Policy and Procedure for Applicants with a Criminal Conviction

(Admissions Policy Section 7 paragraph H)

A. Introduction

Having a criminal conviction will not normally prevent an individual from studying at Loughborough. However, as part of our duty of care to the University community, we ask prospective students to disclose information about certain criminal convictions. This is to enable the University to assess and appropriately manage the risk linked to admission.

Consideration of criminal convictions is separate to the assessment of an applicant’s academic suitability for the course/programme.  Those applicants who receive an offer to study at the University, will be asked to provide information relating to previous criminal convictions as outlined below at the point at which they accept this offer (via a firm, insurance or provisional route).  This includes Clearing, Adjustment and Record of Prior Acceptance (RPA) for undergraduate applicants.

Following a disclosure of a criminal conviction the University may place certain restrictions or conditions on an applicant whilst they are a registered student. If the University believes that risks cannot be appropriately managed, it reserves the right to cancel or withdraw an offer, withhold admission or terminate any contract.   This reserved right is especially relevant in the case of sexual, violent offences, those relating to substance abuse, dealing in illegal substances or dishonest conduct or those related to failure to respect the protected characteristics of others.

B. Criminal convictions requiring disclosure

The University considers the following to be serious offences and therefore requires applicants to disclose where they have received:

  1. a criminal conviction leading to a custodial sentence (including suspended sentence) as set out below:
    • If you were under 18 when found guilty in court:
      • A custodial sentence of 0-6 months that ended within the last 18 months (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of 6-30 months that ended within the last 2 years (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of 30 months – 4 years that ended within the last 3.5 years (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of more than 4 years at any time
    • If you were 18 or over when found guilty in court:
      • A custodial sentence of 0-6 months that ended within the last 2 years (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of 6-30 months that ended within the last 4 years (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of 30 months – 4 years that ended the last 7 years (including the licence period)
      • A custodial sentence of more than 4 years at any time

Convictions outside these periods are considered 'spent' under English and Welsh jurisdiction: www.gov.uk/government/publications/rehabilitation-periods.

  1. a caution/conviction under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 with a current notification requirement (commonly referred to as a requirement to be added to the 'sex offenders register').

If at any time, an applicant indicates that they have a criminal conviction as outlined above, but refuses to provide sufficient information relating to it or to engage with the procedure, then the University reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place of study under the powers provided by Statute V of the University Charter and Statutes www.lboro.ac.uk/governance/statutes/

If the timing of the disclosure of the criminal conviction is too late in the admissions cycle to enable the above procedure to be undertaken in its entirety, then an adapted procedure may apply of which an applicant would be made fully aware. However, if this is not possible and the procedure cannot be completed satisfactorily by the relevant course/programme start date then the offer may have to be deferred to the following admissions cycle.

Responsibility to report criminal convictions outlined below rests with applicants to the University. If we do not hear from applicants 30 calendar days before the start date of their course/programme it will be assumed that they do not have a relevant criminal conviction. The same applies if they receive a criminal conviction after the point at which they accept their offer. Failure to report relevant convictions may lead to an offer being withdrawn or to disciplinary action against current students. Please see Section 1.7 and 2.3 of the University’s Terms and Conditions of Study.

C. Data protection

The processing of information provided when declaring a criminal conviction, as well as all communication about the criminal conviction, will be dealt with in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the University's Data Protection Policy.

In practice, this means that criminal conviction data will only be collected and processed in accordance with the formal procedure outlined below. We will collect the minimal information required to complete our assessments and this will be held alongside notes of the Criminal Conviction Panel (CCP) meetings (if applicable) by the relevant Admissions Manager separate from the application to study.

This will constitute the single official record and all others to whom information has been provided as part of the procedure will be asked to destroy this for reasons of confidentiality. This will be passed to the Director of Student Services should the student register at the University.

D. Procedure for courses that do not require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

The procedure below applies to applicants to Art and Design Foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate taught, postgraduate research programmes, as well as visiting and partnership students. (This procedure excludes applicants wishing to study Teacher Education at Loughborough who are required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to verify their suitability for working with young people – see section E below).

  1. Applicants accepting an offer of a place to study at the University via a firm, insurance or provisional route, will be emailed and asked to provide details of criminal convictions leading to a custodial sentence including suspended sentence (as outlined above).

    Further information will be requested by the relevant Admissions Manager regarding the offence. It may also be necessary to obtain information from a third party (e.g. a Probation Officer).

  2. When all the necessary further information has been received, the relevant Admissions Manager will refer the case to the Academic Registrar for a decision regarding whether any further action is required.

    If it is decided that no further action is necessary, the applicant will be informed of this by email.

    If it is decided that further action is required, details regarding the applicant’s criminal conviction will be referred to the Criminal Convictions Panel (CCP).

  3. The applicant will be advised that this Panel is to meet. The information provided by the applicant and any third party nominated by the applicant will be passed to members of the Panel (see 6 below) ahead of the meeting. The CCP will assess the following risks involved in the applicant’s admission as follows and identify what (if any) control measures may be appropriate:
    • Physical risk to an identified individual
    • Psychological/welfare risk to an identified individual
    • Risk to the status and reputation of the University and/or Students’ Union
    • Risk to the effective operation of the University

  4. The CCP will either:
    1. recommend that the offer of a place of study be allowed to proceed without any conditions or restrictions being placed on the applicant.
    2. recommend that the offer of a place of study be allowed to proceed with the addition of conditions or restrictions placed on the applicant.
    3. recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that the offer of a place of study be withdrawn under the powers provided by Statute V of the University Charter and Statutes www.lboro.ac.uk/governance/statutes/.
    4. defer a decision pending clarification of any of the information received or to request further details about the offence(s). Once clarification/further information has been received the Panel will take one of the actions set out in i, ii, or iii above.

  5. The outcome of the CCP’s proceedings will be conveyed by email to the applicant by the relevant Admissions Manager.

    If the offer of a place to study is allowed to proceed without any conditions or restrictions, no further action will take place until the applicant has formally registered at the University, whereby responsibility for support will pass to the Director of Student Services. If it is deemed that any other member(s) of the University’s staff to whom details of the conviction should be supplied on a ‘need to know’ basis, the applicant will be made aware.

    If non-academic conditions have been attached to the offer, the applicant will be required to accept these in writing before the offer of a place of study is confirmed. Acceptance will be noted on the single official record and no further action will take place until the applicant has formally registered at the University, whereby responsibility for support will pass to the Director of Student Services (see point above).

    If the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision made by the CCP/conditions imposed then they should refer to the Appeals and Complaints Procedure. Given the likely sensitive data relating to the appeal or complaint, this should be sent by email to the relevant Admissions Manager rather than using the standard Appeals and Complaints form.

  6. Composition of the Criminal Conviction Panel (CCP):

    The CCP will be drawn from University staff and will comprise:
    • the Academic Registrar (acting as Chair)
    • the relevant Admissions Manager (acting as Secretary)
    • the Director of Student Services (or chosen representative)
    • the Security Manager (or chosen representative)
    • the Director of Campus Living (or chosen representative)
    • the Associate Dean of Academic School responsible for the applicant’s chosen course or research (or chosen representative)
    • such other member(s) whose expert advice is deemed desirable.

E. Procedure for courses that require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check:

Applicants wishing to study Teacher Education at Loughborough University are required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to verify their suitability for working with young people.

Applicants are asked to declare whether they have any criminal convictions, including spent convictions via their UCAS application. Applicants are asked to complete the DBS application form at interview and the DBS check is subsequently undertaken if an applicant accepts the offer of a place.

For further information about this process, please contact Fiona Mclaughlin (F.Mclaughlin@lboro.ac.uk).

Date Approved:

04 October 2019