Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy Statement

Sense values a diverse workforce and our ambition is to create a truly inclusive working environment. We want you to bring your whole self to work. We welcome applications from talented people from all sections of our community including those with criminal records. We will select candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

We treat all applicants for jobs fairly and will not discriminate against anyone on the basis of conviction or other information shared in a Disclosure. Having a criminal record will not necessarily stop you from working with Sense. This will depend on the nature of the role and the circumstances and background of the offences.

We ask you to be open and honest during the recruitment process and during your employment if you are offered a position with us. Information that you share with us on your application form is only seen by the recruitment team and will not be discussed at interview. This will only be shared with the manager if you are offered a role subject to checks.

Due to the nature of our work with children, young people and vulnerable adults, a large number of positions with Sense require either an enhanced DBS check using a (Disclosure and Barring Service) or an Access NI Disclosure which provides access to any sensitive criminal information about you.

If you lived overseas and are applying for a role with us, we will follow the Government Guidance on the application process for Criminal records checks overseas (more information can be found here). This will include checking with the foreign police authorities. You may be asked to obtain a “Certificate of Good Character” from your home country’s police, which will state whether you have a criminal record. We will also contact your Country’s UK embassy and ask for a criminal record check to be done.

All Employees, potential Employees or Volunteers who will be working directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults will be required to undertake an Enhanced DBS or Access NI check with additional checks against the barred lists. For all other Employees, potential Employees and Volunteers you may be required to undertake a Basic DBS / Access NI check which will only disclose ‘unspent’ convictions depending on your role

We comply fully with the Access Northern Ireland (Access NI), the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and the General Data Protection regulations (GDPR) regarding processing, handling, and storage of data. Should you require more information on this, please e-mail [email protected]

Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which your full consent has been given.

Your Disclosure Certificate is sent direct to you as the applicant. We do not receive a copy certificate from either DBS or Access NI. When we need to see your Disclosure Certificate, we will:

  • Ask you to provide this and get your consent if we need to keep it while a decision is made
  • Keep certificates secure, in lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled
  • Once a recruitment (or other relevant appointment, regulatory or licensing) decision has been taken, we will not keep disclosure information for any longer than is necessary
  • Only pass Certificate information to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties
  • Record the name of the person your Disclosures or Disclosure information has been revealed to

We recognise that it’s criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.

As parts of Sense are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or Ofsted, and may be inspected by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW) we may be legally entitled to retain the certificate for the purposes of inspection in line with our Data Protection Policy

In addition, we may retain certificates to demonstrate ‘safer recruitment’ practice for the purpose of safeguarding audits. This practice will be compliant with the Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and is covered by our policies on the correct handling and safekeeping of DBS certificate information.

We may hold onto information for a short period (usually 6 months); to allow for any review of the decision or to complete safeguarding audits. We will ensure safe storage and strictly controlled access over this time. Your Disclosure certificate will be returned to the you once a decision, recruitment or otherwise has been made and will be retained no longer than the agreed period.

Any disclosure information is destroyed in a secure way, for example by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, certificate information will not be kept in any insecure receptacle (e.g., waste bin or confidential waste sack).

We will not keep any photocopy or other image of the certificate or any copy or representation of the contents of a certificate, or any other relevant non-conviction information supplied by police. However, we keep a record of the date of issue of a certificate, the name of the subject, the type of certificate requested, the position for which the certificate was requested, the unique reference number of the certificate and the details of the recruitment decision taken.

Our Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy sets out when we will ask about spent and unspent convictions. It lets you know how we use this information when you apply for a role with us or throughout your employment. Our policy is available on request or if you would like to speak to someone about this statement, please contact the Recruitment Team by email to [email protected]