Who can request Disclosures?
Any organisation offering a role as part of their operations can request a Basic Disclosure which will reveal any unspent convictions.
Where the role is exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) the employer or regulator is eligible to ask somebody who is or would be undertaking that role to obtain a higher level (Standard or Enhanced) Disclosure. This could include roles that are extra curricular, such as computer professionals mentoring under 18's in their lunch break or staff recruiting in schools etc. (For which level of Disclosure is appropriate click here.)
Managers who directly manage people in such roles are also eligible, as are the organisation seniors who would have the authority to undertake the role, even if it was not within their normals duties, i.e. charity trustees and sports club commitee members etc.
For most organisations exempted roles are those which involve regular contact with under
18's or adults who are deemed vulnerable. A person is a vulnerable adult if he has attained the age of 18 and :-
(a) he is in residential accommodation,
(b) he is in sheltered housing,
(c) he receives domiciliary care,
(d) he receives any form of health care,
(e) he is detained in lawful custody,
(f) he is by virtue of an order of a court under supervision by a person exercising functions for the purposes of Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43),
(g) he receives a welfare service of a prescribed description,
(h) he receives any service or participates in any activity provided specifically for persons who fall within subsection (9),
(i) payments are made to him (or to another on his behalf) in pursuance of arrangements under section 57 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (c. 15), or
(j) he requires assistance in the conduct of his own affairs.
The organisation must be in a position to prevent the subject taking the role; or in the case of regulators withold endorsement of their taking the role, if the Disclosure is not satisfactory.
This can cause probelms for organisation principals (where no "higher authority" exists) who have to be checked by a peer or a junior who agrees to take responsibility for reporting to external authorities, should they feel the Disclosure is not satisfactory for the role.
It also excludes the self-employed from checking themselves, as does the requirement that the subject and requester are different people - not just different entities (a director cannot be checked by "the company" - it has to be by another employee)
Other eligible roles are concerned with the judiciary, police, chartered accountancy, medical practioners, FSA regulated roles, certain postal worker roles and the security industry. Many of these have their own regulatory organisations who undertake the checks e.g. The Security Industries Authority, so working with children or vulnerable adults is the by far the most common justification for using the Disclosure service.