Thames Reach
Wednesday 26 April 2017
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Criminal record checks

Thames Reach applied the same standards to trainees as other staff regarding criminal record checks.

Why should Criminal Record Bureaux (CRB) Disclosure checks be requested for trainees?

CRB checks must be obtained for trainees to ensure that they are not a risk to the safety of our service users. This is a practice employed for all Thames Reach employees who work directly or have regular contact with vulnerable people.

Having a conviction will not necessarily bar someone from employment. The person’s circumstances and the background of the offence(s) will be considered in relation to the particular requirements of the job.

Thames Reach’s Criminal Record Check policy can be downloaded from the Changing policies page.

CRB checks were not required for trainees who working in our Central Services department, i.e. finance, IT, strategic support, human resources, communications, and business development.

How has this worked in practice at Thames Reach?

CRB disclosures were not always returned as quickly as Thames Reach would normally expect. If a trainee had a complicated address, identity or criminal record history this sometimes delayed the process. However, the CRB process has overall not been difficult to carry out because:

  • We were clear with trainees from the beginning of the recruitment process about our requirements for CRB checks. Trainees were asked to disclose their criminal records on both the application form and at interview so when CRB checks were received they did not normally contain any new information which had not already been discussed and considered.
  • The GROW Project Manager and the Human Resources team were available to discuss any concerns, explain the process, and ensure that trainees were clear that if they were not open about their criminal record at the recruitment stage, and their CRB disclosure contained undisclosed information, this would be taken seriously by Thames Reach. Indeed, one trainee was dismissed after not disclosing all offences at interview.
  • We ensured that trainees were clear about how the application forms should be completed, for example, that a full 5 years of addresses should be provided without gaps (no fixed abode can be included for periods of homelessness, but with dates) and specific identity documents are required.

Obtaining copies of identity documents and a full address history was not always simple. Sometimes it could take longer than we would normally expect, but  there were not any occasions when these were not obtained.