Criminal Record Checks

Criminal record checks are often used when screening candidates for employment. These checks involve checking the candidate’s criminal record to see if they have any convictions or cautions that could impact the job that they have applied for. 

In the UK there are two types of checks: standard and enhanced.

A standard criminal record check, also known as a “standard disclosure,” only shows convictions that are considered “unspent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

This means that it shows convictions that have not yet reached the specified time limit for becoming “spent,” or forgiven. A standard disclosure does not show convictions that are considered “spent,” or any cautions, reprimands, or final warnings. This is a more surface-level check that is better suited when only active convictions are of concern and the distant past is not as relevant. 

An enhanced criminal record check, which can also be called an “enhanced disclosure,” shows all convictions and cautions, even those that are considered “spent.” This more thorough type of check is usually used for roles that involve working with vulnerable groups, such as children or elderly people.

Criminal record checks may also be required for other types of roles, depending on the nature of the job and the level of trust and responsibility involved. For example, criminal record checks may be required for roles that involve handling sensitive information, such as a role in the government or financial transactions in the banking sector, or for roles that involve working in a position of authority.

Criminal record checks are usually conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which is a government agency that is responsible for checking the records of individuals who work in certain roles.

Employers request a criminal record check by completing a form and providing the necessary documentation and fees. The DBS will then check the candidate’s criminal record and provide the employer with a copy of the report.

Criminal record checks are an important tool for employers to use when screening candidates for employment. They help ensure the candidate is suitable for the role and that they are trustworthy and reliable so that there are no unexpected surprises down the line. Criminal record checks are often used in conjunction with other background checks

However, it’s important for employers to follow all relevant laws and regulations when conducting criminal record checks. And to treat all candidates fairly and equally. As it would be easy to overreach when doing this type of check and end up discriminating against prospective candidates with information that is not relevant to the job that they applied for. This type of information is usually specified in some sort of screening policy