‘Positive’ information is spent or unspent convictions or any non-conviction information from the Police National Computer, local police records and for particular roles, information stored on the list of people banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.
Safeguards and guidelines have been introduced to ensure that conviction information is not misused and that ex-offenders are treated fairly. Ex-offenders will retain the protection afforded by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Following a 2006 review, all conviction history – including cautions, convictions and final warnings are retained for life on the Police National Computer and will show on the DBS Disclosure.
Before the 2006 review some recordable offences on the Police National Computer (PNC) were deleted after 5, 10 or 20 years. For more information see our Safety Net Information Pack.
In most instances there is very little risk involved in employing an ex-offender. Most people with criminal records are in employment and are satisfactorily employed and not re-offending. This is not surprising as most offences are old, isolated incidents, committed during a difficult phase in a person’s life that passes.
For these reasons, it is best to consider each applicant on their merits. The best approach is to determine whether the person you are interviewing is the best person for the vacancy. If they are, it then becomes a case of determining whether their criminal record is relevant or not.
If positive information on a Disclosure results in the offer of employment being withdrawn then the applicant should be given an explanation. However, on no account should the organisation discuss or pass ‘positive information’ to anyone who is not authorised to receive it, as outlined in the DBS Code of Practice.
In making an employment decision the following should be taken into account:
- Nature of the offence(s) and relevance to the post applied for
- Seriousness of the offence(s)
- The date of the offence(s)
- An explanation from the applicant before any decision is made.
- The responsibility of employer towards all employees / client groups
- A comparison of the information on application form against the Disclosure as a check for honesty
- Mitigating circumstances
Please feel free to use/amend our sample Risk Assessment (Positive DBS disclosure risk assessment form) to help make your recruitment decision.
Further advice and information on dealing with information listed on a DBS Disclosure certificate can be obtained from NACRO
Contact Anne at Safety Net’s DBS Disclosure Service or call 01273 414981