Policy on the Recruitment and Employment of Ex-Offenders

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University complies fully with the provisions of the ROA and best practice in its recruitment of staff with a criminal record.  It aims to ensure that it treats all applicants for jobs who have a criminal record fairly and does not discriminate unfairly against candidates with either a spent or an unspent conviction. At the same time the policy aims to safeguard the University, its staff, students, visitors and service users.  The policy sets out the basis on which it will seek information from prospective employees about past spent and unspent convictions, how this information will be used and the way in which it will seek and deal with information relating to offences for posts exempted under the ROA.

Policy Statement

1.1     As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Aston University complies fully with the DBS code of practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

1.2     Aston University undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

1.3     Aston University can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that it is legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended, and where appropriate Police Act Regulations as amended) Aston University can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.

1.4     Aston University is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

1.5     Aston University has a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all DBS applicants at the start of the recruitment process.

1.6     Aston University actively promotes equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records.

1.7     Aston University selects all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

1.8     An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.

1.9     Aston University ensures that all those in the University who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.

1.10   Aston University also ensures that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

1.11   At interview, or in a separate discussion, Aston University ensures that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.

1.12   Aston University makes every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the DBS code of practice and makes a copy available on request

1.13   Aston University undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Version Control:

Reference Number

Version No



Executive Lead


Consideration by






J Tyrrell (Associate Director of HR)

Executive Operations Group

Consultation with TUs, SU, LHS 

Approval by Executive

Originally approved by Personnel & Employment Committee on 27/05/2004

Updated 11/05/2013