If you have a higher level disclosure, your certificate will show:
- all unspent convictions
- certain spent convictions that must always be disclosed
- other spent convictions as set out by law
Spent convictions that must always be disclosed
If you have a spent conviction for an offence on the always disclose list (PDF), you must disclose it to a prospective employer when asked.
The always disclose list is for serious convictions, for example murder, rape or terrorism. These types of offences always appear on a higher level disclosure regardless of how old they are and what the punishment was.
If you're an employer, you're legally allowed to ask someone who works for you or that you might want to employ, to disclose if they have any:
- unspent convictions
- spent convictions for offences on the always disclose list
Spent convictions that must be disclosed subject to rules
There's a separate rules list (PDF) for offences like fraud, theft or simple assault. If you have a spent conviction for an offence on this list, Disclosure Scotland follows rules set out in law, about the length of time they will disclose them.
The rules are:
- 15 years, if you were 18 or over at the date of conviction
- 7 and a half years, if you were under 18 at the date of conviction
Applying to have spent convictions removed
If you have a spent conviction for an offence on the rules list, you can apply to have it removed from your disclosure certificate if you think it isn't relevant to your work.
How to appeal
To get a new certificate with the convictions removed you must apply to a Sheriff. To apply, you must:
- make sure the conviction is spent and is on the rules list
- contact Disclosure Scotland within 10 working days of the date of issue on your certificate
- make your application to the Sheriff within 3 months of telling Disclosure Scotland you're going to apply
When applying to a Sheriff you should:
- apply to your local Sheriff Court
- tell the clerk of the Sheriff Court that you want to make a summary application in relation to the Police Act 1997 and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2007 remedial (No 2) order 2015
- make sure to include relevant information like the date of your certificate and date of appeal notification to Disclosure Scotland
If you change your mind
To withdraw your notification of application, email Disclosure Scotland at HLC.Release@disclosurescotland.gsi.gov.uk within 10 working days of the date of issue of your disclosure certificate. They can then release the countersignatory copy of the certificate to your employer or other registered body.
Appeal application decisions
The Sheriff's decision on an application is final and will be acted on by Disclosure Scotland. They'll do a fresh criminal record check on the applicant before it issues a new standard or enhanced disclosure, or PVG scheme record.
The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service website has more information on how to make a summary application to a Sheriff Court.
You can email Disclosure Scotland at:
Or write to them at:
PO box 250