Some teaching staff are waiting up to four years for Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks to be processed, it has been revealed.
The agency, which is responsible for vetting people before they enter into professions which will bring them into contact with children, is taking too long to process some applications for enhanced checks leaving some teachers out of pocket, the Liberal Democrats have claimed.
Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson Chris Huhne MP told the Telegraph: "Any system that takes over four years to verify whether someone has a criminal record is evidently not working.
"It is very likely to be costing people jobs."
Official figures obtained by the party showed that the longest time taken to process a standard disclosure by the CRB was 1,512 days in 2007-08, while the longest enhanced check in the same year took 1,680 days to complete.
The CRB was designed to act as a 'one-stop-shop' for organisations needing to consult police records before making employment decisions.