Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues he has experienced in his situation.
A DBS check is done whenever the employer chooses, assuming they actually decide to request one as part of the recruitment process. Usually it will be done once an offer has been made and it will make it conditional on successful background checks, which means that if the checks are unsuccessful, the offer will be withdrawn.
In terms of how long it will remain on his record, if a person receives a formal criminal conviction (this excludes cautions), 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. A fine and community service becomes spent 1 year after being issued.
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 and vulnerable adults or in positions of trust). However, it is important to read any question on declarations very carefully to check what exactly is being requested and ensure the answer is accurate and truthful.
In addition, an employer may require an employee to undertake a criminal records check known as a DBS check (previously known as a CRB check). Whether a past conviction or caution will appear on it depends on what level of DBS checking is being undertaken. There are three levels:
- Basic - contains only unspent convictions and no cautions are included
- Standard – contains both spent and unspent convictions (unless they have been filtered out), as well as cautions, reprimands and final warnings
- Enhanced – same as a Standard check but also includes local police intelligence considered relevant to the application and entries on barred lists
There is a filtering system in place which removes spent convictions after a period of time, subject to certain conditions. The current guidelines are:
Convictions - 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 conviction;
- It did not result in a prison sentence; and
- It does not appear on the list of exempt offences
For reference, the full list of exempt offences can be found here:
If a caution or conviction is not eligible for filtering, it will continue to be disclosed on a person’s DBS record up until their 100th birthday.
Finally, it is important to note that Enhanced DBS checks allow the police force that issues the check to include details of what is known as ‘local police intelligence’. These are neither cautions, nor convictions and just data which has bene entered on the Police National Computer about you. It would be things like if you were arrested, spoken to by the police, involved in any disturbances, etc. The police therefore have the authority to disclose such additional information in an Enhanced DBS check, if they believe that it is relevant to the application for which the check is requested.