Please be aware that changes to DBS checks have come in, from 28 November, regarding self-disclosure around spent, unspent and conditional convictions. We have received a helpful round-up from Safe CIC, and their partner Dominic Headley (with thanks).

The MOJ guidance makes it crystal clear that under self-disclosure rules, all unspent convictions and conditional cautions must be disclosed, just like any job or activity that is covered by the ROA 1974.

In addition, spent cautions and convictions must be disclosed if they meet the circumstances described in the table below:

This means that adult cautions and convictions cannot become protected until they become spent as explained in depth during a webinar delivered by Dominic Headley ( on 7 September, which you can watch here) together with NHS Employers and Nacro.

Here is the NACRO guidance

As from Saturday 28th November, Dominic Headley recommends these should be the questions that applicants should be asked when applying for jobs, roles or activities listed on the ROA Exceptions Order which are subject to standard or enhanced DBS checks:

  1. Do you have any unspent conditional cautions or convictions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974? (Y/N)?
  2. Do you have any adult cautions (simple or conditional) or spent convictions that are not protected as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2020? (Y/N)?

Separately, the DBS has published guidance on how they will apply the new DBS filtering rules when issuing standard or enhanced DBS certificates which you can access on the link below:

As predicted in the webinar delivered on 7th Sept, there is now a complete disconnect between the information provided by the applicant through self-disclosure, and the information that will be disclosed on standard or enhanced DBS certificates.

Any questions, queries or concerns in relation to the new DBS rules should be directed to DBS customer services.

Email: customerservices@dbs.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 0200 190