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Appendix 1 - Filtering rules

Appendix 1 - Filtering rules

New legislation came into force on 29th May 2013 that allows for certain old and minor cautions and convictions to no longer be subject to disclosure under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended) (ROA).

Prior to this, if a role was ‘exempt’ from the ROA, an employer was entitled to know about an applicant’s (or existing employee’s) full criminal record history. This meant that all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC) were disclosed on standard and enhanced DBS checks until a person reached 100 years of age.

In January 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Police Act 1997 and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order 1975 (the Exceptions Order) were incompatible with a person’s right to protect their private life under Article 8 of the European convention on Human Rights.

This change in legislation allows for offences that are eligible to be filtered no longer need to be disclosed by an applicant for jobs that require standard or enhanced DBS checks and it is unlawful for an employer to take into account a caution or conviction that is ‘protected’ (the legal terminology for a caution or conviction that has qualified for filtering) and would therefore not be disclosed on a DBS Check.

Filtering is the term used to describe the process which will identify and remove protected convictions and cautions so that they are no longer disclosed on a DBS Certificate (DBS Check). Employers will not be able to take old and minor cautions and convictions into account when making recruitment decisions.
All cautions and convictions for specified serious violent and sexual offences, and other specified offences of relevance for posts concerned with safeguarding children and vulnerable adults will remain subject to disclosure on a DBS Check.

All convictions resulting in a custodial sentence, whether or not suspended, will remain subject to disclosure, as will all convictions where more than one conviction is recorded.

List of Specified Offences
DBS Filtering Guide

Filtering Rules

For adults (persons ages 18 or over at the time of the offence)

An adult conviction will be removed from a DBS Check if:

  • 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction
  • It is the person’s only conviction (multiple convictions will always be included)
  • The conviction did not result in a custodial or suspended sentence (any conviction resulting in a custodial or suspended sentence will always be included)
  • The conviction does not appear on the list of specified offences relevant to safeguarding

An adult caution (including reprimands and final warnings) will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences. There is no limit to the amount of cautions that can be filtered.

For juveniles (persons under the age of 18 at the time of the offence)

A juvenile conviction will be removed from a DBS Check if:

  • Five and a half years have elapsed since the date of conviction
  • It is the person’s only conviction (multiple convictions will always be included)
  • Conviction did not result in a custodial or suspended sentence (any conviction resulting in a custodial or suspended sentence will always be included)
  • Conviction does not appear on the list of specified offences relevant to safeguarding

A youth caution, reprimand or final warning will be removed after 2 years have elapsed since the date of the caution and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences. There is no limit to the amount of cautions, reprimands or final warnings that can be filtered.

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