Criminal Record Checks
Vero is a recognised ‘umbrella body’ for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), the body that deals with criminal record checks in England and Wales. We are also a registered ‘responsible body’ with Disclosure Scotland. This means we can run basic, standard and enhanced criminal background checks for you, throughout the UK.
To comply with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, employers are obliged to make candidates aware as soon as possible that a criminal record check is a requirement for the job. Vero can help you design a recruitment process that is in full compliance with the Act.
Spent and Unspent Convictions
A conviction is deemed spent when a defined period of time (or rehabilitation period) has passed after the individual has been sentenced. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act sets out rehabilitation periods for each type of crime. Once a conviction is spent, it will no longer appear on a basic disclosure certificate. Spent convictions should not count against a candidate.
Subject Access Requests
In the past, some employers would oblige candidates to use their subject access rights to obtain details of any past convictions – effectively making the candidate run their own criminal background check and in some instances gaining excessive access to protected records. Under chapter 10 of the Data Protection Act 2018, this is now prohibited. An employer may only perform a criminal records check when it is proportionate and legitimate to do so and they must use the legally mandated
International Criminal Checks
The availability of criminal record checks outside the UK varies from one country to another. Vero always uses the official issuing body, where one exists. Where there is no issuing body, but criminal records can be legitimately used for pre-employment screening, we use court record searches as the best available alternative. We are also able to advise on Subject Access Request procedures where legally permissible.
UK Criminal Record Checks
There are three types of criminal record check in the UK, each presented in the form of a certificate or ‘disclosure’ document. Each type has different eligibility requirements as set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exception Order 1975) and the Police Act 1997.
BASIC DISCLOSURE Defined in Part V of the Police Act 1997, the basic disclosure is the lowest form of criminal-record check, containing only unspent convictions. Anyone can have it done on anyone else.
STANDARD DISCLOSURE Lists spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. You can only run this check on candidates applying for specific financial, legal, medical, and other regulated positions.
ENHANCED DISCLOSURE Generally only available for positions that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. These checks contain all standard disclosure data, and also include locally held police information.