NHS Employers have a new look website with brand new guidance on recruiting people with criminal records. NHS Employers worked in partnership with Unlock, Nacro and Capsticks on their new approach and have made some important changes to the process.
- Most importantly, the guidance on seeking a self-declaration has been updated. NHS recruiters should no longer be asking about criminal records on application forms. Only successful applicants will be asked about criminal records. This means people will be considered on their skills and abilities first.
- Occasionally there may be a business need to collect criminal records information earlier, but the recruiter should explain why this is necessary and will still only collect this information from short-listed candidates.
- New model declaration forms are included in the guidance – form A is for jobs that are exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, form B is for jobs that are covered by the Act. These are standard templates for collecting criminal records and other information from successful applicants. Using the relevant model declaration form will help recruiters collect only the necessary information.
- Most NHS roles will require a DBS check, some at a higher level. The detailed guidance emphasises the need to make sure a role is eligible for a check, and links to the DBS tool for NHS roles.
By providing clear guidance and standardised tools, NHS Employers is helping recruiters balance their safeguarding and data protection obligations. Publishing the guidance and tools helps gives applicants confidence in the process and means the NHS can recruit from the widest pool of talent.
More information: asking about criminal records
More information: DBS checks – eligibility