How we recruit people who have a criminal record
Social care roles are exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Therefore, we ask all applicants who have been provisionally offered a job to declare any convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings that are not protected (i.e. that are not filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013 and 2020).
An offer of employment is conditional on receipt of a satisfactory DBS check at the level appropriate for the role. The registered manager is responsible for identifying if, and if so at what level, a DBS check is necessary for the role. For staff working in regulated activity, such as care staff, we request an enhanced DBS with barred list check.
A criminal record does not necessarily mean that we cannot employ an applicant, and we encourage those with a criminal record to apply. If a candidate reveals previous offences, we will carefully balance the candidate’s skills, experiences, and the circumstances of the offence(s) vis-à-vis the safety of our clients.
Failure to disclose any relevant offences could result in an offer of employment being withdrawn or, if appointed, in disciplinary proceedings or dismissal.
How we make a decision
When an applicant discloses a criminal record, the Registered Manager is responsible for assessing the individual’s suitability for the role. We will review each case individually and invite the candidate to explain the circumstances of the offence(s). The decision to appoint will be a joint decision made by the Registered Manager and the individual’s prospective line manager. In making a decision, we will consider:
Whether the conviction is relevant to the role.
The seriousness of any offence revealed.
The age of the applicant at the time of the offence(s).
The length of time since the offence(s) occurred.
Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour.
The circumstances surrounding the offence(s), and the applicant’s explanations.
Whether the applicant's circumstances have changed since the offending behaviour.
How we treat and protect criminal record information
An applicant’s criminal record is personal and sensitive information. Any relevant information (e.g. criminal record self-disclosure form, DBS certificate, risk assessment) will be shared only with those people in the organisation who have a genuine ‘need to know’ as part of their duties, such as people directly responsible for making the final recruitment decision or the applicant’s line manager.
We store criminal record information separate from applicants’ or employees’ personal information (i.e., not as part of their application/employee files). Hardcopies are stored in lockable, non-portable storage containers, with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties; digital copies are stored in similarly secured and restricted folders on our business drive.
We may retain criminal record information for purpose of inspections by CQC, to consider and resolve disputes or complaints or complete safeguarding audits. We will only retain DBS Certificates until our next inspection by CQC, and we will destroy the information (e.g. by shredding or burning) immediately once the inspection has taken place.
We may keep a record of the date of issue of a Certificate, the name of the subject, the type of Certificate requested, the position for which the Certificate was requested, the unique reference number of the Certificate and the details of the recruitment decision taken for a maximum period of six years.