Criminal records

What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government agency who provides criminal records checks to assist employers in identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, for example, work involving contact with children or other vulnerable groups.  They also maintain barred lists of those individuals unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. 

We obtain Basic, Standard and Enhanced disclosures from the DBS, through the electronic criminal record checking system, GBG Online Disclosures.

Applicants complete an online application form and provide proof of identity.  We check the application and submit it via GBG Online Disclosures to the DBS to complete the relevant checks.

You can find further information on the Governments Disclosure and Barring Service webpages.


Why do some posts need a criminal records check?

Legislation allows us to carry out an appropriate criminal record check before we employ you.

The type of check we are entitled to do will depend on the role and this will dictate what information you will need to disclose.  


Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

For all posts the application form will require you to declare any ‘unspent’ criminal convictions or conditional cautions, as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Guidance on criminal records becoming ‘spent’ is available at:

For some posts, for example, positions with a high degree of trust, such as legal or financial services, the successful candidate may be required to give consent for the University to check their basic criminal record status through the DBS and any equivalent overseas authorities where relevant.


Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975

For these posts, you are required to declare if you have any criminal convictions or adult cautions (simple or conditional), including those which are 'spent' and not ‘protected’ as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020.


The amendments to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013 and 2020) provides that when applying for certain jobs and activities, certain convictions and cautions are considered ‘protected’. This means that they do not need to be disclosed to employers, and if they are disclosed, employers cannot take them into account.  

You can find guidance and criteria on the ‘protection’ and ‘filtering’ rules at and Filtering rules for DBS certificates - GOV.UK ( 

Usually for such posts, for example, positions that involve working with vulnerable people, the successful candidate will be required to give consent for the University to check their criminal record status through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and any equivalent overseas authorities where relevant.


How do I declare a criminal record?

You will need to email the following information to

  • Your full name;
  • The job reference number and job title of the post you are applying for; and;
  • Full details of criminal criminal offences (as explained in the section, 'Why do some posts need a criminal records check?').

If you fail to accurately disclose information about your criminal record this may lead to any offer of employment or engagement being withdrawn.

Any offer of appointment will be subject to the University being satisfied with the outcome of the checks, in accordance with our Criminal Records policy


How will I find out which check(s) are required?

If a post requires a Criminal Record Check this would normally be clearly stated, along with the type of check required, on the Candidate Brief and as a condition of your contract of employment.


I have a criminal record, will this prevent me from getting a job at the University?

To determine whether your criminal record is relevant, it will be assessed in relation to the nature of the role you have applied for, the tasks you would be expected to undertake and the circumstances in which the work is to be carried out.   

Where applicable, discussions will normally be held with you to give you the opportunity to make all information known. 

You can find out more on our Criminal Records policy.


Will my criminal record information be shared with anyone?

All information will be treated as strictly confidential and will be considered only in relation to the post for which you are applying.  Human Resources may discuss the content of your Disclosure, and the results of any criminal records checks, with the Hiring Manager, where they consider this to be essential in determining your suitability for the post.  

You can find out more on our Criminal Records policy.

All information will be held securely by the University and in accordance with the Data Protection Act.  Information on data protection at the University is available at


I'm not a UK national/I am a UK national but have lived outside of the UK, what checks will I require?

If a criminal record check is required, any offer of appointment will usually be made subject to a satisfactory Police Record Check or Certificate of Good Standing from the countries in which you have lived for 6 months or more within the last five years.  A British criminal record check will also be carried out whether you have lived in the UK or not. 

It is your responsibility to obtain the overseas checks, however, upon a conditional offer of employment, we will explain these checks to you and guide you through the processes.

You can find out more about applications for overseas checks on the Governments Criminal Records Checks for Overseas Applicants webpages.

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