Release of Beta version of Recruit!

Today, we’re pleased to be releasing a Beta version of Recruit!, our new website for employers.

With the strapline “supporting the fair treatment of people with criminal records”, Recruit! is a website that supports employers to recruit people with convictions and deal with criminal records fairly.

The aims of the site are to:

  1. Promote good recruitment practice (such as our principles of fair chance recruitment and the Ban the Box campaign)
  2. Provide free, accurate, reliable guidance, resources and updates to employers
  3. Share news and examples of good practice

The site is part of how we support employers and a key strand of our fair access to employment project.

We want to keep it simple – we don’t want employers being put off by thinking that it’s too complex or confusing to bother employing people with convictions. So we’ve developed the site with that in mind. However, we’re also making sure we’ve got detailed guidance available for those responsible for recruitment and that need that kind of support.

Why is it unique?
  • Recruit! is the only website in the UK that’s dedicated to providing free, accurate and reliable guidance and resources to employers on recruiting people with convictions and dealing with criminal records fairly.
  • We are not promoting ‘charged-for’ training or seeking commercial income from employers, nor do we have a vested interest in encouraging greater use of criminal records by employers.
  • This site is part of a broader aim of Unlock to achieve long-term change in employer attitudes and practices.

Our long-term aims are that:

  • People with convictions are not discouraged from applying for jobs due to their criminal record.
  • Employers recognise the limited value of criminal records and reduce their reliance on them for recruitment purposes by critically questioning their effectiveness.
  • Employers that continue to use criminal record information improve their policies and practices so that they are fairer and more inclusive towards people with criminal records.
What we’ve developed so far

The Beta version of the site includes:

  1. The principles of fair chance recruitment that we’ve published after consultation with a wide range of employers, people with convictions and other key stakeholders
  2. Why employers should ban the box
  3. Simple guidance on asking, assessing and checking
  4. Detailed guidance for those that ask about criminal records about when to ask
  5. Detailed guidance on the wording of questions that ask about criminal records and the use of self-disclosure forms
  6. Detailed guidance on assessing criminal records that applicants might disclose
It’s not finished yet!
  • As part of the development of the site, we’re releasing it today in a public format, but it’s far from finished.
  • We’ve produced some initial core guidance for employers, alongside other ‘good practice’ information such as our principles of fair chance recruitment and details about why employers should ban the box.
  • We’re continuing to develop the site behind the scenes – so we’re keen for feedback on the site as it stands.
  • We’ll be producing more guidance on a broader range of areas, and once we’ve got the core structure of the site, we’ll be looking to add more case studies and examples of good practice.
  • We’re planning to feature more news and developments that take place that link closely to the aims of this site.

Finally, we’re not really promoting the site at this stage. We’re hoping to ‘go-live’ in the summer, and we’re keen to develop links in the meantime to help us raise awareness at that stage, so please let us know if you have any ideas.

In the meantime, we hope you find the site useful and informative. Please let us know what you think!

Useful links

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Christopher Stacey

  • Gez

    I was advised by my Offender Manager (police officer) to apply for an ideterminent SOPO to be discharged. I received a Community Order in 2010. (Now over 7 years ago, original sentence meant 5 years on the register.)
    I applied to the court and have received a date in May. I thought I would represent myself.
    Today I received a letter from the CPS saying they were going to oppose the discharge.
    Can I approach the CPS to ask them their reasons for opposing?
    By the ruling in R vs Smith and others, surely they have no grounds to oppose the discharge?
    Can anybody give me advice.
    Thank you in advance for any help.

  • Amanda

    Can anyone help I was sentenced in Feb 2012 but was on remand from Aug 2011 I also got a SOPO I got sentence of 3 1/2 year does SOPO start from when I was released I was giving a indefinite SOPO which I want to apply to be discharged but my supervising police officer says I could apply but because I have mental illness that it won’t get granted is this true I am on medication for my mental illness and not had a episode since July 2011 Please help I’m so confused I have been out of prison since 17th may 2013 when can I apply

  • Debbie – Unlock

    Hi Amanda

    SOPO’s usually start from the date you were sentenced. You would be able to apply to the court from Feb 2017 to have the SOPO discharged even if your supervising officer wouldn’t give you permission to apply. The decision as to whether to vary or discharge the SOPO is going to be down to the court based on whether they deem you to be a risk.

  • BrooksE

    Can you help me I was sentenced in 2013 and only got a 2 year sentence but they put me in a sopo for life is this worge becouse I read some where under the sentence rule any thing under a 3 year sentence was only a 10 year sopo ???

  • Matt

    Hi there back in 2013 I appeared in court where I asked to remain in custody in a remand wing. Where I spent 3 months seeking the mental health therapys that I have been asking for 6 years pria to this.
    It came to the day of my sentence hearing I was given 5 year register plus 3 years community order and I had to do ISOTP. that had to be completed with in the three years which I did after waiting nearly a year for a start date.
    Plus I was given a indefinite sopo. Am I correct in thinking I would be able to get this reviewed.
    From day one my risk assements show me as a low risk.

    Could someone shed some light on this for me please.
    Any info would be greatly received

    Kind regardsi


  • Jake

    Hi. I was placed on the sex offenders register for five years and given a SOPO just under five years ago. In two weeks my five years are up. Do I have to do anything at that time? Do these things just expire or do I need to see someone, sign something or what? I have not heard from the police in over a year except for when I went for my last annual registration. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks

  • Kevin Smith

    Hi. Liz. I wrote a letter to he court with the help of my ppu officer and emailed it to the court and have a date next month to have a hearing with my ppu officer will also attend to tell the judge they have zero objections to my application. All being well it will run in line with the registration period and end there and then as been over the 10 year period of registration. I also sent a copy of the letter I was advised to write by ppu officer to unlock for others to use as a guide. I will let you know when ive been to court. If I don’t get on here by end of next month please message on here and will update you.

  • Stephen

    Hi I was convicted and placed on the sex offender register in Oct 2008 for 7 year with an in determinate Sopo i am now looking to have it discharged, the Police have asked me a couple of times to try to have it discharged i never see them now only when i have my yearly done do you think it would be possible to a have this discharged now as its nearly 10 year since it was issued.

  • Liz

    Hi Kevin thank you very much for your reply, I really feel that there is no one that can give you any answers unless there know what you are going through.i hope next month goes well for you and you are really lucky to get a good ppu officer as the one we have doesn’t want to know and not interested so feel like there is no point trying but have 3 kids I haven’t seen for over 5 years and still can’t. Where on unlock would I find your letter please

  • Liz

    Hi Adrian thank you for your reply my main reason is i have no contact with my children so no family life I only see my partner which probation where not happy about

  • Richard Price

    Your right with the sentence rule except it’s anything under 30 months/2 and a half years not 3 years.

  • John Carter

    Hi I’ve breeched my SOPO I’m not allowed anyone under the age of 18 years to stay no longer than 12 hours. Unknowingly this has happened 3 times due to a party at my own property. I’ve now got to attend the magistrates court next week and im worried about the sentence I’ll be given. Im paying a mortgage for my wife and two children if I go to prison they would loose this house. I’m into my second year from 5. I got community service for my offence I’ve complied with everything else that’s been asked I just didn’t know about this one. It’s no excuse as it’s on the letter I just did not read it

  • Jake

    So i have a sopo for 10 years. What happens at the end of the 10 years with regards to moving on with my life? Would i be able to have a child like normal people or would everything need to go through social services?

  • David

    I went to court and give 5 years on the register and a 10 year sopo but then we went back to the judge and he put it in to a email saying it’s 5 and 10 it’s been 7 yeas and I am sill on it and the police ar saying that as you have a 10 year sopo then it has to be 10 on the register but I was given a community order it Feels like they’re just making it up as they go along has anyone got advice on this one

  • Rick

    Hi – I’m considering applying to the court to have my SOPO Varied or Revoked. I’ve spent over 5 years now building my own company as I was unable to find any form of employment. Could the hearing potentially attract media interest? I’ve already been totally destroyed once; don’t want to get wiped out all over again.

  • Rebecca Crighton

    When i was 17 (2 and a half years ago) i was arrested for indecent exposure when i was drunk on the street (extremely embarrassing) i am applying for a sports and fitness course which asks to disclose any unspent relevant criminal convictions that inc. violent and sexual offences which indecent exposure would count as… i am very worried this is going to prevent me from getting onto the course the degree could progress onto teaching “vulnerable groups” and my long term goal is to be a gym teacher/coach. Does anyone know how long it would be for this conviction to be classed as spent? And since i am wanting to work with young people will this need to be disclosed for every interview/application? I am just so embarrassed as i was young and stupid and would hate for this to ruin my goals in life. Any answers would be extremely beneficial, thank you in advance.

  • Neil

    Hi Any thoughts on my situation appreciated.

    I was convicted of a non contact (downloading illegal images) offence in 2013 and was given a sixteen month sentence, so have a 10 year period on the SOR.

    However in court I was given a SOPO ( which should have complied with Smith and others) the SOPO was presented in court as a hand written note to the judge, I did not see it and my lawyer was not given a copy. Despite requests for a copy I did not get to see it until after I was released from prison.

    It was for an indefinite period and contained a clause about contact with children even though I was convicted of a internet offence.

    I went back to court after about 2 years to request that the term was changed to 10 years and the contact term removed. My police supervising officer had no objection (I had changed police areas) but in court the local police officer in the area I had committed the offence objected. The judge at first said he was inclined to agree but decided after the Police intervention that it was an appeal out of time and the SOPO remained unchanged.

    My thinking now is that I wait until about 9 years have passed and apply again to have the SOPO removed completely. I have moved to Europe and apart from visits to the UK a few times per year where I have to report to my police supervisor and log in and out of the UK the SOPO is not too burdensome.

  • me!

    I received a 2 year sentence in 2013 for non contact offences (one year inside, one out on probation) to add to that, was given 5 years on the SOR (register) which became void an hour after my sentencing.
    I was bought back up from the crown court cells, to see the same very unhappy, and late for his next appointment judge, appoint me with an indefinite SOPO, ( thus voiding the 5 year SOR )
    All this because the police had “forgotten” to apply for it at the hearing, at the said hour earlier, it took the judge and the police all of less than 60 seconds to do.
    I heard NOTHING about it’s ruling in court due to being A, deaf! ( no aids or help given to hear what was passed, sentence wise or anything else for that matter ) and B, my solicitor and barrister had long since gone home! so couldn’t pass on the good news (sic)
    I found out about the SOPO over two months later whilst enjoying my stay at Her majesty’s pleasure, when I was presented with it by a prison officer asking me to sign it.
    Now I’ve decided to adhere to my SOPO since then, and in the last few days, I thought I’d join the rest of the planet in owning a very cheap second hand laptop, and attempt to do the bare minimum of computing tasks that life in the real world requires, banking, catching up with rubbish TV etc. for which my SOPO allows if you go by how it’s written, I am to “notify the police of it’s acquisition within 3 days of possession” (this applies to ANY internet enabled device)
    Simple you might think? yes? …no.. my brand spanking new PPU monitoring officer, (I’ve been though 8 of them since 2013) seems to think this means she MUST be told, the make, model, all security numbers of said laptop, plus where,when and whom, I bought the laptop from, oh and kindly have a receipt for it as well.
    The make, model, even numbers I can live with, the where, when seems a tad OTT, but hey ok, whom I can’t be doing with, because a good friend helped me with getting it on Gumtree as they were aware of my situ and due to it, I wasn’t able to go online myself to buy it.
    So why is this info relevant to PPU? so say because there must be a “trail” for them to “investigate” so no crime has been committed! meaning in police speak
    “we want to ask your friend 50 questions, as it gives us something to do, and then pop them on our database for buying you a laptop we can’t stop you from owning, as its really perfectly legal for them and you to do”
    Bear in mind that I’ve not yet met this officer, and I’ve had, and she is aware of, a mobile phone I’ve owned for well over a year, which has about the same capability’s as the laptop. I informed my last PPU officer about it on its day of purchase, and all that was required was the make and model of the phone, within those 3 first wonderful days of owning it, nothing more, it has NEVER been so much as inspected, or even asked about since that day nor used for the internet I should add, but I could easily have done, if I’d so wished.
    So here I am being threatened with breaking my SOPO by not informing PPU properly within the 3 days!
    Welcome to the world of the abuse of police powers folks! for every great PPU officer there WILL be a power hungry, ill informed in the law of the land idiot one, ready and waiting to make your life a pure misery if you have a SOPO, as they can make it up as they go long, and often do,
    I’m currently getting lawyered up, to see weather this “trail and investigation” really does need to be conducted or if, as I suspect it’s all a malfeasance of public office, in which case it may well not be me that’s going to prison!