and organisations that are registered for the ICPC scheme can request a job applicant to provide a Certificate as part of their recruitment process. Equally, existing employees can be asked to periodically produce an ICPC as part of their ongoing vetting processes. The ICPC is supplied direct to the applicant and not to the school or organisation offering employment or voluntary placements.
The ICPC will help organisations to make informed decisions on a person’s suitability for employment or continued employment in positions that provide regular access to children.
Information for schools and organisations
If you are a school or other child focussed organisation operating outside of the UK and you would like to find out more about the ICPC scheme, please download our Information for Schools and Organisations Booklet via the link on the right. Key information is also available in other languages and can be found in the ICPC Resource Library.
For more information on the ICPC application process, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. If you cannot find the information you are looking for or you would like to register an interest in the ICPC scheme, please contact ACRO Customer Services.
Information for applicants
If you are a UK national or have been resident in the UK and are intending to travel overseas to work with children, the school or organisation you will be working with may require you to provide them with an ICPC. Before submitting an ICPC application you should contact your employer to check whether they will require you to provide the Certificate.
For more information on the ICPC application process, please see our Frequently Asked Questions. Further advice is available from ACRO Customer Services.
To apply for an ICPC, please download an application form using the links to the right. Forms must be completed in English.
For information on how to recognise fraud, please click here.
Please visit our payment guidance page for more information on paying by cheque, bank draft, Postal Order or bank transfer.
Download the Information for Individuals, Schools and Organisations booklet (Adobe PDF)
Download the ICPC Application Form
Microsoft Word version
Adobe PDF Version
Please Note: To view PDF documents you will need Adobe Reader software installed on your computer. This can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.
Click here to go to the ICPC Resource Library