Additional Guidance and Procedure for applicants who declare a Criminal Conviction

(Admissions Policy Section 7 paragraph H)

As part of its duty of care to the University community, staff and student population, we ask applicants to disclose information about any relevant unspent criminal convictions on their application. This information is considered in line with our formal procedure outlined below.

Having a criminal record does not necessarily prevent applicants from studying at the University. This will depend on the nature of the course applied for and the circumstances and background of the offence. Applicants are required to inform us immediately of any new convictions that occur at any point during the application process, including once they are in receipt of an offer. This requirement also applies once registered at the University. Failure to disclose relevant convictions could lead to withdrawal of an offer. Please see the Terms and Condition of Study.

Applicants should be reassured that any information provided when declaring a relevant criminal conviction, as well as all communication about their criminal conviction will be dealt with in line with the University’s Data Protection Policy. In practice, this means that only those members of the University who need to be aware at application stage and if appropriate, once the student has enrolled, have details of the conviction.


  • Relevant criminal convictions are convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking.  
  • Spent criminal convictions (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and do not need to be disclosed except for some courses that involve work with children or vulnerable adults, such as teaching, health and social work. If you are applying for courses at Loughborough in these areas, we may ask you to agree to have a DBS check carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service as any criminal convictions, cautions (including verbal cautions), reprimands, final warnings and bind-over orders are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If a DBS check identifies that you have had a conviction, caution, reprimand, final warning or bind-over; this information will subsequently be made available to Loughborough University.

Procedure for consideration of Criminal Conviction disclosures for courses that do not require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

The University receives notification of whether an applicant has a prior (relevant) criminal conviction as part of the declaration made in their application. If a relevant criminal conviction is declared, the application will be considered in line with the following procedure outlined below:

  • An email will be sent to the applicant enclosing a Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form for completion and return. This Disclosure Form asks for the main details of the offence and gives the applicant the opportunity to explain the circumstances of the offence. This step will normally be taken while the application is being assessed on academic grounds using selection criteria related to the entry requirements for the chosen programme of study.
  • If an application is deemed unsuccessful on academic grounds, no further action will be taken in relation to the criminal conviction. Any information regarding details of the conviction will be held securely by the relevant Admissions Manager until the end of the admissions cycle when it will subsequently be destroyed.
  • If an invitation to interview or offer of admission is recommended, the information received in the Disclosure Form returned by the applicant will be assessed initially by the relevant Admissions Manager who will take a decision, in consultation with the Academic Registrar if necessary, as to whether any further steps need be taken.
  • If the information received from the applicant is deemed incomplete or requires further clarification, then the Admissions Manager will contact the applicant and/or his/her referee if the reference alludes to the conviction.
  • If it is felt desirable to make enquiries of a third party (e.g. a Probation Officer) or if a third party has been nominated by either the applicant or the referee, the applicant’s permission will be obtained before an approach is made.
  • When all the information necessary to make a decision has been received, the Admissions Manager will reach a decision, in consultation with the Academic Registrar, as to whether the case can proceed, or should be referred on to the Criminal Convictions Panel (CCP)
  • The CCP will be drawn from University staff and will comprise:
    • The Academic Registrar (acting as Chair)
    • the Director of Student Services (or chosen representative)
    • the Security Manager (or chosen representative)
    • the Director of Campus Living (or chosen representative)
    • the relevant Admissions Manager
    • the Dean of School or Head of Academic Department responsible for the applicant’s chosen course or research (or chosen representative)
    • a senior academic from a different department
    • such other member(s) whose expert advice is deemed desirable
  • The applicant and, if appropriate, his/her referee and any third party involved, will be advised that this Panel is to meet.  No information will be passed to any member of the panel without the applicant’s knowledge and explicit permission. The applicant will be advised that, dependent upon the Panel’s decision, the University’s Vice-Chancellor may become involved and would then need to be briefed regarding the conviction.
  • The CCP will make one of the following decisions:
    1. recommend an offer to be made without non-academic conditions.
    2. recommend an offer to be made with the stipulation of non-academic conditions.
    3. recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that an application be made unsuccessful under powers provided by Statute V of the University Charter and Statutes.
    4. to defer a decision pending clarification of any of the information received or to request further details about the offence(s)
  • The information which has been received relating to the offence(s) and notes relating to the CCP’s proceedings taken by the Admissions Manager will be kept secure under the jurisdiction of the Admissions Manager and separately from the application. This will constitute the single official record and all other persons to whom information has been provided will be asked to destroy this for reasons of confidentiality unless they have been asked to undertake any role in relation to the applicant if he/she takes up a place at the University.
  • The outcome of the CCP’s proceedings will be conveyed in writing by the Admissions Manager to the applicant.
  • If the CCP has recommended that it is not appropriate to make an offer, the Vice-Chancellor will be asked to use the powers vested in the office by Statute V and the application will be made unsuccessful.
  • If the CCP decision is to allow the offer to proceed, and in anticipation that the offer will be accepted by the applicant, the CCP will identify 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’s permission will be obtained before any information is passed to this other member of the University and this person will be named.
  • If non-academic conditions have been attached to the offer, the applicant will be required to accept these in writing.
  • Once the applicant has formally registered at the University, responsibility for the case will pass to the Director of Student Services.
  • If an applicant is dissatisfied with the decision made by the CCP then they should refer to the Appeals and Complaints Procedure

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. For further information about this process, please contact Fiona Mclaughlin (