What do the results mean?
On the results page, you have the option of listing the results by conviction order or by spent date order.
To find out what it means to have either unspent or spent convictions, click here.
How is the result worked out?
The result is based on:
- The information you’ve provided
- The current law on rehabilitation periods.
Using the results
The results given are only as good as the information that’s been input and may not be accurate if you:
- Entered any incorrect information, such as approximate dates
- Did not serve your sentence in full as the court ordered you to
- Did not stick to the conditions of your sentence
- Have more than one caution or conviction
- Were released on bail at any time.
If you plan to use the information to decide whether or not to disclose a caution or a conviction and you’re unsure about the result, we recommend that you contact our helpline for further information or advice.
What is it?
The Calculator can be used to work out when convictions become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. More information can be found about the Disclosure Calculator here.
The calculator operates using the rehabilitation periods as they apply in England & Wales. Contacts for the law in other countries can be found here.
How do I register to use it?
To use the calculator on a personal basis, you simply need to identify whether you’re using it for yourself, or on behalf of a family member/friend.
To use the calculator on a practitioner basis, you need to identify that you’re using it to help somebody as part of your job.
What information do I need to use it?
The tool will only work if you know the following details about all of the convictions or disposals that you have received:
- The date of conviction/sentence started
- The sentence or disposal that you received
- Your date of birth
If you don’t know these details, you should get a copy of your police records.
What happens to the information I provide?
How do I answer the questions?
Before you start
You should enter your convictions in the order that they were received, starting with the first/earliest.
Name of conviction
You should complete this field if you would like to give a name to the conviction. This is optional, but may help you to identify this conviction when looking at the results page.
For prison sentences and community orders, enter the date the sentence started. For all other sentences/disposals, enter the date of conviction.
It is possible for you to provide an estimate of the date, either to the nearest month or year, but this may produce inaccurate results, particularly if you have multiple convictions.
If you do no know the exact date, and still want to use the calculator, you should enter a date which is at the end of the month or year when you think you were convicted. For example, if you know you were convicted in 2008, you should enter 31/12/2008. Your results will then show the latest possible date your conviction will be spent (although this might not work if you’ve received convictions in the past).
Type of disposal
Here, you should select whether you received a conviction or a caution.
If you select caution, you must make sure in the below section that you choose either ‘Simple caution’ or ‘Conditional caution’.
Sentence or disposal received
You should enter the specific sentence/disposal that you received for the conviction. This will determine the rehabilitation period for that specific offence.
It is important to ensure that you select the exact sentence/disposal that you received. There are many disposals that have similar wordings but have different rehabilitation periods. If you choose the wrong one, the results of the calculator may be inaccurate. There are also many that are no longer used, but for historical purposes the option of selecting these is needed.
If you have received a motoring conviction, you will need to make sure that you add a sentence/disposal of ‘motoring endorsement‘ into the Calculator. This should be added as well as any other sentence that you received, such as a fine or a disqualification. You can do this using the ‘Add another disposal to this conviction’ button.
This is important, as a motoring endorsement has a rehabilitation period of 5 years. If you miss this out when using the Calculator, the results that you get will be inaccurate.
Length of prison sentences
When entering prison sentences (or suspended sentences), you will asked for the length of the sentence in months or weeks. It is important that you enter one or the other, not both.
For example, if you received a 2 year prison sentence, you should enter 24 months.
Note – due to the complexities in days/weeks/months (e.g. leap years), there’s the possibility that the Calculator may have a slight variance depending on whether you use months or weeks.
If you received more than one sentence or disposal, you should record them all by selecting “Add another disposal to this conviction”. Multiple sentences or disposals can impact on when a conviction becomes spent, as the disclosure period for the conviction is equal to the sentence/disposal with the longest rehabilitation period.
Multiple convictions with consecutive prison sentences
To get the correct disclosure result you must use the total length of the prison sentence for every conviction in the proceedings. For example, if you were sent to prison for 8 months in total, made up of a 3 month sentence and a 5 month sentence, ordered to run consecutively., you should enter the ‘sentence’ as 8 months.
Relevant orders (for example hospital orders or restraining orders)
If you have been given a ‘relevant order’ as part of your disposal, then the calculator asks you to input the length of the order (in months).
If the order runs indefinitely, you need to tick the box. The length of the order will automatically default to 998 years – this is to make sure that the tool effectively treats it as ‘unspent indefinitely’ because it cannot become spent until the order ends.
If you were convicted abroad, your conviction may still be protected by the ROA. However, there can be significant differences in terminology and types of sentence.
If your sentence does not match with a sentence in this country (for example a ‘behavioural bond’, the Ministry of Justice advise that you should “find a domestic sentence which is the nearest equivalent”. However, if you are unsure, we advise that you contact the Sentencing Policy and Penalities Unit at the Ministry of Justice to request their view. Write to: Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Policy Advisor, Sentencing Policy and Penalties Unit, Ministry of Justice, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ, or email ROA@justice.gsi.gov.uk.
Do you need to add a further conviction?
If you have more than one conviction, you need to enter your further convictions depending on whether they were dealt with in the same proceedings or whether they were dealt with separately.
Please note: Be careful not to select either of these options unless you do actually have a further conviction, as there is currently no ability to remove a conviction once one of these options are selected, so you would need to start again.
How to deal with breaches
If you originally received a community order or a conditional discharge, and then were later brought before the court for a breach of the order, this can affect the rehabilitation period of the original conviction. When you add the breach, you should add it as a “Further conviction dealt with in the SAME proceedings”. This will ensure that the earlier conviction and the later breach are dealt with together, and that the longer rehabilitation period is applied to both.
Date of birth
This is needed to determine how old you were at the point of conviction, as some disclosure periods vary depending on your age at the time of conviction.
If you wish to be sent the results to you via email for your own records, you should enter your email address and confirm it in the box below.
The email will be sent with the subject line “Disclosure Calculator Results” and will contain the results of the details that you inputted into the tool. Your email address will not be passed to a third-party, and will only be used by us to contact you if any technical issues are identified with the results you have been sent.
Given the highly personal nature of the information that will be sent in this email, you should ensure that you choose an email address which only you (or people you trust with your conviction information) have access to.
Frequently asked questions
See a list of common questions here.
If you have any questions about how to use the Calculator which are not covered in the user guide or the FAQ’s.
If you’d like to talk through the results that you’ve received, you can contact our Helpline.