ICPC COBIS landing page


Our prices are increasing. On 2nd January 2020 the price of an International Child Protection Certificate will increase from £60 to £75. Find out more here. 


Their safety. Our responsibility. 

We all have a responsibility to safeguard children, and as a British international school there are measures you can put in place to prevent offenders who pose a risk to children from gaining access to them.


ICPC provides confidence to organisations


The International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) is one such product. It is a criminal records check for UK nationals or individuals who have previously lived in the UK seeking to work with children overseas.


It will confirm whether or not the applicant has a criminal history and provide details, including relevant conviction and non-conviction data; giving international schools and organisations the vital information to make informed, risk-based decisions in terms of recruitment.

Why the ICPC is key for international schools

The table above, shows why the ICPC is right for British international schools. 
The certificate provides a wide-range of key benefits to ensure that safeguarding children is at the heart of every recruitment decision made by international schools. 
In providing vital information concerning conviction and non-conviction data – including current investigations and impending prosecutions – the ICPC allows organisations to assess an applicant’s suitability for working with children overseas via a robust background check. 

The certificate also details any information which is deemed relevant in the interest of child protection, giving further evidence in which to make informed recruitment decisions.

A number of built-in security features also mean that the information international schools receive from the applicant is authentic, trustworthy and certified. This is particularly important to consider, bearing in mind other products, such as a Subject Access request could be adapted by the applicant. 

There are a number of products available to key decision-makers in schools such as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, but the ICPC is the only product currently readily available that allows organisations to make employment decisions outside the UK. 

Requesting an ICPC

As COBIS members we have automatically registered your organisation onto ACRO’s systems.

You are now one of a growing number of organisations who can use the ICPC as a robust vetting tool.

As such, you can now request that all new eligible employees and volunteers are subject to providing a certified ICPC before undertaking an employment position within the school. It might be that you want to consider retrospectively vetting existing eligible employees too – so that you’re safe in the knowledge that those who have access to children in your care, do not pose a risk.

If you would like any employees or volunteers to provide you with an ICPC they can apply online. During the application process they can nominate the name of the school that they’ve either been offered a position or in which they already work.

Alternatively, if applicants prefer they can apply by post for an ICPC.

We encourage you to use the ICPC as soon as possible, so you too can play your part in international child protection.

ACRO and COBIS working in partnership

More than 60,000 ICPCs have been supplied to applicants who have gained employment in organisations across the world.

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

The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and ACRO are working together, in partnership, to establish the ICPC as an integral part of the future of safer recruitment and the safeguarding of children within British international schools.

It enables organisations to make informed risk-based decisions about an individual’s suitability to work with children; whether it is a future employee, a volunteer or existing staff members.


The future of education

We want to work with you to ensure that the future of education and the children within British international schools are protected from offenders who travel overseas to sexually abuse vulnerable children.

COBIS endorses the use of the ICPC where appropriate as part of its accreditation standards. It could help your organisation to see the bigger picture and highlight if your employee or volunteer is considered a potential risk to children.

As a result, we would encourage you to begin making the ICPC part of your pre-employment checks, requesting that the applicant obtains a certificate before taking up an employment or volunteering position. 

Although please be aware that not all applicants are eligible for the ICPC if they have never entered the UK.  

Further information

We have provided a brief overview of the product in a variety of languages. To find out more, please click here.

For more information on the ICPC process, please read our further guidance document.

If you would like to ask a questions about the ICPC, please click here.