By Chris Proctor

in Nacro comments

An example of what may be considered a ‘bad disclosure’.

In our previous blog, I have a criminal record. What more can I say? we provided you with helpful tips and hints on how to prepare a written criminal record disclosure. To illustrate how important it is to get disclosure right, we have provided an example of how not to disclose. We have highlighted the parts that we think would cause an employer the most concern on first reading this statement.


Dear Sir/Madam,

I have some convictions. In February 2010 I was arrested for shoplifting and got a community order and a fine. It wasn’t my fault as my friend put pressure on me to do it. In March 2010 I was arrested for stealing some CDs from a shop in the town centre. I received a fine and I was given more community service hours. In 2011 I was arrested another three times for shoplifting. Two of these times it wasn’t even me but the police just picked on me because I was already known to them. Later in 2011 I was arrested for burglary and criminal damage. I went to prison for nine months.

These are things from my past and never ever did I think they would affect my career. I want to work for your company as I am committed to working hard and I have always tried my best at everything I do.


“What is wrong with this disclosure?” you may ask. “At least they’re being honest.” Well – remember the structure that we suggested in our previous blog Disclosing a conviction:

Paragraph 1 – Start with something positive

Remember: you are trying to sell yourself to an employer. Tell them why it is you are applying for the job. Why do you want to work for them? What makes you a good candidate? What skills, abilities and qualities do you have?

  • I am applying for this role because… (say something about your skills, abilities, motivations etc.) ✓
  • I have some convictions … ✗

Paragraph 2 – Explain the offence(s) in your own words

Give a brief explanation as to what the offence/s is/are and the circumstances around why you committed the offence/s. Do not go into unnecessary detail and do not make excuses!

  • Between 2010-2011 I was arrested for a number of shoplifting offences. At the time of these offences, I was struggling financially/I had a drug addiction… ✓
  • In February 2010 I was arrested for shoplifting…It wasn’t my fault as my friend put pressure on me to do it…Two of these times it wasn’t even me… ✗

Paragraph 3 – Reassure the employer you are not a risk

Tell the employer about all of the positive things you have achieved since the time of the offence/s. What has changed since the time of the offence/s? What are your motivations for not getting back into trouble?

  • Since the time of the offence/s I have (e.g.) engaged with a drug support service and have been clean for nearly four years ✓
  • These are things from my past and never ever did I think they would affect my career. ✗

If you want to know what a good disclosure looks like read our next blog, ‘What you should say when making a criminal record disclosure’. You can also follow us on Twitter @Nacro_.


It’s difficult for individuals and people helping them to know exactly what needs to be disclosed and the best way to do so. Nacro delivers interactive workshops for front-line practitioners and advisers to increase their confidence to support people with criminal records into employment, education and training.

Find out more about our criminal records disclosure training here.