Use of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Recruitment of Ex-offenders Policy

Use of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Recruitment of Ex-offenders

  1. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is an executive agency of the Home Office government department, providing a service called Disclosure. This is a regulated service that enables organisations to gain access to criminal and other information for recruitment and licensing purposes. The DBS helps organisations to screen out candidates who may be unsuitable to work with children or vulnerable adults, helping to ensure that these groups are properly protected. It also provides guidance to its registered users to enable them to handle sensitive information appropriately and legally.
  2. The University is registered with the DBS so that it can use the Disclosure service to carry out checks on those applying for jobs which involve working with children and vulnerable adults and other professional work. Some volunteers may also need a Disclosure.
  3. As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, the University’s policy is intended to comply with the Code of Practice established under section 122 of Part V Police Act 1997 and determines the obligations which govern initial and ongoing registration of Registered Bodies and to treat all applicants for positions fairly in this regard.
  4. The University does not discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information received.
  5. The University is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
  6. We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skill andpotential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
  7. The University’s main concerns in respect of applicants with criminal convictions are to:
    • Ensure the safety and well-being of The University’s staff and students, other clients and visitors
    • Ensure the security of University property
    • Protect the University’s reputation and public standing
    • Carry out the University’s legal responsibilities and duties
  8. A DBS Disclosure is only requested after a risk assessment indicates that it is relevant to the position concerned.  For those positions where a Disclosure is required, job adverts and recruitment documentation will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
  9. Unless the nature of the position allows the University to ask questions about the entire criminal record, questions will only be asked about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
  10. Some posts are considered to be exempt from the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that ex-offenders have to disclose information about spent as well as unspent convictions.
  11. Standard Disclosures will be obtained for all relevant employees and volunteers in accordance with the DBS regulations.  Any Disclosure documents or information will only be seen by those who need to consider it following the selection process and will not be retained longer than is necessary for the purpose of selection.
  12. Failure by applicants, employees or volunteers to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of appointment.
  13. Every subject of a DBS Disclosure will be made aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and a copy will be provided on request. Any matter revealed in a Disclosure will be discussed with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of appointment.
  14. The fact that an applicant has a criminal conviction will not necessarily bar that person from working in the University.  This will depend upon the nature of the position and the circumstances and the background of the offences.

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