Policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders

PSS has an obligation to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from people who have committed serious offences, and as such meets the requirements in respect of exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

All applicants who are offered employment in a post that falls into this category will be subject to cautions, reprimands or final warnings, as well as convictions, including ‘spent’ convictions and where the post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure, other relevant non-conviction information, such as police enquiries and any pending prosecution will be included.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (2013) provide that certain spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’ and are not subject to disclosure to employers, and cannot be taken into account. Guidance and criteria on the filtering of these cautions and convictions can be found on the DBS website.

· As an organisation using the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, PSS 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 Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

· PSS can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that PSS is legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended, and where appropriate Police Act Regulations as amended).

· PSS can only ask individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.

· We are committed to the fair recruitment of its employees, regardless of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependents, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

· This policy will be made available to all DBS applicants at the start of the recruitment process.

· We actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

· A disclosure is only requested after a risk assessment has indicated that one is proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure is required all adverts and terms of conditions of employment will contain the statement that this will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

· At interview or in separate discussions, 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 or employment.

· We undertake to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with a person where relevant and as part of a risk assessment procedure concerning the duties of the post offered.

· We ensure that all those in PSS 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 relating to the employment of ex-offenders e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offender Act 1974.

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

· Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar anyone from working at PSS. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of offences.


For further information, please contact michelle.cooksey@pss.org.uk.