Apply for basic disclosure
Last updated: 7 May 2020


A basic disclosure is a criminal record check. You get a certificate showing any 'unspent' criminal convictions you may have. 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.

Applications for basic disclosure will be processed according to the Scottish rules under the Rehabilitation periods for particular sentences section of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

During coronavirus, we will prioritise roles in the sectors:

  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Childcare
  • Social work
  • Social care
  • Prisons and justice
  • early years, primary and secondary education

Find out more about the priority key workers. You can also email to check your role is in a priority sector.

Organisations that need more than one coronavirus disclosure can apply with forms by email.

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 record of unspent convictions at a point in time (the date your certificate was issued), 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.


Ministers have suspended fees for urgent disclosures. If you are applying for a disclosure for a coronavirus response role in a priority sector, you do not have to pay for applications submitted before midnight on Friday 12 June 2020.

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 to get my certificate?

90% of basic disclosure applications are completed within 14 calendar days. You're likely to receive your basic disclosure certificate within this time, although it might take longer if there are any mistakes or if Disclosure Scotland need to contact you for more information.

After you've applied you'll be able to track the progress of your application.