Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (“ROA”), subject to certain exceptions, those convicted of a criminal offence who have not re-offended during a specified period from the date of conviction will be deemed 'rehabilitated' and their convictions would be classified as 'spent'. Spent convictions do not have to be declared if an employer is asking if you have a criminal record, unless the employment is for an exempt position (you should be told in the application form if the position is exempt).
If you are going to be subjected to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (this replaced the old CRB check), then whether a past conviction will appear on it depends on what level DBS check is being undertaken. There are three main types of DBS check:
· Basic - contains only unspent convictions
· Standard – contains spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions, reprimands and final warnings
· Enhanced – same as a Standard but also includes local police intelligence considered relevant to the application
However, recent legislation has introduced a filtering system for some offences and they will not show up on a DBS check after a specified period of time has elapsed. The current guidelines are:
An adult caution will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution – and if it does not appear on the list of exempt offence, found here:
So this should no longer appear on a standard check but it may still appear on an enhanced one if the police believe it is relevant to your application. You will not be able to ask the DBS if it is likely to be included – this is a decision made by the police when they receive the application from the DBS so at this stage it is impossible to find out if they would believe it is relevant to the application but I would be minded to say it will not be considered as such. So you only need to be potentially concerned if this is an enhanced check and in the meantime you can still tick no as it would be the correct answer.
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