Self-disclosure statements (often referred to as a “disclosure letter”)

We’re really keen to show how good self-disclosure statements can vary in their style and approach. We think a really good way to do this is to get some real-life ones that have been used successfully. So, if you’ve written your own statement which you went on to use and that resulted in you being offered a job, we’d love you to help us with this. Find out more here.

Aim of this information

The aim of this information is to explain how a disclosure statement can help with “when and how to disclose to an employer when applying for work. It also provides some examples of what should be included in a disclosure statement/letter.   This information is part of our disclosing to employers section.

Why is this important?

However you choose to disclose your criminal record to an employer, be it face to face or in writing, it’s important that you are clear about what you need to disclose and how you are going to disclose it.

A disclosure statement can often help to get your thoughts into some kind of order which you can use as a prompt when disclosing face to face or to hand over to an employer as evidence of what you’ve disclosed. The statement should:

  • Give details of your offence and the circumstances surrounding it.
  • Highlight what makes you suitable for the role, i,e, your previous skills and experience.
  • Demonstrate how you have moved on or changed since your offence.

Although they’re often referred to as a “disclosure letter”, we avoid that phrase as it suggests they should be submitted as a letter. As you’ll see, that’s not always the best way forward.

When should I use a self-disclosure statement?

Generally, our view is that if you’re disclosing your criminal record to an employer, discussing the details face-to-face is the most effective way of explaining the circumstances. However, there are a number of reasons why a self-disclosure statement can be useful to have completed in advance of applying for work.

  • You might be asked for a written statement as part of the application process.
  • You may be more comfortable writing rather than talking about your criminal record.
  • You may be asked at interview, and having the facts to hand can come in useful in helping you to discuss the circumstances around your record.

We normally recommend that however you disclose your criminal record, it is useful to provide the employer with some brief factual details of your criminal record in writing (even if you are disclosing verbally), so that you have evidence of what you’ve disclosed. This can also help them in making a decision. Make sure that you keep a copy of this for your own records.

For more information on writing a self-disclosure statement, visit our ‘disclosing to employers section.

Examples of self-disclosure statements

  • These examples have been written for guidance purposes only and should not be copied.
  • Self-disclosure statements need to be tailored to the specific vacancy you are applying for.
  • They should be personal to your own situation and give a genuine account of any mitigating factors that led to your conviction and highlight what you have achieved since.
  • There is no ‘perfect template’ for a self-disclosure statement.

Person one – Peter

Peter has a recent unspent conviction for GBH and is applying for a job in a supermarket.

Example one – Asked at application and preparing for interview / Brief factual details

This example is designed to help Peter when he has been asked at application and offered to provide more details at interview. It is a helpful way for Peter to set out the facts and any important points that he would want to explain at interview, but without going into too much detail at an early stage in the recruitment process. Peter could also give it to the employer as a factual record after a face-to-face conversation.
Statement about my criminal record in relation to my application for the post of supermarket checkout operator

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some further details about my unspent criminal conviction.

Just over two years ago, in XXXX, I received an eight-month prison sentence for grievous bodily harm. The conviction came about during an argument with my girlfriend’s ex-husband. It is my only conviction.

I take full responsibility for my actions and admitted the offence as soon as I was arrested. Whilst in prison, I attended a programme specifically for people convicted of violent offences and this enabled me to get a better understanding of the factors that triggered my anger and also taught me how to manage my emotions.

I deeply regret what I did but some good has come out of it. I’ve seen the impact that my conviction has had on my family and I know that I am now better able to deal with any situation I find myself in, in a much more constructive and calm way.

I would welcome the opportunity to explain this in more detail in a face-to-face discussion if you would like more information about the circumstances leading up to my conviction or what I’ve done since.

Peter Jones

[Date]

Example two – Asked after interview or job offer / Detailed disclosure in writing

This example is designed to help Peter when he has been asked after interview or job offer and he’s been asked to provide details. It is a helpful way for Peter to go into more detail given the later stage in the recruitment process. It can also be used if the employer is going to carry out some kind of risk assessment on Peter.
Dear Miss Wallington,

RE:  Application for the post of supermarket checkout operator – Self-disclosure statement

Further to my recent interview, I would like to provide details of my unspent conviction. I can confirm that just over two years ago, in XXXX, I received an eight-month prison sentence for grievous bodily harm.

The conviction came about during an argument with my girlfriend’s ex-husband. There was a physical altercation which ended with me hitting him.

I take full responsibility for my actions and admitted the offence as soon as I was arrested. Whilst in prison I attended a programme specifically for people convicted of violent offences and this enabled me to get a better understanding of the factors that triggered my anger and also taught me how to manage my emotions.

I deeply regret what I did but some good has come out of it. I’ve seen the impact that my conviction has had on my family and know that I am now able to deal with any situation I find myself in, in a much more constructive and calm way.

I understand that you have a responsibility towards your staff and customers and that my criminal record may cause you some concern. However, I hope this letter gives you some insight into the positive changes I have made to my life since my conviction. If you feel it would be helpful to discuss this face-to-face, I would be happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Jones

 

Person two – Amy

Amy has a spent conviction for over-payment of benefits and is applying for a job as a social worker.

Example one – Asked at application and preparing for interview / Brief factual details

This example is designed to help Amy when she has been asked at application and offered to provide more details at interview. It is a helpful way for Amy to set out the facts and any important points that she would want to explain at interview, but without going into too much detail at an early stage in the recruitment process. Amy could also give it to the employer as a factual record after a face-to-face disclosure.
Statement about my criminal record in relation to my application for the post of social worker

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some further details about my unspent criminal conviction.

Approximately 8 years ago I received an eight-month community order for an over-payment of benefits.

Although this conviction is now ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, due to the role that I have applied for I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some further details as it appears on my enhanced DBS check. There are circumstances relating to the offence that I would be happy to go into in more detail.

As part of my community order, I was required to attend a money management and budgeting course which has helped me to manage my finances more effectively.

I take full responsibility for my actions and pleaded guilty immediately at the earliest opportunity. I deeply regret what I did but some good has come out of it. I have been able to pay back the over-payment and the courses I took through probation have enabled me to be more in control of all aspects of my life.

As my application hopefully shows, I have a good, recent work record and hope that I can be judged on this.

Amy Jones

[Date]

Example two – Asked after interview or job offer / Detailed disclosure in writing

This example is designed to help Amy when she has been asked after interview or job offer about her criminal record and she’s been asked to provide details. It is a helpful way for Amy to go into more detail given the later stage in the recruitment process. It can also be used if the employer is going to carry out some kind of risk assessment on Amy.
Dear Mr Clarke,

RE:  Application for the post of social worker – Self-disclosure statement

Very many thanks for your letter with a conditional offer for the post of social worker.

Up until this stage of the process, I have not been asked to provide any criminal record details. However, prior to my enhanced DBS check being carried out, I wish to disclose that approximately 8 years ago I received a conviction for an over-payment of benefits. In total, I was overpaid by £4150 over a six month period which resulted in 12 separate offences as part of my conviction.

At the time of my offence I was a single parent struggling to find a job after completing my degree. I was claiming benefits but managed to secure a part-time job in a local restaurant. This part-time work did not affect my benefit entitlement in any way. However, when the job became full-time, I didn’t disclose my change of circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions and continued to receive benefit payments.

I take full responsibility for my actions and pleaded guilty immediately at the earliest opportunity. As part of my community order, I was required to attend a money management and budgeting course which has helped me to manage my finances more effectively.

I deeply regret what I did but the probation courses made it possible for me to take control of my finances allowing me to pay back the £4150 much quicker than I had been asked to do. I am a lot more confident in dealing with money now and, having addressed the issues that led to my offending, I don’t believe that I pose any risk to your organisation. This conviction is my only one and, in the eight years since it happened, I haven’t been in any further trouble.

I hope this letter provides you with an insight into the circumstances surrounding my conviction and demonstrates the steps I have taken to ensure that I am at no risk of reoffending. If you feel it would be helpful to discuss this further face-to-face I would be happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Amy Jones

More information

  1. For practical information – More information can be found in our disclosing criminal records to employers section
  2. To read personal stories – You can read stories about this posted on theRecord, our online magazine, under the tag disclosing to employers
  3. To discuss this issue with others – Read and share your experiences on our online forum
  4. Questions – If you have any questions about this, you can contact our helpline.

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