Guidance Notes for Applicants who are Ex-Offenders

As a university using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants' suitability for professional courses, Brunel University London complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Brunel University London is committed to the fair treatment of its students and potential students, 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 qualifications and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with an offending background. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.

For courses where a Disclosure is required, we ask all applicants who have indicated that they have a criminal conviction, to provide details at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person within Brunel University London and we guarantee that this information is only seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.

Because of the nature of the courses in teaching, health and social care Brunel University London may need to ask questions about any convictions and cautions that the University is legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate can legally be requested in compliance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, i.e. for any professional course application, Brunel University London can only ask applicants about convictions and cautions that are not protected.

The DBS filters out certain specified old and minor offences from criminal record certificates issued after 29 May 2013. Information will not be disclosed only if:

  1. a substantial period of time has elapsed (eg 11 years for adult convictions),
  2. it is not one of the specified offences which must always be disclosed, and
  3. it did not result in a custodial sentence.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2013 identifies a range of offences which are serious, or relate to sexual offending, violent offending or safeguarding and will, therefore, never be filtered. Furthermore, if someone has more than one conviction, all their convictions will always be disclosed.

Brunel University London ensures that all those who are involved in looking at past offences 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 recruitment of ex-offenders, eg the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

We undertake to offer to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the applicant before withdrawing an offer of a place. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant is likely to lead to withdrawal of an offer of a place on the course.

See the DBS Code of Practice.

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

Failure to declare a relevant criminal conviction at the time of application, or before enrolment if the conviction was gained after the application form was completed, is likely to result in the withdrawal of the offer of a place on the course and any enrolment may be regarded as invalid.

Page last updated: Thursday 07 August 2014