Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is registration necessary?
- How long are convictions valid?
- Is there a mechanism in place to monitor Registered Bodies?
- Can I re-check my staff and, if so, how often?
- What is the Code of Practice?
- Where can I get advice about employing someone with a Criminal Record?
- When could an organisation's registration be cancelled?
- If I am going to be de-registered, what steps should be taken?
- Is there an appeal procedure if my organisation has been refused registration?
- Where an applicant doesn't get a job because of disclosure information; should they be given an explanation?
- What are suitable forms of identification?
- As an employer, what should I check to ensure the prospective employee is legally entitled to work in the UK?
- Do foster carers and applicants for adoption require to be checked?
- I work at or out of a UK airport and require an airside pass. What part does Disclosure Scotland carry out in this process?
Why is registration necessary?
Organisations which apply for Standard and Enhanced Disclosures have a great deal of responsibility in the disclosure process - from confirming the identity of the applicant to using, protecting and storing the disclosure certificate.
We therefore carry out checks on these registered organisations and monitor their activities to ensure they act in accordance with our code of conduct.
How long are convictions valid?
There is no formal period of validity for a conviction, though some convictions may be spent under rehabilitation of offender’s legislation.
Is there a mechanism in place to monitor Registered Bodies?
Yes, Disclosure Scotland monitors and undertakes periodic inspections of Registered Bodies.
Can I re-check my staff and, if so, how often?
There is no legislation which prevents you seeking further disclosures on staff you have already checked, or carrying out retrospective checking. As an organisation, you must decide whether this is required.
What is the Code of Practice?
The Code of Practice is a document which sets out the standards with which a Registered Person or Body is required to comply. Broadly speaking this covers:
- The use of information provided to it by Disclosure Scotland
- The discharge of any function under Part V of the Police Act 1997 and any regulations made under it
Where can I get advice about employing someone with a Criminal Record?
This recruitment decision is the responsibility of the employing organisation. The Disclosure Unit of your local police force can give advice and guidance on the detail of conviction information.
When could an organisation's registration be cancelled?
A registered body can be removed from the register if it is no longer likely to need access to disclosure services. Registration of a lead or counter-signatory can also be cancelled or suspended if they breach the conditions of registration.
If I am going to be de-registered, what steps should be taken?
If you receive notice of suspension or cancellation, you can, within 28 days of receiving the notice, appeal against the suspension or cancellation.
We will consider all representations and either
- Inform you that we do not propose to take any further action
- Inform you that the registration will be cancelled or suspended at the end of a further period of 28 days.
If your registration is suspended, you will be informed of the terms involved, including the period of suspension.
In some cases, we may decide to cancel registration with immediate effect.
Is there an appeal procedure if my organisation has been refused registration?
We will refuse to register your organisation if the supporting statement supplied does not evidence positions which are exempt under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.. We may also decline a person’s application to become a registered person or additional signatory, if they are deemed unsuitable to receive disclosure information. The appeal procedure is as above.
Where an applicant doesn't get a job because of disclosure information; should they be given an explanation by the employer?
Applicants should be treated fairly and this includes giving them an explanation and, where appropriate, providing an opportunity to discuss.
What are suitable forms of identification?
A full list of acceptable means of identification is listed below.
Three documents must be produced; one from Group 1 and two from Group 2. If this is not possible, then five documents from Group 2 must be produced – these must be in the name of the applicant. It is preferred that one of these documents contains photographic identification.
- Valid passport (any nationality)
- UK Driving Licence Full or Provisional – England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Isle of Man; either photocard or paper (a photocard is only valid if accompanied with the paper counterpart)
- Original UK birth certificate (issued within 12 months of date of birth, full or short form acceptable)
- Valid photo identity card (EU countries only)
- UK Firearms licence
- HM Forces ID card (UK)
- Adoption Certificate (UK)
- Marriage certificate/Civil Partnership Certificate
- Non-original UK birth certificate (issued after 12 months of date of birth, full or short form acceptable)
- P45/P60 statement
- Utility bill (electricity, gas, water, telephone – including mobile phone contract/bill)
- Valid TV licence
- Credit card statement
- Store card statement
- Mortgage statement
- Valid insurance certificate
- Certificate of British nationality
- British work permit/visa**
- Asylum Registration Card
- Personal correspondence or a document from a Government Department*
- Bank or Building Society Document**
- Financial statement e.g. pension, endowment, ISA **
- Valid vehicle registration document
- Mail order catalogue statement*
- Court summons
- Valid NHS card
- Court Claim Form
- Addressed payslip*
- Examination certificate (e.g. GCSE, NVQ)
- Letter from a Head Teacher*
- Child benefit book
* documentation must be less than 3 months old
** must be issued within the last 12 months
As an employer, what should I check to ensure the prospective employee is legally entitled to work in the UK?
It is the responsibility of every employer to satisfy themselves that an employee is entitled to work in the United Kingdom. You should check all prospective employees' entitlement to work in the UK, or they risk breaking the law. The checks required depend on when the employee will be, or was recruited.
Do foster carers and applicants for adoption require to be checked?
Yes, and each person in the household who is over age 16 needs to be checked. A separate fee will be payable for each application.
Further information should be available from the agencies arranging the foster care or adoption services.
I work at or out of a UK airport and require an airside pass. What part does Disclosure Scotland carry out in this process?
In April 2003 the Department for Transport (DfT) issued an instruction that any new employees recruited, to work airside at a UK Airport, must first produce a Basic Disclosure in order to obtain their Airside, or Restricted Zone (RZ) Pass. In July 2003, this instruction was extended to cover existing staff. All staff currently requiring an airside pass will need to produce a Basic Disclosure either prior to their pass being renewed between 1st July 2003 and 31st July 2004 or in order to retain their airside pass if the pass is not due for renewal between these dates.
The Service Level Agreement for Basic Disclosures is 14 calendar days, for a correctly completed application, with no further enquiries. If you need to apply for a Basic Disclosure, to receive or retain an Airside Pass, you should ensure you begin the application process at least 14 days before you require to receive, renew, or retain the pass.
The Basic Disclosure is designed for individual use only. One copy is produced and this is posted to the address you nominate as your current address on the application form. The DfT are requesting that individuals then show their Disclosure to their employer and/or the pass issuer in order to check for Disqualifying Criteria. The DfT laid down the Disqualifying Criteria. Please note that the name the applicant enters on the application form is the one that will appear on the disclosure certificate. Any supporting documentation (passports etc.) are used to help verify identity. Disclosure Scotland will not 'edit' application forms to change the name in this section. Make sure that the name entered matches the name that the airport will be looking to match the applicant against.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 will be applied to Basic Disclosures. This means that only unspent convictions will be disclosed. You may have been convicted of a disqualifying offence but if it is spent, you will not lose your pass. To apply for a Basic Disclosure you should obtain an Application Form either from your employer, or directly from Disclosure Scotland. You can also apply online via this website. Go to Basic Disclosures Online.
- Make sure you apply at least 14 days before you require the Disclosure.
- Make sure you complete the Application Form (see Application Process for further advice). Incomplete details can delay your Disclosure.
- Where is your current home address? If you live overseas or in communal property will your Disclosure arrive safely and on time? Disclosure Scotland posts all Disclosures by first class, UK mainland mail. If you think there may be a problem receiving your Disclosure it may be safer to nominate for it to be dispatched via your employer. If you want to do this, simply complete the relevant details in the appropriate section on the Application form. If you are applying on-line, you should enter the Resident from Date, as the date you are making the Application, not the date you started work. You can then continue to provide at least five years home address history.
- Can Disclosure Scotland authenticate you as an individual at your current home address? We do this by checking the electoral roll and various other official records. If we cannot confirm your identity, the processing of your Disclosure will be delayed. To assist with this you can include a copy of official documentation sent to you at your home address e.g. a Utility Bill or Bank Statement.
Advice to Airside Employers
Have you considered becoming a Responsible Body? This allows you to pay for Disclosures by monthly invoice and assists with the authentication issue, thus speeding up the process and helping to track your applications. It would also be helpful to have a nominated person within your organisation to act as the liaison between Disclosure Scotland and your employees. This person could build up expertise in Disclosure processing and assist with answering any common queries that arise. To get more details on this Contact Us