Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (updated 2023)



The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) primarily exists to support the rehabilitation into employment of people with convictions who have stopped offending and wish to turn their lives around. The Act allows all cautions and most convictions to be considered ‘spent’ after a specified period of time, legally referred to as the rehabilitation period – but in practice it is a disclosure period. The length of the rehabilitation period varies according to the sentence or disposal given.

Updated in October 2023, you can download our guide on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.