The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 was introduced with the aim of preventing ex-offenders who have not re-offended for a significant period of time from being denied access to jobs purely on the basis of their past criminal convictions. The general principle of the Act is that an ex-offender who has not re-offended for a specific length of will be considered ‘rehabilitated’, and the ex-offender will be entitled to present him or herself to employers as if he or she had never been convicted in the first place.


As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice (which is available upon request) and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

We undertake not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

We can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that we are legally entitled to know about.

Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended, and where appropriate Police Act Regulations as amended) we can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not ‘protected’, however, this will include both ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions and cautions.

We are committed to the fair treatment of our staff, potential staff or users of our services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.

We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience.

An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all job adverts and person specifications will contain a statement that an application for a disclosure certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.

We ensure that the HR team has been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences and have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. Where a disclosure is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process.

We make every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the code of practice and make a copy available on request. We undertake to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.