How a previous conviction may affect you

If you have a previous conviction you may still be able to have a career in care working with vulnerable adults. This will depend on several factors, including the type of conviction, when it took place, why you acted in the way you did, and what positive changes you have made to your behaviour and lifestyle since.

Guidance from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

The SSSC has convictions guidance which you should read to understand which convictions need to be declared to your employer and the SSSC. There are some which should always be declared and some which are subject to certain rules. If you have a criminal record, you may be asked for conviction information by your employer. If you’re not sure, the SSSC guidance will help. Alternatively, you could look at Disclosure Scotland for further information.

If your previous conviction meets the SSSC’s criteria for investigation, then following the investigative process the SSSC may conclude that you don’t present a risk to the public and are a suitable candidate to work in social services. The SSSC may register you with a condition that you take the requisite steps to reassure the SSSC and the public that you have learned from your behaviour.

Information about convictions and applications

This podcast from Disclosure Scotland explains their role in public protection and gives you information on how conviction information is checked before you can start a career in social care. It also explains the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme which you’ll likely become a member of if you are deemed eligible for a role in adult social care. You can also look at the Scotland Works for You materials which can help with future employment applications.

Providing the right information

If you have information to disclose about a conviction, either to an employer or the SSSC, it’s important to be honest. You’ll need to provide some detail about the circumstances of the offence and what you have done since then to learn from it. That will help convince employers and the SSSC that you are the right person to work with vulnerable adults, even though you possess a criminal record.