Guidance on explaining offences and cautions on your DBS certificate
The course you are applying to join is subject to the HCPC’s Fitness for Practice Regulations, and as such we must decide about your suitability to join the course.
If you have a prior criminal conviction or caution, it will not necessarily preclude you from being offered a place on an ORMS course. However, ORMS will be required to assess all such applications on a case by case basis to ensure that neither the applicant, the staff, patients nor students of ORMS will be put at risk should the applicant become a student of ORMS.
If you have a caution or conviction on your DBS certificate, we will need to establish the circumstances surrounding the recorded offences, and to do so we would like you to provide us with a disclosure statement which explains the situations and circumstances that led to the conviction or caution.
The best disclosure statements are those which are genuine and accurately reflect your circumstances and attitudes. Even though you might feel embarrassed about disclosing a criminal record, remember that almost one in four people of working age have at least one conviction and many more have cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
If the following points apply then you should emphasise them in your disclosure statement:
- The offence was committed a long time ago. In some cases, it may be that the conviction is recent but the offence is not. If so you should clarify this.
- The offence was a one-off and was out of character. If you have several offences that occurred over a period of time, try to group them together (e.g. “between 2001 and 2005 I was convicted on a number of occasions for offences relating to…”).
- The offence sounds more serious than it was. One way of explaining to employers that an offence is not as serious as it might sound is by drawing attention to the penalty or sentence you received. Offence codes cover a very wide range of offences that vary in terms of seriousness.
- There were particular circumstances, which have now changed, or reasons behind the offence(s). For example, if you had an addiction issue at the time of the offending which you have since addressed.
- You need to reassure us that you have addressed, changed, or learnt from the reasons or causes that led to your offending.
- You took responsibility for the offence(s) at the time. For example, you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity or cooperated with the investigation.
Making a Disclosure Statement
A disclosure statement is personal to you and your circumstances, so there is no perfect disclosure statement. You might find it useful, however, to try and include the following:
Explain your offence(s) in your own words:
- Tell us, briefly and in your own words, about the offences that you are disclosing and, if appropriate, the circumstances. Highlight any mitigating factors (e.g. addiction issues, in with the wrong crowd, loss of a loved one etc.). It is important not to let mitigation sound like an excuse.
Reassure us that you are not a risk:
- This should be the focus of your statement. Be sure to mention any employment, voluntary work or other experiences which demonstrate a proven track record of working as a safe and responsible staff member.
- If your circumstances have changed since the time of your offence(s), it might be helpful to mention this. For example, if you have family or financial commitments such as a mortgage, this might demonstrate that you have too much to lose from getting into trouble again.
- If personal problems contributed to the reasons behind the offence(s), it might be worth stating that these problems have been resolved and your circumstances are now very different.
- If you have any good character references, mention these as they will also be useful to the employer.
This advice has been modified from NACRO’s website. More information is available here: https://www.nacro.org.uk/resettlement-advice-service/support-for-individuals/
If you would like help with preparing a disclosure statement, please contact NACRO’s Resettlement Advice Service on 0300 123 1999 or firstname.lastname@example.org