The Student Room Group

Criminal Record Guidance

Criminal Record Guidance

Many aspiring nurses, midwives, doctors and other healthcare professionals have criminal records for various reasons. A criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from following your dream career pathway, but there is a strict fitness to practice process which must be followed. In addition to this, healthcare professionals may be involved in incidents whilst in employment or studying that cause their fitness to practice to be called into question.

This guidance aims to clarify what to do if you have a criminal record or think you might have one and how this can impact your future career.

This guidance should always be read alongside our Fitness to Practice Guidance which can be found here:

Declaring your Conviction
As part of your application to university, or for a job, you will always be invited to declare any convictions. The purpose of this is to give you the opportunity to let the organisation know about your conviction before they run your formal criminal record check. Generally, this will be a short form which you will fill in either in the pre-application stage or at interview for certain employment applications. Declaring your convictions is an important part of the process as it allows you to demonstrate honesty and transparency.

Which convictions need to be declared?
Certain cautions and convictions are ‘protected’ and do not need to be disclosed. This can vary depending on the part of the UK you are in. You can find advice on this here:

In addition, things like fixed penalty notices and parking fines are not considered. When you complete the form, guidance should be included to help you work out what is and is not required. Remember that it isn’t up to you to decide whether a conviction is relevant or not. If in doubt, it’s always better to declare than not, as failure to disclose as a result of a genuine misunderstanding may be seen as intentional deception.

What if I choose not to declare?
Sometimes, people think it may be better to not disclose their conviction and wait to see whether it will turn up on their record check. Unfortunately this is often poor advice which can do more harm than good to your application. Failure to disclose a conviction, no matter how small, how long ago or how seemingly irrelevant reflects badly on your character. If you do not make a declaration after being given the opportunity to do so and something later comes up on your record check, this can cause significant issues.

Failure to disclose is generally seen as dishonesty and reflects badly on your character. This can mean that what would otherwise have been a minor conviction which posed no risk to your fitness to practice becomes a larger issue, as it then reflects badly on your character.

What information is included on a criminal record check?
Generally, healthcare workers will have the highest level of record check, usually referred to as an enhanced disclosure. This includes all convictions and cautions and, importantly, any information that the local police force feel is relevant to your role. This, therefore, means that anything they choose to include could be present on your certificate. There is no way to check what will be on your certificate until it is actually produced. A copy will be sent to you and your employer at the same time.

What if my record check comes back clear after I have declared a conviction?
This is a very rare occurrence, but does happen occasionally. Sometimes this can be due to errors when your conviction was initially entered into the system, because of clerical errors, or due to some sort of misunderstanding whereby you were not actually charged. Because you have declared the conviction, the employer or university have a responsibility to investigate it. Just because it doesn’t appear on the certificate does not mean that the employer can sweep the issue under the rug. Generally, this will entail gathering information from you regarding the incident. It will then be reviewed to determine whether there is any impact on your fitness to practice.

Just because your record comes back clear once, does not mean that the same will happen in future. It is therefore always best to be prepared for the fitness to practice process if you do think you have something on your criminal record.
(edited 4 years ago)
This thread is great but needs updating with the new law passed in November 2020. Many people are walking around with historic information on their DBS which the Supreme Court has instructed be removed.
Reply 3
Anyone know how long it takes for the NMC to review the caution that was declared when registering? I declared the caution to university and they gave clearance to start the degree. I registered and declared the caution to the NMC so just waiting on the outcome?
Reply 4
Original post by aw2018
Anyone know how long it takes for the NMC to review the caution that was declared when registering? I declared the caution to university and they gave clearance to start the degree. I registered and declared the caution to the NMC so just waiting on the outcome?

Hello, please do you get your pin? How long does it take? I am in similar situation. The waiting seem forever
Reply 5
This is great. Thanks

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