Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 April 2009
The vetting and barring scheme known as the POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) List established in England and Wales by the Care Standards Act (2000) was intended to provide greater assurance about the quality of social care for adults. This article discusses referrals to the POVA List in the period 21 May 2004 to 17 November 2006, details of which were made available to the researchers. These comprised 5,294 cases. Further data relating to the investigation process were provided through drawing on all material supplied in a purposively selected sample of 298 referrals. These have been analysed and findings are reported here in respect of referrals and prior disciplinary action, interactions with local and national agencies and the involvement of the police. What happened to the referrals and the length of time for decisions about Listing are also reported. The article concludes with some policy recommendations for the future of the scheme and sets this in the context of regulation.