International Child Protection Certificate


     ICPC banner #2

     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 National Crime Agency (NCA) and ACRO have developed the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) to help protect children from offenders who travel overseas to abuse vulnerable children through employment, volunteering and charity work.


    The ICPC is a criminal records check against police and intelligence databases in the UK. 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.


    When used alongside robust safeguarding procedures, the ICPC enables overseas schools and organisations to make informed risk-based decisions about whether the people they employ are suitable to work with children. The ICPC can be requested for existing employees or while recruiting employees.


    The ICPC is issued following a check of relevant information held by the police and other law enforcement agencies in the UK. Certificates are prepared in accordance with the ACRO step-down model. This model is also applied to Northern Irish, military and overseas convictions. Please note that certificates will contain impending prosecutions and offences that are under investigation. 


    The certificate may also contain criminal conviction information about offences committed in other countries where such information has been disclosed to the UK through existing exchange mechanisms. Additionally, as part of the ICPC process, the NCA will make an assessment of available intelligence and information and disclose on your certificate anything it deems relevant in the interest of child protection. 


    There are two parts to the certificate: 



    Part 1 - Disclosure of any convictions, impending prosecutions, cautions, reprimands, warnings and current investigations held on UK police databases in accordance with the ACRO step-down model. 



    Part 2 - Disclosure of any information deemed relevant for disclosure by the NCA in the interests of child protection. 


    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. If there is concern regarding the authenticity of a certificate, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.


    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 and operating outside of the UK and you would like to find out more about the ICPC scheme, please contact our Customer Services team on +44(0) 2380 479 920 or customer.services@acro.pnn.police.uk.


    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.


    As an employer, you will be able to access the certificate by requesting it from the individual. To encourage your employees to provide this you may wish to make the production of a police check a requirement of pre-employment checks.


    If you are an employer that would like to request an individual to obtain a certificate you can ask them to visit the ACRO website, follow the guidance and complete the application form.


    A school can post applications on behalf of staff, however the form should be completed and the declaration signed by the applicant themselves and can only be returned to the applicant directly.


    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 read our frequently asked questions. Further advice is available from 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. Please include all required information and submit to the postal address provided or return online.


    Please visit our payment guidance page for more information on paying by cheque, bank draft, Postal Order or bank transfer. 


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    Concerns process

    Concerns or disputes regarding the ICPC should be made to the ACRO Customer Services department via email to customer.services@acro.pnn.police.uk or by letter to ACRO, PO Box 481, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 9FS, (UK). We will endeavour to acknowledge your concern within two working days of receipt and we will endeavour to resolve your concern within 28 days.


    ACRO will manage disputes regarding part 1 of the certificate. ACRO will not be held responsible for errors on records held on national police systems. If you do not agree with the information on your certificate, ACRO will verify that the disclosure is an accurate reflection of (a) the information provided on the application, and (b) the information held on national police systems. If you would like to dispute the information held on the national police systems, ACRO will refer to the relevant data owner (usually the police force or agency that created the record).


    The NCA will facilitate the appeals process for disputed information for part 2 of the certificate. ACRO will inform the NCA of your dispute and the NCA will write to you (by email via ACRO) asking if there is any additional information in relation to your application that you wish to provide to the appeal panel. This letter may identify specific areas and include an invitation to provide further clarity.


    Following this you can make written representations to the panel. This may include further detail regarding information provided in your application, information relating to any incident that you believe may be relevant and/or any other information that you would like the panel to consider.

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