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When would you need to disclose your spent conviction to an employer?

Any organisation can apply for a basic criminal record check on members of their staff which will disclose unspent cautions/convictions. However, there are some jobs which would require you to disclose spent convictions.

Many people are aware that if they’re applying for a job which involves working with children or vulnerable adults, then they’ll need to disclose their spent convictions, unless they’re eligible for filtering. However, there are lots of other jobs where you’ll need to disclose your spent convictions which probably wouldn’t be immediately obvious.

Some of these jobs only ask that you disclose your conviction when entering the profession. Once you’ve qualified and start applying for jobs, employers will only be able to ask you about your unspent convictions and can only carry out a basic criminal record check. For example:

So, what other jobs might need you to disclose your spent conviction? The jobs we’ve listed below appear on the DBS exemptions list and will usually require you to undertake a standard Disclosure and Barring Service check:

  • Traffic wardens
  • Football stewards
  • Locksmiths who want to become members of the Master Locksmith’s Association
  • Mortgage brokers who have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Doorman/bouncers who require an SIA Licence.

If your employer is asking you to disclose your spent convictions or wants to carry out a check which you don’t believe they are entitled to do, then we’d like to hear from you. Find our further information here.

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information is available on our criminal record checks for employment page
  2. Our policy work – Read about the policy work we’re doing on stopping unlawful/ineligible DBS checks
  3. Questions – If you have any questions about this you can contact our helpline.


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Photo of Helpline lead, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

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