In the interests of safeguarding our students, staff and visitors and to enable the University to provide the appropriate support, applicants to the University and enrolled students are encouraged to declare if they have any relevant criminal convictions at the earliest opportunity.
Any declaration of a conviction, and any subsequent information disclosed in relation to the declaration, will be handled sensitively, held in the strictest confidence, disclosed only to designated university staff members and managed in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation.
At UWTSD we are committed to removing barriers to participation in higher education and supporting people from all backgrounds and circumstances to fulfil their potential. Having a criminal record will not automatically exclude a person from studying with us. The University has trained staff who can offer relevant advice and support to prospective and enrolled students. If you would like to speak to someone in confidence regarding your criminal convictions and course suitability, please email email@example.com and we will contact you as soon as possible.
The Immigration Services and Visa Compliance Team firstname.lastname@example.org can provide international applicants with related advice on immigration matters. International applicants will be required to declare any criminal convictions in line with Home Office requirements.
Depending on the programme of study applied for, there are different requirements and procedures in place relating to the disclosure of criminal convictions.
Programmes for which a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check is required
Certain programmes of study offered by UWTSD lead to professions that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (such as teacher training programmes). These programmes will include a placement or activity involving significant contact with children and/or vulnerable adults, referred to as regulated activity.
Applicants who wish to enrol on regulated programmes will be required to gain a satisfactory enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service in order to fully enrol as a student at the University and before they can be allowed to undertake work that requires contact with children or vulnerable adults.
If a programme of study requires a DBS check, it will be clearly stated on the course information page on the UWTSD website (and on the UCAS website if applicable).
Whether applying through UCAS or directly to the University for courses that require a DBS check, applicants are asked to declare on their application form if they have any criminal convictions that would appear on an enhanced DBS check. Applicants who indicate that they have criminal convictions will be asked to complete the University’s Criminal Conviction(s) Self-Declaration Form.
For such programmes of study, applicants and students are required to disclose all unspent convictions and conditional cautions, and all spent convictions and adult cautions that are not protected (i.e. that are not filtered out) as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2020).
An academic assessment of the application will be carried out in the usual manner, however the decision on whether or not to offer a place will not be made until after the University’s Criminal Convictions Review Panel has reviewed the applicant’s Criminal Conviction(s) Self-Declaration Form and any subsequent information provided in relation to the declaration. The Panel will decide if any convictions or information revealed are incompatible with a place on a programme of study.
Applicants who subsequently receive an offer of a place will be sent instructions on how to undertake and complete a DBS check through `First Advantage Online Disclosures’, an online electronic disclosure service.
Further information on the process of applying for a DBS check is available at Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks.
Where an applicant fails to disclose a conviction on their Criminal Convictions Self-Declaration Form that subsequently appears on their enhanced DBS check, their application will be referred back to the Criminal Convictions Review Panel who will decide if any convictions or information revealed are incompatible with a place on a programme of study.
Applicants who have been arrested, charged or convicted of a criminal offence after they have applied must inform the University immediately via email to email@example.com. Failure to inform the University may result in an application being refused, or an offer of a place being withdrawn by the University.
Further information is contained in the University's Admissions Policy.
Programmes for which a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is not required
After firmly accepting an offer of a place on a programme of study that does not involve contact with children or vulnerable adults, applicants will be invited to complete the University’s Criminal Conviction(s) Self-Declaration Form.
Applicants to such programmes are encouraged to declare any ‘relevant’ ‘unspent’ criminal convictions and/or conditional cautions and to provide details of any restrictions or probation requirements that may impact upon their studies.
‘Relevant’ criminal convictions are those that involve offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking, and offences involving firearms, arson and terrorism.
Convictions that are ‘spent’ (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered relevant and need not be revealed. Applicants who wish to disclose a ‘spent’ criminal conviction may discuss this in confidence with trained staff in the Student Services Team who can provide them with relevant support.
The completed self-declaration form and any subsequent information provided in relation to the declaration will be considered by the University’s Criminal Convictions Review Panel. The Panel will consider whether restrictions or probation requirements that the applicant may be subject to following a conviction are compatible with a place on a programme of study. The Panel will take into account any adjustments that can be made to facilitate study.
Applicants should be aware that while an enhanced DBS check may not be required for entry to their programme of study, future UK based employers may require them to obtain a DBS check as part of the recruitment process or during the course of their subsequent employment. It is therefore recommended that applicants wishing to study courses with a view to a particular profession, undertake research into professional requirements and take this information into account.
The University will consider implementing the Non-Academic Misconduct Policy if a student has failed to declare a relevant criminal conviction when appropriate at the admission stage.
Any person arrested, charged or convicted of a crime whilst a student at the University will be subject to the University’s Non-Academic Misconduct Policy and will be required to declare this at the earliest point.
Continuing students will be required to confirm at re-enrolment that they do not have a relevant criminal conviction that has not previously been declared to the University.
Students who at a later stage in their programme of study indicate that they wish to enrol on an optional module that involves working with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be required to declare any relevant convictions and gain a satisfactory enhanced disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service before they can proceed to undertake the module.
The University’s Criminal Convictions Review Panel is comprised of the Director of Student Services, Executive Head of Registry, Admissions Manager and the Registry Services Manager. The Panel meet on a weekly basis or when considered necessary in order to review cases referred to them via the Registry. Depending on the nature and severity of the convictions declared and the programme of study concerned, other senior members of staff such as the Assistant Dean of Institute, Data Protection Officer, and where appropriate, the Accommodation Manager may be invited to join the Panel in an advisory capacity.
The Panel will consider the following information in order to reach a decision on each case:
- Study to date;
- The nature of the offence(s) and their relevance to the programme of study concerned;
- Date(s) of the offence(s);
- Any pattern of re-offending;
- Any mitigating circumstances surrounding the offence(s);
- Whether the applicant’s / student’s circumstances have changed since the offence(s) were committed;
- Recommendations provided by the Criminal Justice Service, such as a Probation Officer’s report (where applicable);
- Whether the applicant could successfully complete the programme of study, taking into account any restrictions and/or probation requirements. The Panel will consider any adjustments that can be made in order to facilitate study and whether these can be made in time for the course start date or to enable the enrolled student to continue on their programme of study;
- Whether the applicant can be permitted to live in University owned accommodation, taking any restrictions or requirements into account.
The outcome of the meeting of the Panel will be communicated to the applicant/ student in writing and will confirm one of the following:
- that the original offer made to the applicant stands; or that the application can continue to be processed in the usual way with no further action required;
- that the enrolled student may continue on their programme of study with no further action required;
- that further information is required from the applicant/enrolled student and/or appropriate services, or that a risk assessment will need to be undertaken to enable the Panel to reach a decision;
- an amendment to the offer of a place previously made to the applicant. This may involve attaching further conditions and/or adjustments to the programme of study (e.g. that the applicant must not live in or visit halls of residence and their compliance will be monitored, or that the applicant is to be offered an alternative programme of study to the one applied for, or a deferred start date);
- that conditions will need to be attached to the student’s continued enrolment and/or that adjustments will need to be made to enable the student to successfully complete their programme of study;
- that the application, or the offer previously made to the applicant, is to be withdrawn;
- that the enrolled student’s case is to be referred and will be dealt with through the University’s student disciplinary process.
Reasons for the Panel’s decision will be provided in each case. Applicants/students will be informed if it is a condition of their acceptance/continued enrolment that this information will be passed to certain members of staff on a ‘need to know’ basis.
Withdrawal of an application or an offer of a place
The University reserves the right to decline to offer a place or to withdraw an offer of a place if it considers that admitting an applicant could pose a risk to the safety of the University community or where convictions or information revealed, or restrictions or probation requirements that the applicant must adhere to, are incompatible with a place on a programme of study.
Appealing against a decision of the Panel
An appeal against the decision of the Panel will be considered where there are adequate grounds, as set out in the University’s Policy and Procedures for Admissions Feedback, Appeals and Complaints available at Admissions Policy and Terms and Conditions for Applicants.
Any information disclosed by prospective and enrolled students relating to criminal convictions will be stored electronically and kept for no longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it was provided. Further information can be found in the University’s policies on data protection.