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Guidance on the recruitment of ex-offenders

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Bracknell Forest Council complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS Certificate on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

We 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 applicants for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience. Unless the nature of the position allows Bracknell Forest Council to ask questions about the entire criminal record we only ask about “unspent” convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

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

A DBS Certificate 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 certificate is required, all application packs will contain a statement that a certificate will be requested in the event of the person applying being offered the position.

At interview, or in a separate discussion, we make sure 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 undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS Certificate with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

The DBS Code of Practice can be viewed on GOV.UK.

Information on unspent convictions

You must declare any convictions which occurred in the following periods, starting from the date the sentence was passed.

Table showing rehabilitation periods


Rehabilitation period
(This applies from the end date of the sentence.)

Custodial sentence of over 4 years or a public protection sentence

Never spent

Custodial sentence of over 2 ½ years up and including 4 years

7 years from the date upon which the sentence is completed

Custodial sentence of over 6 months but less than and including 2 ½ years

4 years from the date upon which the sentence is completed

Custodial sentence of 6 months or less

2 years from the date upon which the sentence is completed

Community Order / Youth Rehabilitation Order

1 year from the date the order was imposed


1 year from the date the fine was imposed

Absolute discharge

No rehabilitation period

Conditional discharge, bind over order, attendance centre order, hospital order, referral order

Period of order

Contact information

Display Name Recruitment Team

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