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SRA Character & Suitability Test - Any outcomes that can be shared? Watch

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    (Original post by KLB123)
    So the individual in the example you are referring to was already at the firm and were looking to hire the individual as a trainee?
    Not necessarily already at the firm, but had been made a training contract offer. Any instances like this lead to pretty hefty conversations between the individual and the firm. If the firm is supportive, then it is just a case of them stating that they want to recruit the individual and feel through their recruitment process and conversations with the individual that they are suitable for the job and would support their application. As I stressed earlier though, the processes I have seen have been for far lighter offences though.

    Can you not get one of the department hiring managers from your last employer(s) to be a referee? They must have made a similar decision about your suitability when they hired you, they just didn't need to get approval from the SRA.
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    (Original post by KLB123)
    Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it.

    1. Unfortunately the caution was for Assault and I believe I was 14 years old at the time (just before my 15th birthday)

    2. On the basis of point 1 above, I would therefore not be able to show a clean record since then with my ABH conviction in 2012. I fully appreciate it looks like I could re-offend again by looking at these 2 facts.

    3. The sentence handed down was fair and from what I understand, my local home town has an issue with late night revellers getting into drunken fights hence my Solicitor advised the judge coming down tough. But as I say, I committed the offence and I took the punishment.

    4. I do have friends who are practicing solicitors who I could reach out to. My question is, can they give me a reference as a professional individual as opposed to on company letter head? The reason I ask is because past experience in my time in practice tells me that can be a sticking point.

    Can I ask how recent your offence was and the outcome of your application? I don't mean to pry I just wish to understand your experience.
    Regarding the potential for being viewed as a repeat offender, you may have to distinguish between the two incidents and, if true, submit that they were two isolated incidents which are explainable by reference to the surrounding circumstances.

    My convictions were the outcome of a regrettable 2 months in 2001 but I was also disqualified from driving for speeding in 2012, which could only be said to be loosely related to my previous indiscretions.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Not necessarily already at the firm, but had been made a training contract offer. Any instances like this lead to pretty hefty conversations between the individual and the firm. If the firm is supportive, then it is just a case of them stating that they want to recruit the individual and feel through their recruitment process and conversations with the individual that they are suitable for the job and would support their application. As I stressed earlier though, the processes I have seen have been for far lighter offences though.

    Can you not get one of the department hiring managers from your last employer(s) to be a referee? They must have made a similar decision about your suitability when they hired you, they just didn't need to get approval from the SRA.
    Ok that makes sense. Based on your experience, in my shoes, would you look to satisfy the SRA before I in theory receive a TC offer or before? Could waiting for a TC offer support me as per your example?

    My thoughts with your latter point is, if they had only carried out a basic CRB check as I wasn't a qualified member of staff, it would have not have shown any spent convictions. Also, the firm in question (as a handful of big city firms have) have removed the spent criminal conviction question from their application forms by supporting the 'Ban the Box' initiative.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I doubt the firm will allow the individual to provide it on headed paper. It won't matter from the SRA's perspective, they will just want to see that it comes from a reputable individual.

    It was different for the applications I was involved in as the firm were wanting to recruit the individual as a trainee, and so provided supportive evidence on headed paper as they would be impacted by the SRA's decision.

    No quality over quantity is definitely the better option for this process.
    Out of my 5 references, 1 submitted on headed paper and only because he is a partner of the firm it came from; 3 submitted an email from their work email accounts; and, 1 submitted from a personal email address but referenced his position in the company he works for.
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    (Original post by KLB123)
    Ok that makes sense. Based on your experience, in my shoes, would you look to satisfy the SRA before I in theory receive a TC offer or before? Could waiting for a TC offer support me as per your example?

    My thoughts with your latter point is, if they had only carried out a basic CRB check as I wasn't a qualified member of staff, it would have not have shown any spent convictions. Also, the firm in question (as a handful of big city firms have) have removed the spent criminal conviction question from their application forms by supporting the 'Ban the Box' initiative.
    I don't think there is a right or wrong way. The decision doesn't lie with the firm, it lies with the SRA. I very much doubt the firm's letter saying they wanted to recruit the individual meant a lot, partiucarly if they haven't really got much insight apart from a recruitment process and a couple of conversations. From experience it seems to be all the other information that has been far more interesting. I've seen some compelling references from reputable people that have been far more compelling than "we'd like to recruit this person".
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    (Original post by KLB123)
    Ok that makes sense. Based on your experience, in my shoes, would you look to satisfy the SRA before I in theory receive a TC offer or before? Could waiting for a TC offer support me as per your example?

    My thoughts with your latter point is, if they had only carried out a basic CRB check as I wasn't a qualified member of staff, it would have not have shown any spent convictions. Also, the firm in question (as a handful of big city firms have) have removed the spent criminal conviction question from their application forms by supporting the 'Ban the Box' initiative.
    As an individual trying to break into a competitive profession, I sought an answer from the SRA before applying for TCs. This was based on my feeling that I would be viewed as less of a risky choice with a positive answer from the regulatory body.
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    (Original post by adz86)
    As an individual trying to break into a competitive profession, I sought an answer from the SRA before applying for TCs. This was based on my feeling that I would be viewed as less of a risky choice with a positive answer from the regulatory body.
    Thank you for sharing this with me. Do you know the process of then informing a TC offeror of your SRA application being satisfied? Do you declare your record to the employer on acceptance of the TC offer and then state that the SRA are aware and you have subsequently satisfied their Character & Suitability test?

    J-SP you may also know the answer to this?
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    (Original post by KLB123)
    Thank you for sharing this with me. Do you know the process of then informing a TC offeror of your SRA application being satisfied? Do you declare your record to the employer on acceptance of the TC offer and then state that the SRA are aware and you have subsequently satisfied their Character & Suitability test?

    J-SP you may also know the answer to this?
    Guess it depends on what information is asked on the application form.

    I have seen it where firms ask you to disclose any previous convictions/offences. In that question I have seen:

    1) Candidates explain they have passed the suitability test already
    2) That they are going through the process
    3) No reference to it whatsoever

    I have also worked for firms that don't ask for any conviction information at the application stage. Some candidates add the details in the "further information section" along similar lines to the above

    I have had individuals notify me at interview stage

    I have had individuals notify me after the offer has been made.

    I might not even be aware of people going through this process where they have been approved and I don't know any different.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    Guess it depends on what information is asked on the application form.

    I have seen it where firms ask you to disclose any previous convictions/offences. In that question I have seen:

    1) Candidates explain they have passed the suitability test already
    2) That they are going through the process
    3) No reference to it whatsoever

    I have also worked for firms that don't ask for any conviction information at the application stage. Some candidates add the details in the "further information section" along similar lines to the above

    I have had individuals notify me at interview stage

    I have had individuals notify me after the offer has been made.

    I might not even be aware of people going through this process where they have been approved and I don't know any different.
    What is your view on a candidate opting to merely state they have passed the SRA's character and suitability test without disclosing the convictions? My understanding is that the question is asked to ensure the individual will be assessed as suitable to start a training contract by the SRA and not the individual firms. Therefore, if the SRA has already conducted such an assessment, it would be harsh for a firm to make an assessment too as this would create another barrier to entry for a class of individuals.
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    (Original post by adz86)
    What is your view on a candidate opting to merely state they have passed the SRA's character and suitability test without disclosing the convictions? My understanding is that the question is asked to ensure the individual will be assessed as suitable to start a training contract by the SRA and not the individual firms. Therefore, if the SRA has already conducted such an assessment, it would be harsh for a firm to make an assessment too as this would create another barrier to entry for a class of individuals.
    Very valid point. JS-P, would this naturally cause you to question why a candidate hasn't answered the previous criminal convictions question directly?
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    (Original post by adz86)
    What is your view on a candidate opting to merely state they have passed the SRA's character and suitability test without disclosing the convictions? My understanding is that the question is asked to ensure the individual will be assessed as suitable to start a training contract by the SRA and not the individual firms. Therefore, if the SRA has already conducted such an assessment, it would be harsh for a firm to make an assessment too as this would create another barrier to entry for a class of individuals.
    If explictly asked about convictions, then I don't think it is a good idea to just say "I have passed the SRA suitability test"

    It depends on the nature of the question on the application though.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    If explictly asked about convictions, then I don't think it is a good idea to just say "I have passed the SRA suitability test"

    It depends on the nature of the question on the application though.
    Unfortunately I share your view and have outlined my convictions in addition to stating that I have passed the SRA's test. Only one firm has qualified the conviction question with 'this will be used for the purpose of assessing you under the SRA's character and suitability requirements' and only then would I feel comfortable merely stating I had passed.
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    (Original post by adz86)
    Unfortunately I share your view and have outlined my convictions in addition to stating that I have passed the SRA's test. Only one firm has qualified the conviction question with 'this will be used for the purpose of assessing you under the SRA's character and suitability requirements' and only then would I feel comfortable merely stating I had passed.
    The difficulty with anything like this, is I hate giving generalised advice. These scenarios mean that for one person full disclosure upfront might be a good thing, and for the next person it isn't. It could even vary between each applications from the same individual.

    I also come at this from a skewed view as I support the Ban the Box campaign and have been involved in removing the question from applications, so understand people's concerns when they have been asked this question. But from a recruiter's persepctive, there isn't anything worse than someone trying to cover something up when they have explictly been asked to provide details.
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    Hello, the SRA have told me that I have supplied all the information they require relating to a character and suitability disclosure and that I can expect an answer by the end of September. I just wondered whether anyone knew whether it is usual for them to require a further 6 weeks to make an assessment, or might this indicate that I am in difficulty? It is relating to a liability order that was taken out against me for a council tax bill on a flat that I rent out. I did not receive the bill for the period the flat was empty as I had moved house, so the liability order was taken out against me and the first I knew was when the bailiff company messaged me. I then paid the bill immediately.Any thoughts would be appreciated- I am terrified that this could destroy all my hard work
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    Hi thereAll I know on this point is they advise it can take up to 6 months from start to finish to assess your application.Sorry I can't offer anything further.K
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    Thanks, K...I think this is going to be a long wait if I am this anxious already. T
 
 
 
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