Recruitment of ex-offenders and criminal record checks

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We are committed to fair treatment of existing and prospective employees. Subject to our responsibilities to protect children and vulnerable adults, we aim to treat all applicants fairly and not discriminate unfairly on the basis of offending background.

For posts which are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, we are entitled to know about all previous convictions, both spent and unspent. Applicants for exempted posts are required to declare all convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. This is regardless of when it was and what it was for.

We are also entitled to undertake criminal record checks for all exempt posts using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This also includes checks on lists of people who are banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.

The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and merges the functions previously carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

DBS Checks 

Depending on the level of contact, we will undertake checks on successful applicants at one of three levels as follows:

  • Standard checks – To be eligible for a standard level DBS check the position must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 Exceptions Order 1975
  • Enhanced checks – To be eligible for an enhanced level DBS check, the position must be included in both the ROA Exceptions Order and in the Police Act Regulations
  • Enhanced checks with children’s or adults’ barred list checks – To be eligible to request a check of the children’s or adults’ barred lists, the position must meet the new definition of regulated activity. There are a small number of other positions for which list checks can also be requested

The employee specification for each job will indicate the level of check which is required.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily stop an individual from being employed by us. This will only happen if it is considered that it makes the person unsuitable for the post. We will consider the nature of the offence, how long ago it was and the age of the person when it was committed. We will also consider any other factors that may be relevant.

Failure to reveal information directly relevant to the position will lead to the withdrawal of the offer of employment.

All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence. It will be seen only by those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. We fully comply with the DBS Code of Practice. We have a procedure that covers recruitment of ex offenders and the use, handling and storage of information from the DBS. The procedure ensures that we meet all legal and moral obligations under the code of practice. It also ensures that we make safe recruitment decisions, without discriminating unfairly on the basis of an individual’s offending background.