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Information for applicants and students with criminal records

1. Introduction

A criminal record will not necessarily debar you from being a student at Lancaster University. However, this will depend upon the nature and circumstances of any offences, the programme of study and the outcome of any Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check required for certain programmes.

 

2. Policy Statement

i. Lancaster University promotes equality of opportunity and welcomes applications to study from a wide range of candidates.

ii. Lancaster University will consider applications to study received from individuals with relevant unspent and pending criminal convictions.

iii. Certain programmes involving contact with children, vulnerable adults, and those which involve practice elements within a health setting require applicants to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

iv. Other than for programmes relevant to point iii, the University will not take into account reprimands, cautions or convictions which are deemed ‘spent’ under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

v. In some cases we will make offers to applicants with criminal records subject to the observance of conditions.

vi. Our priority is to the safety and wellbeing of the University community. With this in mind we will make a risk-based judgement, separated from the academic decision, on whether an applicant’s criminal record would mean they were considered unsuitable for admission to study.

 

3. Relevant convictions

For the purposes of applying to study at Lancaster University a ‘relevant’ unspent or pending conviction includes:

· offences involving any kind of violence

· offences concerning the intention to harm or resulting in actual bodily harm

· the unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking

· offences involving firearms

· arson

· offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003

· offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006

 

4. When is a conviction spent?

All convictions eventually become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, with the exception of prison sentences over 2 ½ years. Please refer to page 3 of the Ministry of Justice guidance for detailed information on applicable rehabilitation periods:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/216089/rehabilitation-offenders.pdf

The law in this area is changing, and rehabilitation periods for many offences are to be reduced. If you are unsure whether your conviction is spent you may wish to contact Nacro’s advice service on 020 7840 1212 or email helpline@nacro.org.uk

 

5. Professionally accredited programmes

Professionally accredited courses involving contact with children, vulnerable adults, and those which involve practice elements within a health setting require applicants to undertake an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to registration. A DBS check may also be required when registered on other programmes and you opt to take a module involving contact with the groups above.

The DBS check will reveal  details of any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings the applicant has received, regardless of length of time since the incident(s); it also includes an additional check with the police, who check if any other information is held on file that may be relevant (for instance, investigations that have not led to a criminal record). The police decide what (if any) additional information will be added to the disclosure certificate using the Quality Assurance Framework .

 

Programmes at Lancaster University requiring enhanced DBS disclosure include those relating to:

Clinical Psychology

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Medicine

Social Work


This page was last edited on: 12/21/2015 11:21 AM