This page sits within our information section on criminal record checks for employment. This is a specific page with FAQ’s covering the DBS filtering process.
However, a court may impose a bind-over having found an individual guilty. In such circumstances this would amount to a conviction for the purposes of filtering.
Custodial sentences are defined in section 5(8) of the ROA, as to be substituted by section 139(1) and (4) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
This is not an easy process, and we’re expecting individuals who have things on their record from overseas to have to check the DBS certificate they receive. It’s not clear how this will work, as it is a complicated process to ‘match’ disposals from overseas.
The filtering process applies to roles that are exempt from the ROA, which are entitled to carry out standard and enhanced level disclosures. Previously, these have always disclosed all cautions and convictions. The changes will reduce, in some cases, what is disclosed on these level of checks.
So, if you’re not sure whether something will be filtered, and are in the process of applying for a position that involves a standard or enhanced check, you may want to wait until you have received the disclosure back from the DBS before disclosing something to an employer that has been filtered.
However, bear in mind that, if you’re fairly confident that parts of your record will not be filtered, you may be better off disclosing those elements that will not be filtered to the employer at the earliest possible opportunity.
In relation to basic checks, nothing should be eligible for filtering that isn’t already spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (and therefore not disclosed on a basic disclosure anyway).
The filtering process does not apply to other types of disclosures, such as Police Certificates issued by ACPO in support of applications to travel abroad.
Where a standard or enhanced certificate can legally be requested (this is where the position is one that is listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975 (Exceptions) Order 1975), an employer can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that would fall under the rules described above. That means only those convictions and cautions that would be disclosed on a DBS certificate.
If an employer takes into account a conviction or caution that would not have been disclosed they are acting unlawfully under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
There are a small number of defined positions where details of all convictions and cautions may be taken into account. These positions do not go through the DBS process. Examples include police vetting and firearms licence applications.
A filtered disposal may also continue to be considered by the DBS for the purposes of making a barring decision.
There is no such ability to add a filtered disposal back into a standard disclosure certificate.
In addition to information from the PNC, an Enhanced certificate may also include information taken from police records that a chief officer of a police force considers relevant to the application and/or details of whether an individual is included on one or both of the two lists barring people from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.
Some PNC information will now be filtered and will not appear on the certificate. Cautions and convictions filtered out are set out in legislation.