Criminal Record Disclosure Certificates

Retention rules, validity periods and renewal procedures

Criminal record disclosure certificates are the property of the individual who applies for them, and to whom the information relates. That person can choose to keep the disclosure for as long as they wish, or to destroy it.

If you, as their employer, want to retain their disclosure certificate – or keep a copy of it – you must get their permission. If they agree to you doing so, you must store the document in a secure environment so that only individuals with a legitimate reason to see the disclosure can do so.

If you do not retain the certificate, you must keep a record of the disclosure number shown at the top of the certificate, or other such identifier, and the date of issue.

How often can a disclosure be applied for?
 

There are no limits to how often a basic disclosure can be applied for, but the full fee will have to be paid each time.

How long is the disclosure valid for?

As an employer, you should bear in mind that the information in the disclosure is only as current as the day on which it is issued.
Disclosures do not carry a pre-determined period of validity because a conviction or other matter could be recorded against the person who has obtained the disclosure at any time after it is issued, e.g. the following day.

The CAA advises that disclosure certificates including those issued overseas, can be considered valid for up to 10 weeks from the date of issue. This does not include any period that CAA is considering an application for a certificate of disregard or subsequent appeal.

If an overseas criminal record certificate is more that 10 weeks old but that person has not returned to that country since the date of issue (the date of issue can be up to 10 weeks prior to their date of departure) then that certificate will be deemed valid.

Renewing a criminal record disclosure
 

A criminal record check (basic disclosure) certificate needs to be renewed at the same time as the airport identification card is renewed. It is up to airport managers to decide how long permanent airport identification cards are valid for, but this cannot be longer than 5 years.

Disqualifying offences after a criminal records disclosure is made
 

There is no warning system in place to notify an employer about convictions made against an employee already in post who has previously successfully undergone a criminal record check (basic disclosure) and background check. In aviation, this includes for those currently holding an airport identification card.

It is recommended that employers should consider inserting a condition in employment contracts that requires employees to inform them if they are convicted of a disqualifying offence between any new disclosure.

Airport managers are advised to withdraw any airport identification card if they are no longer satisfied that the person is fit to hold the card.