Criminal Record Checks16 April 2012
Generally, you will need a criminal record check if you are applying for a job that involves you working regularly with children or vulnerable adults (or similar position), but there are a number of other professions that also enjoy a legal entitlement to ask people to reveal conviction histories.
Criminal Record Checks
Criminal Record Checks - Why?
If you look at the Directgov website at the advice about CRB checks, one of the first statements you will see highlighted in bold is "why criminal record checks are needed". The sad truth though, is that the website makes no attempt to follow this up, with the general implication being that "they just are".
The eligibility criteria for those professions with an entitlement to ask you to produce evidence of having a past that is free from convictions, begins with code 01 and ranges to code 66 of the "Exceptions" under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. This isn't 66 particular jobs, but 66 separate categories which might be further broken down into subcategories of other roles. There is no satisfactory explanation offered as to why the exempted employment types are allowed to ask you for a blanket disclosure, regardless of whether your convictions are spent or not, nor is there any requirement for the exceptions to take the relevance of a conviction into account.
So, with this in mind, you might be wondering exactly what a CRB check is and what it shows. The check cross references your personal details against those held in criminal records and other resources (including the Police National Computer). It might reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. The results will be available to both you and your employer. Based on the results, your employer can make a decision about whether or not they wish to employ you. There are varying levels of disclosure that you might be asked for depending on what type of position you are applying for and its eligibility code.
A CRB check will confirm that you either do or do not have a criminal record (depending on which is true) in the case of a basic disclosure. With a full disclosure, a CBR will list any convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings and (if applicable) whether or not you might have been barred from working with particular groups. There may also be additional information that can be included that aren't conviction related, such as any fixed penalty notices of note. Some organisations and licencing authorities might ask you to produce a basic CRB disclosure if permitted, but all employers for an excepted vacancy are entitled to ask for one.
Registered employers can apply directly for a CRB check, but other excepted employers who are not registered can apply through an umbrella body. You are entitled to refuse to authorise an employer to carry out a CRB check on you, particularly if you have cause to believe that the position in question is not excepted, but it may result in your employer refusing to take your application further (especially if the CRB check is required by law). If you think you have been asked for a CRB check unnecessarily then you can approach the Ministry of Justice, Nacro, Apex and UNLOCK for advice on how to respond.
If you have unspent criminal convictions then you are likely to have a hard time getting insurance for ex-offenders. Criminal convictions insurance might be harder to come by, but it is vital that you have it in place to protect your home and possessions. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for criminal convictions cover, whether the convictions belong to you or to anyone else in your household. We work closely with organisations like UNLOCK to make sure that home insurance convictions cover is always available to those who need it.
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