The Department of Justice has announced that it is to reduce fees for Basic and Standard Criminal record checks made through AccessNI.
From 1 April 2019, the cost of basic and standard checks will be reduced from the current fee of £26 to £18.
The reduction will benefit individual applicants and also local business and statutory agencies which may cover the cost on behalf of applicants.
Over 30,000 applications are made each year for basic and standard checks which provide information on criminal records for employers and other registered bodies.
The change follows a full review by AccessNI of its financial cost recovery model. The review showed the introduction of on-line applications and digital certificates by AccessNI have allowed significant efficiencies to be made in processing costs for standard and basic checks. In comparison, the cost of a similar check in other parts of the UK remains at £25.
Enhanced checks will remain at their current cost of £33. There are approximately 110,000 enhanced checks made each year.
The amendments will also see the one off registration cost for new organisations increase from £150 to £195. This will not affect current registered bodies. There will also be a small increase in costs for adding additional members as countersignatures for organisations, rising from £10 to £13. These increases are expected to have limited impact on registered bodies.
Secondary legislation to allow the amendment of the fees has been laid in the Assembly today.