It is a requirement that all registered bodies must treat Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) applicants who have a criminal record fairly and do not discriminate because of a conviction or other information revealed.

This policy statement does not cover school-based employees, for whom separate policies apply.

Policy statement

  1. As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, South Gloucestershire Council complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

  2. South Gloucestershire Council is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

  3. This policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders will be made available to all DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.

  4. We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential 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.

  5. A DBS check is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a DBS check is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a DBS check will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

  6. Where a DBS check is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process, except for certain spent convictions and cautions which are ‘protected’ so not subject to disclosure to employers and that cannot be taken into account. We request that any information not subject to this filtering is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person within the council and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

  7. Unless the nature of the position allows the council to ask questions about your entire criminal record, except for certain spent convictions and cautions which are ‘protected’ so not subject to disclosure to employers and that cannot be taken into account, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

  8. The council ensures that those who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

  9. At interview, or in a separate discussion, we 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.

  10. We make every subject of a DBS check aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.

  11. We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.