Basic Disclosure – Purpose of application
You can apply for a basic disclosure for any purpose. However, the contents of a basic disclosure certificate may differ depending on whether the application for the certificate is processed under the legislation that applies in England and Wales, or under the legislation that applies in Scotland. A basic disclosure certificate either contains information about every conviction of an applicant, or states that there is no such conviction. Conviction takes its meaning from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, but it does not include any spent conviction.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out rehabilitation periods after which convictions may become spent; different rehabilitation periods apply in England and Wales and in Scotland.
Rehabilitation periods should be determined with reference to the law of the jurisdiction to which the inquiry relates. For example, if you are applying for a basic disclosure in connection with an application to work in England or Wales, then the question is probably being asked under the laws of England & Wales. It is for you and your prospective employer, (in cases where the question is being asked for employment purposes) to identify the applicable governing law. Disclosure Scotland expects that the applicable governing law will normally be the same jurisdiction in which the applicant lives. If this is not the case then the individual should tell us otherwise.
For an application where the home address of the applicant is in England or Wales, the application will be processed under the version of section 112 of the Police Act 1997, and the rehabilitation periods in section 5 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 that apply in England and Wales.
For an application where the home address of the applicant is in Scotland or in a country outside Great Britain, the application will be processed under the version of section 112 of the Police Act 1997, and the rehabilitation periods in section 5 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 that apply in Scotland.
If you need to demonstrate that your certificate reflects the laws of the other jurisdiction to that determined by your home address, then please contact us for advice before applying.
You should read this section if you have been convicted of an offence since 10 March 2009 and your sentence includes a compensation order.
If you consider any conviction ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 because you have paid any compensation order included in your sentence, then you need to provide evidence to that effect to Disclosure Scotland when applying for a Basic Disclosure.
In England & Wales, you can obtain a letter of confirmation from the court when any compensation order has been paid in full. A copy of that letter should be provided to Disclosure Scotland either with your application, or separately in confidence, if your application is being submitted via a third party. You do not need to discuss any separate submission with any third party.
In Scotland the rehabilitation period for a compensation order is five years from the date of conviction and no proof of payment requires to be submitted.