The question below appeared on the application form for a job in social care at a local authority.
What’s wrong with the above?
- It’s long and confusing. At the beginning, the phrase ‘unspent’ is used, despite the role involving a level of check that will disclose spent convictions too.
- It’s inaccurate. It states that applicants have to disclose “any convictions, cautions….”. It fails to take into account the DBS filtering process. It also asks for permission to undertake a ‘Disclosure Check of Police Records’ – such a check does not exist.
- It’s out of date. It refers to the Criminal Record Bureau, which was scrapped in 2012.
- It’s not good practice. A broad ‘tick-box’ on an application form goes against good practice promoted by the Ban the Box campaign. For this particular role, there could have been a very specific question about whether an applicant is an relevant barred lists.
- This example is used as part of our guidance on wording questions that ask about criminal records.