Spent and unspent convictions.


Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, provides guidance, background and information. It explains who benefits from it and sets out rehabilitation periods for offences covered by the act.

It will help you to understand the difference between spent and unspent convictions, and which convictions you need to declare when applying for jobs or insurance.

It also explains where exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act exist, when all cautions or convictions must be disclosed, even if spent. Download the guide here

Disclosure and Barring Service: filtering

The DBS have removed certain specified old and minor offences from criminal record certificates issued from the 29 May 2013. Changes to the legislation were introduced to allow this.

For the filtering rules for criminal records check certificates click here

For the DBS list of offences that will never be filtered from a criminal record check: click here

In line with new changes, question e55 has been amended on the DBS application form for a criminal record check. To follow the law correctly, there is a for need registered bodies to bring this change to the applicant's attention when completing the DBS application form. Question e55 asks the applicant “have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or received a caution, reprimand or warning. Applicants should now ignore this question and treat this question as if they were being asked 'Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance'.

For more information about filtering, please see the DBS filtering guidance

You can also call on 0870 90 90 811 or email at


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