International Child Protection Certificate (UK)
The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) is a criminal records check for UK nationals, or non-UK nationals who've previously lived in the UK, looking to work with children overseas
Many international schools and organisations around the world employ people from the UK as teachers, workers and volunteers. A police criminal records check is now available for UK nationals, and people who have resided in the UK, who are looking for work or are already employed overseas working with children.
In a joint initiative, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command and ACRO have developed the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) to help protect children from convicted UK child sex offenders looking for work that would 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 authorities of overseas schools and other organisations that he people 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 while recruiting 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 who has previously resided in the UK and who is looking 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 organisation working with children 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.
Please note that schools and organisations outside the UK that have access to DBS checks are unable to advise recruits or employees to obtain an ICPC and the usual application routes through the DBS should continue.
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 use the links on the right to apply online or download an application form. 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)
Click here to go to the ICPC Resource Library