Your Homes Newcastle uses the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust. This means that for a number of posts, we will obtain a record of criminal convictions from the DBS. Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences. The DBS has a code of practice which we fully comply with. If you want a copy of the code, please click the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-code-of-practice

When you complete a YHN online application form you are asked to declare any convictions, reprimands or bind-overs. Up to the shortlisting stage, this information is accessible only by HR staff. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the only people who will access the information you provide will be those directly involved in the recruitment and selection process.

At interview stage we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to disclose any convictions, reprimands or bind-overs could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.

For certain roles, if you are successful at interview, we are required to obtain a DBS disclosure as part of the pre-employment checks, which will either be at a ‘standard’ or ‘enhanced’ level, depending on the nature of the role. A disclosure is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.

For those positions where a DBS disclosure is required, prospective applicants will be informed via a statement within the advert. Unless the nature of the role requires Your Homes Newcastle to ask questions about your entire criminal record, we will only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Under the Act, following a specified period of time which varies according to the disposal administered or sentence passed, cautions and convictions (except those resulting in prison sentences of over four years and all public protection sentences*) may become spent.

As a result the offender is regarded as rehabilitated. We ensure that anyone at Your Homes Newcastle who is involved in making the decision on whether to appoint someone who has criminal convictions has the necessary information, guidance and support to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We will discuss any matters revealed in a disclosure with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.