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Criminal Convictions

The University of South Wales has a duty of care to its students, staff and visitors.  We will therefore invite applicants to disclose the details of any relevant previous criminal offences during the application process.  On receipt of this information we will assess whether, and to what extent, this may affect the safety and well-being of staff, students, visitors and others using our facilities.  This assessment may also include someone’s suitability for their chosen course.  Having a conviction does not automatically exclude someone from studying with us, rather, the circumstances and background to the offence(s) will be considered on an individual basis to identify if there could be any potential risks, and if there are what could be done to mitigate those risks, and course suitability.

Applicants will be invited to inform the University about their criminal convictions at different points in the admissions process depending upon the course applied for and/or if they would want to stay in University Halls of Residence.

Courses that require a DBS for entry

Applicants who apply for a course, which involves working with children and/or vulnerable adults, will be asked to declare all convictions and cautions on their application, if applying via UCAS or if applying directly.  This declaration must include any convictions that are considered as ‘spent’ by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

The application will be considered on an academic basis first and, once we are confident that an offer could be issued, the applicant will be emailed a form from Enquiries and Admissions (E&A) to provide written details of their offences for consideration.  The case will be considered initially by the Operations Manager, E&A, but they may also consult with the Award Leader and/or members of the Criminal Conviction Panel depending upon the seriousness and/or nature of what has been disclosed.  If the outcome is that we are able to proceed to the offer stage then the application will continue to be processed as normal.  If the applicant firmly accepts our offer of a place on the course then they will be emailed information on how to obtain the correct level of DBS required for the course. 

If the DBS confirms the level of detail that the applicant has already provided to us, and which has already been regarded as ‘okay to proceed’, then the applicant will be able to continue with their enrolment onto the course.

If the applicant’s DBS Check provides additional/different information to what has previously been provided by the applicant, then the case will need to be reconsidered initially by the Operations Manager, E&A, but may include consultation with the Award Leader and/or members of the Criminal Conviction Panel depending upon the seriousness and nature of what has been disclosed

However, if the applicant fails to declare any convictions but the DBS is confirmed as ‘Not Clear’, the applicant will be contacted to provide their DBS for consideration.  The content of the DBS will be considered initially by the Operations Manager, E&A, but may include consultation with the Award Leader and/or members of the Criminal Conviction Panel depending upon the seriousness and nature of what has been disclosed.  The applicant may be asked to provide additional information in relation to the content of their DBS.

If the conclusion of the Criminal Conviction Panel, at any point in this process, is that the applicant is unable to study the course that has been applied for, then the applicant will be notified in writing by the Operations Manager, E&A, and their application will be withdrawn or cancelled.  If, at this point, the applicant has already enrolled on the course and has not yet accrued any credits, then both the application and the enrolment will be withdrawn/cancelled as part of the admissions process.  However, if the applicant has enrolled on the course and has accrued credits as part of their course then their case will be referred for consideration through the University’s Student Conduct Procedure.

Courses that do not require a DBS for entry

After receiving an offer of a place, applicants will be emailed and invited to contact E&A to disclose any ‘unspent’ convictions which are considered ‘relevant’.

Relevant convictions are those which have implications for the university’s duty of care towards the safety of their students, staff and visitors. This includes convictions involving violence, sexual offences and supply of drugs; as well as offences involving firearms, arson and terrorism. Applicants are not required to tell us about ‘spent' convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

The applicant will be asked to supply a written statement on the circumstances surrounding the conviction(s), any subsequent penalties together with supporting information from a probation officer or other person connected with the case (if applicable). Depending on the nature of the conviction, we may also request an independent account of the offence(s) and any penalties. This may be a pre-sentence report or other statement from legal advisors.

The case will be considered initially by the Operations Manager, E&A, but they may also consult with the Award Leader and/or members of the Criminal Conviction Panel depending upon the seriousness and/or nature of what has been disclosed.

If the conclusion of the Criminal Conviction Panel, at any point in this process, is that the applicant is unable to study the course that they have applied for, then the applicant will be notified in writing by the Operations Manager, E&A, and their offer/application will be withdrawn or cancelled.  If, at this point, the applicant has already enrolled on the course and has not yet accrued any credits, then both the application and the enrolment will be withdrawn/cancelled as part of the admissions process.  However, if the applicant has enrolled on the course and has accrued credits as part of their course then their case will be referred  for consideration through the University’s Student Conduct Procedure.

If an applicant chooses not to reveal information on any previous convictions and the University is subsequently made aware of previous convictions then this could also lead to the withdrawal of the offer of a place and to the termination of any subsequent enrolment.

Applying for Halls of Residence

Applicants will be asked to disclose if they have a relevant criminal conviction when applying for a place in the University’s Halls of Residence.  Applicants who disclose that they do have a conviction will be checked with the Operations Manager, E&A, to check if their conviction has already been investigated and the outcome has been confirmed.  However, if the applicant has not disclosed a criminal conviction at the application stage then this could lead to the withdrawal of the offer of a place.

The Operations Manager, E&A, will contact the applicant to obtain the details and this will then be considered by the Criminal Conviction Panel.  Therefore, one of the outcomes of the Panel could be that the application is withdrawn for failing to disclose important information at the application stage.

University Criminal Conviction Panel Process

The case would normally be considered by the Operations Manager, E&A, in the first instance.  With minor criminal convictions with little or no impact upon the University community, the application may be allowed to proceed with no further action.

However, if the case requires further consideration the Operations Manager will take the case to the University’s Criminal Conviction Panel.

The Panel is Chaired by the Director of Student Services and the membership is made up of representatives of the University from E&A, Faculty and Student Union staff.  Sometimes it may also be necessary to seek further information from other members of staff in relation to appropriate safeguarding actions and/or external professional body regulations.

Using the information provided the Panel will assess the risk to the applicant, students, staff and others that the applicant may come into contact with whilst either studying the course, attending campus, using the facilities and/or whilst undertaking placements.

Depending on the assessment of the risks associated with the conviction(s), the Panel may:

  • Confirm the place on the course
  • Confirm the place on the course dependent upon any specified conditions
  • Cancel the application and any subsequent enrolment.

After each Panel meeting all documentation is collected and permanently destroyed and only relevant information is stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

If the application/enrolment is cancelled but the applicant believes that the process has not been followed correctly then they should contact the University Secretary and Clerk to the Governors to request a review of their case.  The review will be undertaken by the University Secretary and Clerk to the Governors (or nominee) and a member of senior management.  The outcome of this review will be final.

Storage of Information

Any information relating to conviction(s) will be stored electronically with limited access to members of the Criminal Conviction Panel only.  At the end of each Panel meeting any paper copies will be collected and confidentially destroyed.  Electronic files will be destroyed at the end of each academic year.

Convictions received after an offer has been made

Any applicant who receives a relevant caution or conviction after applying and before the date of enrolment should inform the Operations Manager, E&A, without delay.

January 2000