CRB Guidance

To help guide Employers and Clients through the Disclosure process we have compiled a list of essential guidance documents. If further information is required or you need clarification then the friendly team at United CRB will be happy to help. We provide guidance only for registered client organisations of United CRB, which is a trading entity of United Medicare Limited.
Some guidance documents are listed below:

  • Guidance for Employers
  • Employing a person with Criminal Record
  • Storing and destroying CRB Disclosure documents page
  • Receiving Disclosures
  • Which CRB Disclosure for Vulnerable Adult

Guidance for Employers

Whilst obtaining a CRB Disclosure through United CRB is a simple process, introducing the requirement for an employee or volunteer to apply for a CRB Disclosure does have employment law implications, which are different depending on whether the person to be checked is new or incumbent in the role.

Incorporating the requirement for a new employee to apply for a CRB Disclosure is relatively straightforward since there is no pre-existing contract. However it should be made clear from the start that a CRB Disclosure will be required and this should be reflected in any job advertisements, application forms and subsequent contract of employment.

The following process will ensure this:

  • Decide if a CRB Disclosure is necessary for role
  • Decide which level of CRB Disclosure is appropriate
  • Include in any job advertisements a statement to the effect that a CRB Disclosure will be required
  • Include in the application form a statement to the effect that a CRB Disclosure will be required. Create written policy for recruitment of ex-offenders (sample copy available from United CRB)
  • Create written policy for security of CRB Disclosures (sample copy available from United CRB)
  • Incorporate "exempted questions" about spent convictions and inclusion on Government lists in application form
  • Discuss any convictions in context of role at interview stage
  • Incorporate clauses about CRB Disclosures in contract of employment e.g. Renewing CRB Disclosures, offences committed during employment, results of committing an offence, references to Data Protection, etc.
  • Make provisional job offer to preferred candidate in writing "subject to..."
  • Include CRB Disclosure application form with job offer letter or provide United CRB with details of candidate to send directly.
  • View the applicant's copy of CRB Disclosure and verify this by telephone with United CRB.

Processes for introducing CRB Disclosures for existing employees:
Introducing the requirement to obtain a CRB Disclosure to existing employees is more complex since it involves amending, or adding to an existing contract of employment. Changing employment conditions should be handled carefully, so we suggest it is best done individually with those employees concerned. The process to introduce the requirement for CRB Disclosures should comply with current employment legislation, but we cannot generalise about the process of terminating employment if an existing employee refuses to agree to the proposed changes to their contract of employment. If this situation arises employers should consult a qualified HR professional.


If the CRB Disclosure process is implemented, company's should undertake the following:

  • Update any employee handbooks, HR websites etc. to include new policies
  • If the employee consents to asking "exempted questions" about spent convictions and inclusion on Government lists, discuss in context of role (following procedure for dealing with offences committed whilst employed by organisation if employee discloses any convictions not previously disclosed).

If the employee does not consent, decide whether to:

  • Discuss possible redeployment of the individual to a role that does not require a CRB Disclosure
  • Consider termination of employment

If an employer is considering termination of employment on the grounds that an employee refuses to give consent to a CRB Disclosure application a fair and reasonable procedure must be followed.


Employing a person with a criminal record

Criminal convictions

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act1974, persons who have lived on the right side of the law since their conviction benefit from the Act if they are not convicted again during a specified period. This period is called the rehabilitation period.

What is an ‘unspent’ conviction?

If you have ever been convicted of an offence for which a sentence of more than 2 and a half years was imposed (regardless of the amount of time you actually spent in prison) this conviction can never become ‘spent’: it is an ‘unspent’ conviction which you must disclose when asked about your criminal convictions – such as when applying for a job.

What is a ‘spent’ conviction?

If your sentence was given for 2 and a half years or less, there are specified times when a conviction becomes ‘spent’ – the rehabilitation period – and they differ depending on the type of sentence passed.

Assessing the relevance of criminal records

The suitability for employment of a person with a criminal record will vary, depending on the nature of the job and the detail and circumstances of any convictions. Deciding on the relevance of convictions to specific posts is not an exact science. An assessment of an applicant’s skills, experience and conviction circumstances should be weighed against the risk assessment criteria for the job.

It should be remembered that employing people on the basis of information provided in an application form and a short interview, irrespective of whether they might have a criminal record or not, is never risk free. Staff responsible for recruitment need to identify what risks might be involved and what precautions put in place in order to provide satisfactory safeguards.

To facilitate this process, an applicant’s criminal record should be assessed in relation to the tasks he or she will be required to perform and the circumstances in which the work is to be carried out. It is recommended that organisations consider the following when deciding on the relevance of offences to particular posts:

Does the post involve one-to-one contact with children or other vulnerable groups as employees, customers and clients?

  • What level of supervision will the post holder receive?
  • Does the post involve any direct responsibility for finance or items of value?
  • Does the post involve direct contact with the public?
  • Will the nature of the job present any opportunities for the post holder to reoffend in the place of work?

The answers to such questions should help organisations to determine the relevance of convictions to specific posts. For example, paedophile, or child pornography offences would almost certainly disqualify any person required to work with children; some violent offences would be relevant to positions involving unsupervised contact with the public; fraud should be considered in relation to posts involving the handling of significant amounts of money; and theft in unsupervised positions, such as, a warehouse.

CRB advised wording for application forms

As a guide you may wish to add the following words to you application forms:

  • As stated on the application form, because of the sensitive nature of the duties the post-holder will be expected to undertake, you are required to disclose details of any criminal record. Only relevant convictions and other information will be taken into account so Disclosure need not necessarily be a bar to obtaining this position.
  • Have you ever been convicted by the courts or cautioned, reprimanded or given a final warning by the police? (Note the post you have applied for is accepted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which means that all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings on your criminal record need be disclosed.

    If yes, please give details of offences, penalties and dates.

    Where the post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure, the following question should also be asked:

  • Are you aware of any police enquiries undertaken following allegations made against you, which may have a bearing on your suitability for this post?

    If yes, please give details.

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Storing and destroying CRB Disclosure documents page

The United Medicare Code of Practice requires that Disclosures are stored in a locked cabinet separately from other personnel files and only accessed by the minimum number of people; all of whom are directly involved in making the decision whether the individual concerned should be placed in the role offered.

The Code of Practice also forbids any photocopying, faxing, extracting or scanning of Disclosures and even requires that any notes taken that refer directly to Disclosure content are destroyed immediately after use.

The documents themselves should only be retained until the placement decision has been made and then destroyed securely. The guidelines say that this should take no longer than 6 months, though for some CSCI regulated organisations 12 months is acceptable to allow the document to be seen at the next inspection visit.

United Medicare's standard process is to retain Disclosures in accordance with the Code of Practice for 6 months (under review) or 12 months for CSCI regulated organisations, then shred them and incinerate the shreddings.

Should there subsequently be a legal requirement to re-create a Disclosure as at the time of issue, the CRB can do this based on the document number and issue date. (They store a digital image of the original document issued so the replacement will reflect that and not the records at the time of issue - which could in theory be different)


Receiving Disclosures & notifying recipients of content

When a Disclosure is received it will be checked for content and any mistakes with subject's details e.g. spelling of name etc. Errors will be raised with the CRB. (If they have no bearing on the check results e.g. a mis-spelled middle name or employer's name, then we will only dispute these at the request of the client or applicant).

The Disclosure number and issue date will be recorded on our system and for "clear" Disclosures this will be immediately seen in the Client Area tracking system. We work on the basis that clients only want to know that a "clear" Disclosure has been received and what the number and issue date is, so we don't do anything else unless the client has no internet access; in which case we will confirm receipt of the "clear" Disclosure by letter.

If a Disclosure is received with content (about 3%, though this does vary by role) we will suppress the number and issue date in the Client Area and e-mail the nominated client contact, asking them to send an e-mail acknowledgement by return and telephone us when they are in a position to do so. If we do not get an acknowledgement in 24 hours we will escalate the situation through a pre-agreed route or find out if the contact is going to be available in the immediate future. We consider that if we know there is content, we have a responsibility to make the client aware of this as soon as possible and take whatever steps are needed to achieve this, though keeping these appropriate to the level of risk to the client.

When the recipient telephones us they are asked a security question, the correct response to which was agreed with them when the account was opened (mother's maiden name, favorite car, drink, place or the like) and once we have established that we are speaking to the correct person we will relay the Disclosure content and give any help or advice we can on the interpretation of the content (what is affray vs assault etc.).

Once the content has been relayed we will release the number & issue date of the Disclosure and it will be seen in the Client Area.

The number and issue date of all Disclosures received will remain on the Client Area for a minimum of 3 years. There are search and archive facilities so this can be used as a central repository if desired.


Which CRB Disclosure for Vulnerable Adult

It can be sometimes not clear which level of disclosure is required and some further information is given below

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has two definitions of a vulnerable adult, one that is entitled to an Enhanced Check and one for a Standard check.

Enhanced Check Required

A person who regularly cares for, trains, supervises or is in sole charge of vulnerable adults of the following description is entitled to an enhanced check.

A vulnerable adult for the purposes of an Enhanced Check is a person aged 18 or over who receives services or has issues listed below.

The Vulnerable Adult receives the following services:

  • Accommodation and nursing or personal care in a care
  • Homepersonal care or support to live independently in his or her own home,
  • Any services provided by an independent hospital, independent clinic, independent medical agency or National Health Service body,
  • Social care services; or
  • Any services provided in an establishment catering for a person with learning difficulties.
The Vulnerable Adult receives the following has any of the following conditions:
  • A learning or physical disability,
  • A physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or
  • A reduction in physical or mental capacity.
The Vulnerable Adult receives the following disabilities:
  • A dependency upon others in the performance of, or a requirement for assistance in the performance of, basic physical functions,
  • severe impairment in the ability to communicate with others, or
  • impairment in a person's ability to protect him or herself from assault, abuse or neglect.

Standard Check Required

Any employment or other work which is concerned with the provision of care services to vulnerable adults and which is of such a kind to enable the holder of that employment or the person engaged in that work to have access to vulnerable adults in receipt of such services in the course of his normal duties

A "Vulnerable adult", in the context of a Standard check, means a person aged 18 or over who has any of the following:

  • A learning or physical disability;
  • A physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs;
  • Areduction in physical or mental capacity.

"Care services" are defined as:

  • Accommodation and nursing or personal care in a care home (where "care home" has the same meaning as in the Care Standards Act 2000);
  • Personal care or nursing or support for a person to live independently in his own home;
  • Social care services;
  • Any services provided in an establishment catering for a person with learning difficulties.



We are very satisfied with your service, we have used several companies over the last few years and found yours to be most efficient, we would recommend you to anyone.
Ms Susan Davies, Matron
Oaks Court Nursing Home, Wolverhampton
Excellent service provided. Polite staff who are always available for advice and always professional. I have used other services, but United Medicare Ltd offer a First class Professional service.
Ms Jenny Shaw,Matron
Fleetwood Nursing Home, Lancashire
Excellent and prompt service by very Pleasant and Professional Staff
Mr Montezuma,Manager
Aldbourne Nursing Home, Wiltshire
Since Changing to United Medicare Ltd, I have found the staff very helpful, polite and engaging. The service provided is prompt and act as a very useful resource. The First POVA checks are promptly returned however I understand the CRB`s are longer with strict criteria having to be adhered to. Our plan is to continue with United Medicare Ltd, the service is great. Many Thanks
Mr Adam Hesselden,Manager
Greenview Nursing House, West Yorkshire