Practical guidance – Criminal record self-disclosure forms

Aim of this guidance

This guidance is focused on asking the preferred candidate questions about criminal records using a ‘criminal record self-disclosure form’.

It is closely linked with guidance about the wording of questions, which provides guidance on which types of questions to ask, depending on the role.

Why this is important

Many employers create their own self-disclosure forms. A problem with this is that there is a lack of consistency both across and within organisations, and this in itself is confusing. This guidance provides a set of standard forms that can be generally used by a wide range of employers.

A criminal record self-disclosure form provides a helpful foundation for understanding and assessing the criminal record of the applicant. If significantly important information is disclosed, it might be the first stage in an assessment process. If old or minor information is disclosed, it might be the end of the assessment process.

When the form should be used

The form is designed to be given to applicants who you have offered a conditional role of employment to, where you have decided that you would like to find out details of their criminal record.

Useful resources

There are criminal record self-disclosure templates below that you might choose to use and/or adapt to your organisation (see above for why and when to use these).

Which one to use depends on the role. For more information on which one to use, see our guidance on choosing the right question for the role.

Download: Criminal record self-disclosure – Type 1 Role Template – This is for roles covered by the ROA, and uses the ‘example one’ question in our guidance on wording questions.

Download: Criminal record self-disclosure – Type 2 Role Template – This is for roles exempt from the ROA, and uses the ‘example one’ questions in our guidance on wording questions.

Download: Criminal record self-disclosure – Generic Template – This can be used for both Type 1 and Type 2 roles, and uses the ‘example two’ questions in our guidance on wording questions.

Contact us for editable versions of the templates above.

Good practice tips

  1. Be clear: From the outset of the recruitment process, be clear that you will be requiring this type of disclosure for those receiving a conditional job offer
  2. Use at conditional offer: Give the form to the applicant you’re offering a conditional role to
  3. Use the right form: Be sure to use the appropriate form/question for the role in question
  4. Explain your approach: Provide a copy of your ‘Applicants with a criminal record’ policy at the same time as providing the applicant with the form

Frequently asked questions

The purpose of the self-disclosure form is to make an initial assessment. If you have concerns about what the applicant has put on the form, the next step would be to arrange a discussion. More information about this can be found in our guidance on assessing criminal records.

This section will be added to over time, responding to the common questions we receive about this guidance.


More information

  1. There is more information about asking about criminal records here
  2. For further advice about this guidance, please contact us.

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This guidance was last updated in February 2016

Is there anything wrong with this guidance? Let us know – email

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