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Alistair – Proving to an employer that it’s spent


Alistair contacted us after a decision by a supermarket to revoke their delivery driver job offer to him following disclosure of a conviction which had come back on a basic criminal record check.

Alistair said that before he’d applied for the job he’s checked to see the status of his conviction and had been told that it was spent and he had no legal requirement to disclose. He had followed this advice was therefore confused as to why his conviction was now appearing on his basic certificate. He was very distressed and desperate for help.

We asked Alistair to send us a copy of the certificate. Part of Alistair’s disposal had been a compensation order which he had paid immediately after his conviction. Alistair had provided Disclosure Scotland with confirmation of the payment.

We contacted Disclosure Scotland on Alistair’s behalf and were asked to provide them with copies of all previous correspondence and evidence of the payment. Following a thorough investigation, Disclosure Scotland accepted that a ‘technical error’ had occurred and were happy to reissue Alistair with a ‘clean’ certificate and a letter to the supermarket confirming that the disclosure had been a mistake on their part.

We contacted the supermarket with this new information and they were able to confirm that once they’d had sight of the new Certificate, they would be able to offer Alistair a new start date.


This case shows the importance of applying for a copy of your own basic disclosure well before applying for any work where you think certain convictions won’t show because you believe they’re spent.


There’s details of how to apply for your own basic disclosure here. There’s information on when convictions become spent on our self-help site here. You can also use our Disclosure Calculator to work this out online.

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s case work.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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