Criminal record and barring checks

Depending on the role, employers may be required to check whether you have a criminal record. These roles will be subject to a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (known as a DBS check). The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 helps rehabilitated ex-offenders back into work by allowing them not to declare criminal convictions and cautions to employers after a defined rehabilitation period has elapsed. During the rehabilitation period convictions and cautions must always be declared.

Employers may carry out a basic disclosure with the Disclosure and Barring Service to verify this information.

To protect the vulnerable, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order (as amended) exempts some professions within the health and care sectors from this approach.

Where the profession has been identified as being 'exempt', employers are legally permitted to consider all convictions and cautions that are not protected (or filtered out) by the provisions set out in the Exceptions Order. Protected offences will never be disclosed as part of a standard or enhanced DBS check when certain conditions have been met. Applicants are not required to declare any such information when responding to a self-disclosure request or when completing a job application form. Employers must not take any such information into account when assessing an applicant's suitability for a post.

Before completing the safeguarding question(s) please ensure that you read the guidance and criteria for the filtering of these convictions and cautions which can be found on the DBS website at:

If you have a criminal record and:

  • are unsure about what might be revealed about you as part of a DBS check
  • unsure about the type of information you should consider declaring when completing the form
  • need some further guidance

Unlock have:
A simple guide to filtering
A useful calculator to help you. It identifies any unspent offences that you need to declare.
Tel: 01634 247350 (Mon-Fri 10am - 4pm)
Text or WhatsApp: 07824 113848

NACRO have:
Practical guidance on the DBS filtering rules
Tel: 0300 123 1999

If you are applying for a post which involves having access to patients in receipt of health services, you will be subject to a DBS check. Failure to reveal information relating to convictions that you are required to identify could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. Where the position falls under regulated activity and meets the criteria for an enhanced criminal record check, the disclosure will include information held against the barred lists for working with children and/or working with adults and any restrictions to that barring.

Please note this particular information within the application form will only be viewed by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. Any information disclosed will be treated strictly confidentially.