Training Contract with Childhood Reprimand? Watch

Snooki
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I have just been offered a training contract - which is brilliant. Upon receiving my offer, I had a form in there from the SRA. Began filling in my relevant sections and finally get to box 6 which requests you to say 'Yes' or 'No' to whether you are in line with the Suitability Test 2011 from the SRA.

Looking at this, under section 1.2 (d) it states that any reprimands given to youth must be listed as it may be a reason for the SRA to not accept you into the profession. I was slapped with a reprimand at the age of 14 for theft - I was with friends who were shoplifting and after getting make up from them (at the time not knowing it was stolen), we were all arrested (they told the police the make up I had was stolen along with everything else). We were all given reprimands for theft at the time, after advised at the time that I wouldn't need legal representation by the police as it was a simple process - wrong (I am fairly certain I wouldn't have gotten anything with legal representation sat next to me).

After noticing this on the SRA website, I called the SRA who advised that I would need to disclose it. Failure to disclose would mean that it would likely show up upon them checking me and they would then prevent me from training - even though this is around 10 years ago now that I was given the reprimand.

They advised that I would need to complete the Character and Suitability Application that would go to them to access if I am suitable for a career as a solicitor.

Has anyone experienced this? What do I do?

I was of the understanding that this would be wiped after 2 years...? Surely therefore I shouldn't need to declare it?

Is it better to declare it and hope my potential new employer doesn't mind? As they will be sending it onto the SRA for me...

Any advise would be welcome! TIA
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OAL93
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(Original post by Snooki)
I have just been offered a training contract - which is brilliant. Upon receiving my offer, I had a form in there from the SRA. Began filling in my relevant sections and finally get to box 6 which requests you to say 'Yes' or 'No' to whether you are in line with the Suitability Test 2011 from the SRA.

Looking at this, under section 1.2 (d) it states that any reprimands given to youth must be listed as it may be a reason for the SRA to not accept you into the profession. I was slapped with a reprimand at the age of 14 for theft - I was with friends who were shoplifting and after getting make up from them (at the time not knowing it was stolen), we were all arrested (they told the police the make up I had was stolen along with everything else). We were all given reprimands for theft at the time, after advised at the time that I wouldn't need legal representation by the police as it was a simple process - wrong (I am fairly certain I wouldn't have gotten anything with legal representation sat next to me).

After noticing this on the SRA website, I called the SRA who advised that I would need to disclose it. Failure to disclose would mean that it would likely show up upon them checking me and they would then prevent me from training - even though this is around 10 years ago now that I was given the reprimand.

They advised that I would need to complete the Character and Suitability Application that would go to them to access if I am suitable for a career as a solicitor.

Has anyone experienced this? What do I do?

I was of the understanding that this would be wiped after 2 years...? Surely therefore I shouldn't need to declare it?

Is it better to declare it and hope my potential new employer doesn't mind? As they will be sending it onto the SRA for me...

Any advise would be welcome! TIA
1.2(c) SRA Suitability Test 2011 says that the SRA are more likely than not to refuse your application if you have accepted a caution for an offence involving dishonesty, which you have.

However, as referred to by para (iv) of the Guidance Notes to para 8 of the test:

Article 2A of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended by the 2013 Order introduced the concept of 'protected cautions' and 'protected convictions'. This says that a caution (a reprimand is a 'youth caution' now):

“2A.—(1) For the purposes of this Order, a caution is a protected caution if it was given to a person for an offence other than a listed offence and— (a) where the person was under 18 years at the time the caution was given, two years or more have passed since the date on which the caution was given"

Which would indicate from what you have said that you have a protected caution, providing the offence was not a 'listed offence', because you were under 18 and 2 years have passed since the date you were given it.

A 'listed offence' is defined in Art 2A(5) of the 2013 order which does not include any Theft Act offences (which presumably your offence would be?). It is worth checking yourself for the relevant statute though

(http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...0131198_en.pdf)

Further, para 8.2 of the SRA Suitability Test 2011 indicates that

"If the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 is applicable to your occupation, profession or role, you must declare all convictions and cautions, even if they are deemed to be spent in accordance with the Act, unless they are protected convictions or cautions." Therefore if you consider your caution protected, you may not need to disclose this.

However, do be mindful of para 8.3 of the Test which has the effect that if you should have declared it, they consider this prima facie evidence of dishonesty (which would then prejudice the outcome anyway).

Even if you do have to disclose it, there are some guidelines as to how you show that you have been rehabilitated etc, but it would obviously be a challenge to move from 'we are more likely than not to refuse you' to 'sure come on in' instead of not having to disclose in the first place.

What was the contents of the call to the SRA? Did you explain your caution may be protected? Did you ask about that? Did you provide details of the timescales of when your caution is and ask about their guidelines specifically and the Act and Order mentioned above? If not, it may be worth assembling a document of what you need to say and ask and call again, making sure to take names, times, dates etc as you may need to rely on it again later if you make an application and they tell you that you should have disclosed the offence, so that it does not count against you as dishonesty.
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essieee123
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HI, i am in a very similar situation to this. I was wondering how your problem was resolved.
Did you have to disclose? If so, what was the process like and how long did it take etc?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks
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Snooki
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Hi Essieee.

I didn’t disclose it no. If you very carefully follow the guidelines you will note that most reprimands (unless violent or sexual offences) within childhood fall outside the disclosure requirement of the SRA. The SRA have approved my period of recognised training but I would note you have a continued duty to disclose - so should the requirements change again (which I don’t think they will or hope they don’t anyway!) you may have to disclose in the future.

I worked very methodically through the requirements and came to the logical conclusion that it is not required to be disclosed if it is a childhood reprimand and it is not prime facie dishonesty not to disclose it if it falls within this. I would recommend you do this in the same way to ensure yours fits the same bill.

Hope this helps!
(Original post by essieee123)
HI, i am in a very similar situation to this. I was wondering how your problem was resolved.
Did you have to disclose? If so, what was the process like and how long did it take etc?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
Thanks
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