Unlock’s policy work includes promoting fair admission policies and practices by HE providers– that includes universities and colleges.


Following their decision to remove the question about unspent convictions for applicants to all courses, UCAS published good practice resources for HE providers. This includes detailed information on the criminal justice system, management of people with recent convictions for serious offences, and how to support students with criminal records to be successful in higher education.

Also included are scenarios submitted to the UCAS good practice working group, along with the suggested response to each situation, and a flowchart to help you formulate your position on asking applicants for information about their criminal convictions.

There is guidance for applicants on Unlock’s information site for individuals.


We have significant expertise and experience of criminal records and disclosure issues. We work with government, UCAS and others to improve good practice in higher education admissions, and provide bespoke advice and support to providers. Our aims are to:

  1. Encourage fair and open admissions processes
  2. Advise on criminal record disclosure and relevant data protection legislation
  3. Offer advice and training to admissions staff on assessing criminal records disclosure
  4. Encourage providers on the right support so students with criminal records can succeed

If you’re interested in receiving support from us, you can find more information here.


If you’d like to keep up to date with this area, sign up to our mailing list for universities.

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