Criminal Record Guidance for Employers | Nacro

What criminal record information can I obtain?



This guide is for organisations that recruit for jobs, roles or courses that require placements, which are exempt, or ‘excepted’, from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. These are the jobs, roles or courses in England or Wales which are eligible for a standard or enhanced or enhanced and barred Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check also known as higher-level DBS checks. Please note that different rules apply if you are recruiting for jobs, roles or courses in Scotland or Northern Ireland.


Schemes of disclosure In England and Wales, there are two schemes of disclosure:


This is information that an employer or education provider can ask an applicant to provide in the form of a criminal record declaration. The information that you are entitled to ask and that an applicant is obliged to disclose depends on the type of role or course that they have applied for.

Vetting checks

This is the formal process by which you can verify the information that an applicant has self-disclosed. Most vetting checks in England and Wales are processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (also known as ‘DBS checks’), but other types of vetting checks include security vetting such as Security Clearance, Developed Vetting, Counter Terrorism Checks among others. The type or level of check you can request depends on the specific job, role or course that you are recruiting for.

For more information, download the full publication.


Discover our Employer Advice Service

If you’re an employer looking for advice about employing people with a criminal recordasking about a criminal record, carrying out a criminal record check or risk assessing a person with a criminal record, our Employer Advice Service provides confidential advice and guidance on criminal record related issues.

We provide free, accessible guides and expert consultation and training for businesses across the UK. We deliver training and consultancy across England and Wales and have clients which include West London NHS Trust, Housing Group Plus, Birmingham City Council, Maximum UK, Middlesborough College, Girlguiding, Dorset NHS Trust, and St Mungos to name a few.

To find out more, see our Employer Advice Service information.