New ‘seven stages of a criminal record’ information launched

We’re constantly looking at ways to improve the site and, based on feedback we’ve had from users of the site, and the calls we get to our helpline, we think that our subject-led approach means that some people may be unaware of some important issues that may affect them. People will often contact us simply asking “what do I need to know?”.

In response to this, we’ve identified seven ‘criminal record stages’ when specific information on how to deal with some of specific consequences at that stage is relevant.

Information on our information site has always been subject driven. Individuals can search on topics such as employment, travel, insurance etc. However, this can sometimes lead to people remaining unaware of other important issues that may affect them. For example, somebody looking for information on disclosing an unspent conviction to an employer may not be aware that they’ll also need to disclose it to their home insurance company to make sure that they have adequate cover –  in effect, ‘people don’t know what they don’t know!’

The new pages we’ve developed sit alongside the existing subject-led structure and visitors can now to identify their own personal ‘stage’ from the following:

  1. If you’ve just received a caution
  2. If you’ve just received a conviction
  3. If you’re leaving prison
  4. If you’re on probation
  5. If you’ve got an unspent conviction
  6. If you’ve got a spent conviction
  7. If your caution/conviction has been filtered

We’ve done a lot of work with our helpline team and with users of the site to help us map out what approach to take and how to structure it.  The changes we’ve made will hopefully improve and widen the access individuals have to essential information.

As these pages are very new, we’re keen to get your thoughts. Let us know what you think of them and how they could be improved emailing us at or by completing our feedback form.

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Debbie Sadler