Recruitment of ex-offenders

1. Introduction

As an organisation using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions within the company, UKSA complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly and equally. It undertakes not to discriminate against any subject of a disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information received.

UKSA is an Equal Opportunities employer and aims to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on grounds not relevant to good employment practice.

2. Policy statement

2.1  UKSA is a charity providing residential activities, education and training in a safe and positive environment.  A large proportion of our beneficiaries are children, youths and vulnerable adults. A thorough risk assessment and UKSA commitment to safer recruitment practices has identified that all staff are required to provide a satisfactory disclosure.

2.2  The policy covers employees, volunteers, and self-employed instructional staff.

3. Code of practice

As an employer committed to the principle of equality of opportunity, the company will adhere to the following procedure for recruiting and selecting individuals for all positions:

3.1  Advertising
All job adverts will contain a statement that a Disclosure and Barring check will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

3.2 Application forms
Application for Employment forms will require candidates to state if they have any criminal convictions or are currently undergoing any criminal investigation. The form carries the following statement; “due to the nature of this employment, it is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You are therefore required to declare any convictions or cautions you may have, even if they would otherwise be regarded as ‘spent’ under the Act. The information you give will be taken in confidence and will only be taken into account in relation to an application where exemption applies. Disclosure of a criminal record will not automatically debar you from an appointment. Failure to declare the conviction may, however, disqualify you from appointment, or result in summary dismissal when the discrepancy comes to light. If your application is successful, you will be asked to apply for a suitable level of DBS disclosure.”

Candidates who apply for a position with a CV will also be required to fill out the relevant sections of the application form.

3.3 Interviews
The staff responsible for short-listing, interviewing and making or recommending an appointment will be trained to brief applicants on disclosure requirements.

3.4 Process for DBS disclosure
UKSA will encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process.  The Disclosure form, together with a copy of the policy for the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders, and the DBS code of practice, will be sent to the successful applicant prior to the commencement of employment if requested. UKSA undertakes to carry out identity checks on or before commencement of employment.

3.5 UKSA HR and confidentiality
UKSA undertakes to treat all information, whether given verbally at interview, written on the application form, or provided with the disclosure information, with the utmost confidentiality. The disclosure form will be verified by the HR Manager. All information is kept in a secure office with access only by authorised members of staff, and UKSA undertakes that relevant information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.  Where an applicant discloses a criminal record, the HR Manager will be responsible for informing the Director of Finance & Business Services in the first instance.

3.6 Disclosures of criminal convictions

Unless the nature of the position allows UKSA to ask questions about an individual’s entire criminal record, we will only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.  UKSA ensures that all those who are involved in the recruitment process have received suitable guidance to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.

We will inform all applicants that having a criminal record will not necessarily bar them from working for UKSA.  This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences.

UKSA will ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position.  Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing an offer of employment.

Should information come to light following commencement of employment which affects the employees suitability for the role, the company may terminate employment.

3.7 DBS code of practice 
UKSA makes every subject of a DBS Disclosure aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and makes a copy available on request.