Ok thanks. If a person receives a formal criminal conviction, it is initially treated as ‘unspent’, until a specified rehabilitation period has passed, after which it is considered ‘spent’. These periods are determined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 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 that is the case, but usually it involves jobs working with children or vulnerable adults or positions of trust). In general your conviction would now be spent due to the time that has elapsed since.
In addition, an employer may require an employee to undertake a criminal records check known as a DBS check (the new name for the old CRB check). Whether a past caution or conviction will appear on it depends on what level of DBS checking is being undertaken. There are three levels:
· 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 and entries on barred lists
There is also a filtering system in place which removes spent convictions subject to certain conditions. The current guidelines are that a spent adult conviction will not be included on a DBS check if 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction, it is the person’s only offence and it did not result in a custodial sentence. Even then, it will only be removed if it does not appear on the list of safeguarding offences. Also, if a person has more than one offence, details of all their convictions will be included.
The full list of exempt offences can be found here:
It is important to note that Enhanced checks are not automatically subject to the filtering rules and the police force that issues the check can still include details of the offence, even if it would normally be filtered out, if they believe it is relevant to the application for which the check is being undertaken. As case law has confirmed that criminal records can remain on a person’s police record until their 100th birthday, it means that there is the potential for certain offences to appear for life on an Enhanced check if they are deemed relevant to the application for which the check is required.
Does this answer your query?