Levels of Disclosure - Basic, Standard & Enhanced Checks: What they will show
To ensure that employers only receive sufficient information to verify the answers to the questions they are entitled to ask, three levels of Disclosures have been defined :-
- Basic Disclosures will show only current unspent criminal convictions held on the Police National Computer. They will generally not include motoring offences other than causing death by dangerous driving or driving with excess alcohol, unless the motoring offence is committed in conjunction with other more serious criminal offences. Police Cautions, Reprimands and Warnings become spent immediately so will not be included.
Any employer or regulator is entitled to ask any prospective or existing employee to apply for a Basic Disclosure. Currently these are issued by Disclosure Scotland (for England & Wales as well. See below) and CRB check applications can be made direct to them or through a Registered Body.
- Standard Disclosures make the same checks as the Basic
Disclosure but will show both unspent and spent convictions, which will include any Police Cautions, Reprimands
and Warnings. However, from 12th October 2009 it will no longer give access to the ISA barred lists (previously called the POVA & POCA lists)
Since only exempted roles are eligible for Standard Disclosures applications must be counter-signed by a CRB/SCRO Registered Body who may be the requesting organisation or an Umbrella Body acting for the requesting organisation. The RB is charged with ensuring that the role warrants the level of Disclosure requested and that the requesting organisation understands their responsibilities for using any information revealed fairly and keeping it confidential. The RB is also charge with collecting the CRB/SCRO fee and ensuring that volunteers comply with the CRB definition of such.
- Enhanced Disclosures cover the same records as Standard Disclosures, but will also give access to the ISA barred lists for working with children and/or vulnerable adults. They will additionally ask the local police (where the applicant has lived in the last 5 years) if they have any intelligence* that they feel is relevant to the subject taking the specified role and which they are willing to disclose. Such information could be associations with known offenders, pending prosecutions, failed prosecutions or current investigations.
Again applications for Enhanced Disclosures must be counter-signed by a Registered Body who are also charged to enure that the role description provided is adequate for the police to decide if any intelligence held is relevant.
There is also an ISAAF Check (Indepenednt Safeguarding Authority Adult First) which is an extension to the Enhanced Disclosure that provides a quick (48-72 hours from receipt by the CRB) check of the ISA Lists prior to issuing the full Enhanced Disclosure in the normal way.
This used to be called a POVA Firstcheck and is only available for regulated care homes and then only if they have to start a new employee immediately to comply with the resident/staff ratio requirements laid down by the Government.
Currently the CRB, who cover England, Wales and N. Ireland, have yet to introduce the Basic Disclosure, but the SCRO offers all three.
Why are there different levels of Disclosure?
Disclosures are a means for an employer or regulator to verify somebody's answer to the question :-
"Do you have a criminal record?"
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) allows an individual to say "no" to this question if their convictions are "spent" i.e. a proscribed rehabilitation period, separate to any sentence received, has elapsed since the conviction.
When passing the ROA it was recognised that there are roles where the safety of others should over-ride the right of the jobholder to withhold information about spent convictions. Consequently an Exceptions Order (1975) was made listing roles that are exempted from the ROA, thus allowing the employer or regulator to ask :-
"Do you have any unspent or spent criminal convictions?"
If the role involves regular contact with children or vulnerable adults the employer or regulator can also ask :-
"Does your name appear on the ISA list of people barred from working with children / vulnerable adults?"
*Occasionally the police may wish to issue such intelligence in confidence and separately to the Disclosure document, in which case it is a criminal offence for the recipient to allow the details or existence to be made known to the subject of the Disclosure. Home Office guidelines specify that releasing intelligence in this way should only occur when making the subject aware of it could prejudice an ongoing investigation or compromise the effectiveness of the policing method employed in obtaining it, so it is a rare event.