Policy statement on the recruitment of ex-offenders

Our policy and process for the recruitment of candidates with criminal records. Here we also outline how and when we use the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service.

As an organisation using the DBS checking service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Wellcome complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. 

Wellcome undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.

This Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders is made available to all applicants for roles subject to a DBS check. 

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, qualifications and experience.

When will we carry out a DBS check? 

A DBS check is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a DBS check is required, all application forms, job adverts, and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a DBS check will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position. Applicants are required to provide the original certificate of the completed DBS check to Wellcome, upon receipt.

Where a DBS check at the Enhanced level is to form part of the recruitment process, we ask any applicant given a conditional offer of employment to provide details of their criminal record, except for certain spent convictions and cautions which are ‘protected’, so not subject to disclosure to employers and cannot be taken into account in the recruitment process. Further information about this can be found within the guidance on filtering of certain offences from criminal record checks

How will your data be protected? 

We request that any information not subject to this filtering is sent separately and confidentially to a designated person within Wellcome. This information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. You can find out more about how we handle your information within our Privacy Statement [PDF].

Unless the nature of the position allows Wellcome to ask questions about your entire criminal record, except for certain spent convictions and cautions which are ‘protected’, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Further information can be found within the guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Exceptions Order 1975 [PDF]

What's next after a DBS check? 

We ensure that all those in Wellcome who are involved in this aspect of the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, for example, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 

Where required, in a separate conversation, 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.

We make every subject of a DBS check aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and make a copy available on request. 

We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.