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Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar any applicant from working with the council.  This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences. 

We welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records.   While safeguarding our interests and our clients, we will not discriminate against those with a criminal record without due cause.  

Unless the nature of the job allows us to ask questions about an applicant’s entire criminal record we only ask about “unspent” convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

A Disclosure is only requested for posts which are exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) and where a risk assessment indicates that a Disclosure is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure is required, all job advertisements will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

As organisations using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, we comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertake to treat all applicants fairly and in line with our Recruitment and Equality in Employment Policies.  

We will not discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

As part of the recruitment process, all applicants must complete the declaration about convictions on the application form or conduct form and attach details separately where required. This information will be treated as confidential and will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

Any details provided by an applicant of a criminal record such as recent charges will be fully considered in terms of relevance to the position applied for, and a risk assessment will take into account:

    • the seriousness of the offences revealed
    • whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offences took place
    • whether the individual has a pattern of offending behaviour, has carried out a number of offences and whether those offences are similar
    • the length of time since the offence took place
    • the relevance of the offences to the nature of the job applied for, workplace environment, exposure to money, property and vulnerable people/children
    • the sentence(s) given by the Court to the offender
    • the extent of job supervision
    • official Guidance e.g. Home Office, Department of Health, Department of Education & Skills 


At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the job. Failure to reveal information that is relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.

We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment. 

The DBS will not provide details of certain old or minor convictions. This is termed as filtering. The councils will not take into account offences or convictions that are filtered.