Guide

Apply for basic disclosure

Last updated: 19 June 2017

Overview

A basic disclosure certificate shows any 'unspent' criminal convictions you may have in the UK. Unspent means you need to declare them. You can use this certificate to show to prospective employers or other people that need to know this information.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, some criminal convictions can be treated as 'spent' – meaning they're not relevant to basic disclosure – after a certain length of time. This is because a basic disclosure only shows any unspent convictions you may have.

You can apply for a basic disclosure yourself for any reason, for example:

  • a job application
  • voluntary work
  • an airport security pass

Information displayed on the paper certificate

Your basic disclosure certificate will show:

  • the date it was issued
  • your name
  • your address
  • your date of birth
  • any unspent convictions
You should enter your name on the form exactly as you want it to appear on the certificate, including any middle names. Disclosure Scotland can't change this later as part of the application.

Basic disclosure time period

Your basic disclosure shows your conviction record at a point in time, so there is no set time that it lasts for. If you already have one and apply for a new role, it is up to the new person or organisation, whether they'll accept your existing basic disclosure certificate or ask you to get a new one.

Cost

The cost of a basic disclosure is £25. You'll need to pay when you apply using a credit or debit card.

How long does it take?

90% of basic disclosure applications are completed within 14 calendar days (not including postage time). You're likely to receive your basic disclosure certificate within this time, provided there are no mistakes or requests for further information.

After you've applied you'll be able to track the progress of your application.
Apply for basic disclosure
Overview