Policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders


The code of practice published under section 122 of the Police Act 1997 advises that it is a requirement that all registered bodies must treat DBS applicants who have a criminal record fairly and not discriminate automatically because of a conviction or other information revealed.

The code also obliges registered bodies to have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders; a copy of which can be given to DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.

The University encourages recruiting managers to familiarise themselves with the Government guidance on Employing prisoners and ex-offenders.

The University also recommends for managers to familiarise themselves with the work of Nacro, the organisation which offers support and advice regarding access to employment (including assessing and managing risk in relation to criminal records), housing and education to people with criminal records and professionals working with them.


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), Oxford Brookes University complies fully with the code of practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly.

Oxford Brookes University undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

The University can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that the University is legally entitled to know about. This is 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).

The University can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected. We will not ask applicants to disclose spent convictions.

The University is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff or users of its services, regardless of race; gender; religion; sexual orientation; responsibilities for dependants; age; physical/mental disability; pregnancy or maternity status; marriage or civil partnership status; gender reassignment or offending background.

The University actively promotes 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.

The University selects all candidates for interview based on their skills, 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 application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.

It will be made clear at the start of the recruitment process that a criminal records check might be taken and any offer of employment will be made subject to the receipt of satisfactory clearances.

Oxford Brookes ensures that all those in the University who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences.

Oxford Brookes University also ensures that they 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, Oxford Brookes University ensures 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.

The University makes every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the code of practice and makes a copy available on request.

The University undertakes to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.


Updated 4 June 2020