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Disclosure of Criminal Convictions

To apply for a job at The Open University you must tell us about any unspent criminal convictions you have.

When applying for certain jobs, you will also need to declare spent criminal convictions, pending charges/current police investigations, bind overs, warnings and cautions or reprimands. (See item 2 below)

The information you provide will be treated as strictly confidential and will be considered only in relation to the job for which you are applying.

If you disclose a conviction, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will not consider and appoint you. Our main consideration will be whether the offence would make you unsuitable for the type of work you are applying for.

  1. Please read carefully the notes in this section and enter any unspent convictions on your application form.
  2. Certain jobs are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must also state ‘spent’ criminal convictions, pending charges/current police investigations, bind overs,  warnings and cautions or reprimands if you are applying for a job where there is likely be regular contact with under 18 year olds and other vulnerable groups. There may be other specified jobs that are also exempt from the Act – where this is applicable it will be indicated in the job advert and/or the accompanying recruitment information. A Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure will be required for all these posts that fall into this category where an applicant is offered the position.

For roles based in England and Wales – please refer to the details below for reference.

For roles based in Scotland and Northern Ireland – these areas have different periods of rehabilitation.  Please see Appendix A for reference.

Details of relevant convictions and time periods are as follows:

Rehabilitation periods for community orders and custodial sentences now comprise of the period of the sentence plus an additional specified period or ‘buffer’ period.

For custodial sentences:

Sentence length Rehabilitation period is the period of sentence plus this ‘buffer’ period which applies from the end of the sentence for adults (18 and over at time of conviction)
0-6 months 2 years
6-30 months 4 years
30 months – 4 years 7 years
Over 4 years Never spent

For non-custodial sentences:

Sentence ‘Buffer’ period (will apply from end of sentence) for adults (18 and over at time of conviction)
Community order (& Youth Rehabilitation Order) 1 year
Fine 1 year (from date of conviction)
Absolute discharge None
Conditional discharge, referral order, reparation order, action plan order, supervision order, bind over order, hospital order Period of the order

Further notes:

If you were under 18 years of age on the date of your conviction, please halve the period shown in the right-hand column.  This does not apply to sentence under the heading ‘custodial sentences' unless the sentence was six months or less, when the ‘buffer’ period is 18 months.

For the purpose of calculating a 'spent' conviction, it does not matter whether a sentence was suspended.

When applying for some jobs you must also declare spent convictions, pending charges/current Police investigations, bind overs, warnings/ cautions or reprimands.  If you are employed, failure to declare or falsification of information will result in your dismissal without notice.


Appendix A

Periods of rehabilitation following conviction for roles in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Details of relevant convictions and time periods are as follows:

Sentence Becomes ‘spent’ after
Sentence of imprisonment or youth custody exceeding 6 months but not exceeding 30 months. 10 years
A sentence of imprisonment or youth custody not exceeding 6 months. 7 years
A sentence of borstal training. 7 years
A fine or other sentence, not otherwise covered in this chart, such as a compensation or community service order or a probation order received on or after 3rd February 1995. 5 years
An absolute discharge. 6 months
A probation order, conditional discharge, bind over, fit person order, supervision order or care orders under the Children and Young Persons Acts (and equivalent in Scotland). 1 year or until the order expires (whichever is the longer), or 5 years if a probation order was made on or after 3rd February 1995
Cashiering, discharge with ignominy or dismissal with disgrace from the armed forces. 10 years
Simple dismissal from the armed forces. 7 years
Detention by direction of the Home Secretary
A detention period exceeding 6 months but not exceeding 30 months. 5 years
A detention period not exceeding 6 months. 3 years
A detention order. 3 years
A detention care order. 3 years
A remand home order, an approved school order or an attendance centre order. The period of the 'order' plus a further year after the order expires
A hospital order under the Mental Health Acts. The period of the 'order' plus a further 2 years after the order expires, with a maximum of 5 years from the date of conviction
Sentence exceeding 30 months
A sentence of imprisonment or youth custody more than 30 months. Never becomes 'spent'

If you were under 17 years of age on the date of your conviction, please halve the period shown in the right hand column.  This does not apply to sentences under the heading ‘Detention by direction of the Home Secretary’.

Please note that you will also need to ensure that you read the information in the links above.

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact: Resourcing-Hub@open.ac.uk.

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,
MK7 6AA

Resourcing-Hub-Feedback@open.ac.uk