COBIS / ACRO partnership


You can’t tell just by looking if an employee or volunteer has a sexual interest in children. Yet this could be the case for any one of the 5,000+ British International Schools overseas, which together employ more than 200,000 teachers worldwide.  

At its annual conference, the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) announced a three-year partnership with ACRO to enhance international child protection.

Together, ACRO and COBIS will be working closely to highlight the importance and value of the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC). It acts as a rigorous safeguarding tool to reduce risk to children in international schools and organisations worldwide.

In their capacity as an ICPC Global Ambassador, COBIS will be co-ordinating marketing opportunities with ACRO to raise the profile of the ICPC to their extensive global network of British international schools. The aim is for the ICPC scheme to become a fundamental aspect of the recruitment process for individuals wanting to work with children overseas in COBIS member schools. 

The ICPC is a criminal records check for anyone who lives, or who has lived, in the UK and who is looking to work with children overseas. It confirms whether or not the applicant has a criminal history and provides details, including relevant conviction and non-conviction data.

The ICPC is already used by hundreds of schools and organisations around the world to make informed decisions on a person’s suitability for employment or continued employment in positions that provide regular access to children.

Rob Price, ACRO Chief Executive, said: “I am thrilled that ACRO is entering into a collaboration with COBIS. It is a fantastic opportunity for both organisations to help safeguard children worldwide.  

“We hope that it will play a pivotal role in improving international child protection in British international schools across the world and prevent people who pose a risk to children from working overseas in order to gain access to them.” 

Colin Bell, COBIS Chief Executive, said: “COBIS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults, and we are pleased to be able to work with ACRO to encourage all international schools to follow best practice in safer recruitment. 

“The ICPC is an invaluable resource for schools looking to safeguarding the children and young people in their care.” 

ACRO began providing ICPCs in 2012 and to date have supplied more than 60,000 certificates to organisations across the world, playing a pivotal role in safeguarding local communities from those individuals who could pose a risk to children.

They are used by more than 1,600 registered organisations, including schools, in 89 countries around the world.

Looking towards the future of child protection in the education sector, ACRO CEO Rob Price, said:  “The ultimate aim is to ensure children and young adults in British international schools are protected from the threat of sexual offenders. We want the ICPC to become an integral part of the future of safer recruitment and the safeguarding of children within British international schools.


"As we continue to make strides in protecting local and worldwide communities, we are looking forward to the future and working in partnership with COBIS.”


If you would like to find out more about the ICPCs or the benefits to your organisation from using ICPCs, please contact us via email: icpc@acro.pnn.police.uk 

12th May 2019