Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service to assess applicant’s suitability for positions of trust, LAL complies fully with the Code of Practice (for registered persons and other recipients of disclosure information through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service) 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.

LAL is committed to the fair treatment of its current and potential staff, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

 

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.

 

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, the application form and recruitment documentation will state that a DBS check is required in the event of the individual being offered the position.

 

Unless the nature of the position allows LAL to ask questions about an individual’s entire criminal record, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

 

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 matters 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 DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Assessing the Relevance of Criminal Records

Where the DBS check discloses a criminal record, an assessment to decide the relevance of the criminal record and the suitability of the individual to carry out the duties of the post will be made. To reach a fair and balanced decision this assessment will involve an evaluation of the associated risks. Protection of the applicant’s rights and interests must be weighed against the rights and interests of young learners, including LAL’s duties and responsibilities towards the same.

The Recruiting Manager in discussion with the HR Manager and General Manager will consider each case on its individual merits but will take into account the following factors as a minimum:

  • the relevance of the offence to the duties and responsibilities of the post,
  • the nature and level of contact with children,
  • the freedom of action in the post and the level and nature of available supervision,
  • what level of contact the post has with the public,
  • the seriousness of the offence and its relevance to the safety of other people and resources,
  • the length of time since the offence was committed,
  • details of the circumstances that led to the offence (domestic or financial problems),
  • changes to the individual’s circumstances that make re-offending less likely,
  • whether the individual has a history of re-offending,
  • the country in which the offence was committed, for example what is an offence in Scotland is not necessarily an offence in England & Wales.

Before a final recruitment decision is made the applicant will have the opportunity to discuss the disclosure information with the Recruiting Manager. This will provide the applicant with the opportunity to explain, question and promote her or his own views. Applicants also have the right to appeal to the DBS if they think a mistake has been made about their identity or if they feel the information disclosed to LAL is incorrect. LAL will normally allow a reasonable amount of time for the applicant to exhaust this right of appeal before finalising a decision.

Once a decision has been made, the Recruiting Manager will contact the applicant to explain the decision reached and will confirm the decision in writing.

Occasionally the Chief Police Officer may, if thought necessary in the interests of the prevention or detection of crime, release ‘additional’ information to the Countersignatory only, in the form of a separate letter.

Where the police release additional information, the Countersignatory’s copy of the Enhanced Disclosure will contain the following words ‘Please refer to letter sent under separate cover’, printed under the ‘date of issue’ on the Disclosure. The information contained within the letter must never be revealed to the applicant or be shown to the applicant or to any other person not involved with the recruitment decision. In these situations LAL give assurances that those who are entitled to see this additional information as part of their duties will comply with the Police Act 1997 and not reveal the information contained within the letter to the applicant or another person who is not involved with the recruitment decision, without the written permission of the Chief Police Officer.