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Spent and unspent convictions

Most convictions become spent after a certain amount of time, which means they will not be shown on basic disclosures. This length of time is known as a 'disclosure period'.

Spent convictions are not shown on basic disclosures. This means that at the end of the disclosure period, you do not have to share these convictions for most jobs and volunteering posts. 

However, on higher level disclosures there are some spent convictions that always have to be disclosed unless a sheriff orders otherwise. These include rape and other sexual offences. 

There are also other offences that must be disclosed for a certain length of time

Disclosure periods

The length of the disclosure period depends on:

  • what your conviction is
  • the sentence you got 
  • your age on the date of the conviction

Find information on the length of disclosure periods.

If you need help to work out a disclosure period, email

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