What happens if a conviction or caution appears on the Disclosure certificate?
Convictions and cautions form part of the assessment of an applicant’s suitability for the programme for which they have applied. Although rare, in certain circumstances, the University will withdraw an offer solely on the basis of the information provided on the DBS Enhanced Disclosure. Under such circumstances, the University would provide feedback to the individual concerned.
You will be required to attend a panel interview with Edge Hill University staff. The purpose of this interview is to ascertain whether the conviction or caution is likely to prevent you from working with children or vulnerable adults (most do not) and to address professional issues. Attendance at the panel interview is mandatory in order to meet the entry condition of ‘satisfactory DBS clearance’. If you do not attend the panel interview, your admission or enrolment will not be confirmed and you will not be able to commence/continue with your programme of study, and this could result in exclusion from the University.
The Panel may conclude that the DBS Enhanced Disclosure is not satisfactory and will, in such cases, withdraw the offer of a place on the programme. In certain circumstances, the University may also refer your details to the appropriate Professional Regulatory Body (eg DfE, NMC, GSCC, etc) as required by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
In relation to professional issues, the purpose of the panel interview is to get you to think about how you would answer such questions when applying for future posts where the employer requires a DBS Disclosure certificate. Examples of this are:
- If you had been provoked into a fight, how would you deal with provocation at your placement from pupils/colleagues/general public?
- If you were caught driving with over the legal limit of alcohol in your blood, how would you ensure that you didn’t act irresponsibly under the influence of alcohol again?
- If you were caught driving with over the legal limit of alcohol in your blood, do you know what the insurance implications are for driving company/school vehicles?
Under the DBS’s ‘Filtering’ process certain offences may be classed as ‘Spent’ or ‘Not Relevant’, depending on the position applied for. For further information please visit the DBS website.
What information will I receive after the panel interview?
You will receive a letter from the University to confirm the panel decision.
If the decision is to allow you onto the programme, you are advised to keep the letter safe as you may need it throughout the duration of your programme. When attending placements the provider may ask to see your copy of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure at any time, so you are advised to take the letter which confirms the University’s decision with you.
If the panel decision is that your caution/conviction deems you unsuitable for the programme you have applied for, the reasons for the decision will be outlined in the letter.
Can I appeal against the Panel decision?
You will have two weeks (10 working days) from the date on the letter in which to appeal against the decision. Appeals must be made in writing to the Academic Registrar.
You should note that appeals can only be made on the following grounds:
- unreasonableness of the decision
- procedural failure
The Academic Registrar, or his/her designated alternate Senior Manager, will review all information and the decision of the original Panel, together with the appeal letter but, as a rule, will not consider additional new information.
In considering the appeal, the designated Senior Manager will decide whether the decision made was reasonable and followed process correctly and may, as a result:
- overturn the original decision
- refer the application back to the Panel
- defer the decision pending further information
- support the original Panel decision and reject the appeal
All appeal decisions will be advised in writing and will be dispatched within 15 working days of the date your written appeal is received by us.
In the case of applicants for programmes of Initial Teacher Training, the Department for Education (DfE) acts as the final arbitrator and applicants may apply directly to the DfE for a decision without making an appeal to the Academic Registrar.
In the case of applicants for Health related courses appropriate staff from the local NHS Trusts may also be included in the decision-making process and/or act as a Panel member.
What if I get a caution or conviction after I have received my DBS Enhanced Disclosure?
You are required to report this immediately, in confidence, to either the DBS Administrator in Admissions (if this occurs prior to the programme commencing), or to the Academic Registrar (if this occurs after you have started your programme).
If you are employed as a Student Advocate, you are required to inform Human Resources immediately you are charged with an offence.