Unlock’s policy work includes promoting fair admissions policies and practices by HE providers 


In October 2019 Unlock launched the fair chance pledge. Institutions signed up to the pledge are demonstrating their commitment to offering a fair chance to students with a criminal record.

Find out which institutions are signed up, and how to sign up, here.


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.

We have published a Fair Admissions Toolkit for higher education providers.

Guidance for applicants is available on Unlock’s information site for individuals.


We use our experience and expertise in criminal records disclosure to work with government, UCAS and others to improve good practice in higher education admissions. We also provide bespoke advice and support to providers. We aim 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

Learn more about the support and training we can offer or sign up to our mailing list for universities.

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