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How to tell an organisation about your convictions

Any organisation offering you a job, education or volunteering can ask about your convictions. Before they do, they should tell you what you need to disclose and where you can get advice.

The convictions you need to disclose will depend on the type of work you're applying for. Usually you only have to disclose unspent convictions, but you may need to tell them about certain spent convictions.

There's guidance to help you for roles that need basic disclosure or higher level disclosure, including advice on what organisations are allowed to ask.

How to tell organisations about your convictions 

Most organisations who support people with convictions recommend using a ‘letter of disclosure’. In this letter you explain:

  • why you want to disclose your convictions
  • the nature of your convictions and the sentences you got
  • the circumstances that led to your convictions
  • changes you’ve made in your life since your conviction, like education
  • why they should consider you for the position 

View a guide with examples of disclosure letters.

You can also disclose your convictions: 

  • on your CV 
  • on a job application form 
  • at an interview 
  • when you’re offered a job 

If an organisation asks about your convictions when you apply for a job, you can send a letter of disclosure with your application form or CV. If they do not ask you about your convictions until after an interview, you could provide the letter then.


Organisations may ask you to apply for a disclosure. This will verify what you tell them, so it's important you're honest about your convictions.

How to find out if you have unspent convictions 

You can find out if you have unspent convictions by:

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