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Donny – My new career is now a reality rather than just a dream

Donny never thought it would be possible to become a driving instructor with a criminal record.

Donny contacted the Unlock helpline to find out whether his conviction from 24 years ago would be removed from his enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate following changes to the filtering rules in November 2020.

Donny explained that when he was 18 he had been convicted of a sexual offence which resulted in a 6 month community order. Although he’d never had any problems in finding work, he’d always wanted to be a driving instructor but never pursued his dream as he’d assumed that his criminal record would automatically disqualify him. On hearing about the changes to the filtering rules Donny thought that if he no longer needed to disclose his conviction then maybe it would be possible for him to change his career.

The helpline advisor explained to Donny that working as a driving instructor would require an enhanced DBS check. Sadly, due to the nature of his offence his conviction would not be eligible for filtering and would remain on his DBS certificate.

The advisor went on to say that Donny’s conviction did not automatically bar him from working as a driving instructor but he would need to disclose it. Talking about any conviction can be difficult but the advisor suggested that Donny highlight that this was his one and only conviction which had occurred when he was an 18-year old youth.

The advisor explained that the term indecent assault is a term used to cover a range of sexual offences and it would be worth including details about the circumstances surrounding the offence in any disclosure. As Donny’s conviction related to sexual activity with his 15 year old girlfriend the advisor felt that this additional information may help an employer to better assess Donny’s suitability and risk.

A couple of months later Donny contacted the helpline again. He had applied for a driving instructors training position which would ultimately lead to a permanent position. He said:


“Were it not for the Unlock’s advice, support and motivation I would never have applied for the role and this would have remained a pipe dream rather than a reality”.


Notes about this case

  1. This case relates to Unlock’s helpline.
  2. We have practical guidance on disclosing criminal records to an employer.
  3. Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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