Guide

AccessNI criminal records checks

Employing someone with a criminal record

Basic AccessNI checks will disclose details of an individual’s unspent convictions.

The Standard and Enhanced AccessNI checks will reveal details of an applicant's spent and unspent convictions, cautions and other non-court disposals from the Police National Computer (PNC).

In addition, an Enhanced check may contain approved and/or additional information.

Approved information is non-conviction information provided by the police from their local records. The Chief Police Officer from each force will decide what, if any, information is relevant and ought to be included on the disclosure certificate.

Recruiting ex-offenders

You should not discount someone from a job just because they have a criminal conviction.

If your business uses AccessNI checks in the recruitment process, you must, under AccessNI's Code of Practice, have a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders. This policy must be available if requested as part of the recruitment process.

An important factor in reducing the rates of re-offending is finding a job. Evidence based on research shows that many offenders who get jobs are reliable and committed employees. Ex-offenders can often be loyal and hard-working, tending to stay with one employer.

Job offers and AccessNI checks

You can withdraw a job offer that was made subject to an AccessNI check, if the results show something that would make the applicant unsuitable for the post. If an applicant starts work before the AccessNI check has been received, you should make it clear that the offer is made on the basis of receiving satisfactory pre-employment checks.

No contract exists until the applicant has accepted an offer and all conditions under which the offer were made have been satisfied.

Read more on work involving children and adults - your obligations.