Bedford Borough Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children, young people and vulnerable adults in its care. 

To ensure this is achieved, we expect all employees to share this commitment, and staff working with these vulnerable groups will be recruited and selected in line with best practice.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

Where appropriate, you will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously CRB check). If the post you are applying for carries this requirement it will be clear at the application stage.

An enhanced DBS check must be undertaken for all posts where candidates will be working directly with children and young people (under 18) or vulnerable adults.

The disclosure must be satisfactory before we can confirm any offer of employment. On receipt of disclosure from the DBS, a risk assessment will be undertaken to assess suitability for the role and to evaluate the implications of any offences and/or convictions. 

The Recruiting Manager will consider the specific disclosure in relation to the post applied for, taking into account:

  • the type of offence and sentence given
  • the position applied for
  • when the offence(s) occurred
  • any mitigating circumstances
  • your attitude
  • whether you declared the offence(s)/conviction(s) on the ‘Declaration of Criminal Records’ form.

Retaining disclosure information

Disclosure information will be retained for a maximum of six months in lockable and non-portable storage cabinets and access is restricted to members of the HR Safeguarding Team. After this time, the information will be confidentially shredded by the HR Safeguarding Team.  

Photocopying/scanning of disclosure information or copying/representing the contents in any way is strictly prohibited.

Bedford Borough Council has adopted and abides by the Disclosure and Barring Service Code of Practice

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

The Council recruits based on merit and ability to perform the duties of the role. Having a criminal record will not automatically exclude you from gaining employment.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that, once a conviction is ‘spent’, it does not have to be revealed in most circumstances. 

However, you must declare ‘spent’ convictions when applying for posts working directly with children and young people, or vulnerable adults.

Completing a Declaration of Criminal Record form

If you are selected for interview you will be asked to complete a Declaration of Criminal Records form. Any details declared on the form may be discussed at interview.

  • Applicants for positions which are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act will be asked to declare any unspent convictions, spent convictions, pending charges/current Police investigations, bind overs, warnings/cautions or reprimands.
  • Applicants for positions which are not exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act will be asked to provide details of all unspent convictions.

For more information about the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 please visit:

The Warner Report 1992

As recommended by the Warner Report 1992, extra safeguards have been built in to the recruitment and selection procedure for posts with regular contact with children/vulnerable adults.

Certain positions which involve working with these vulnerable groups will require candidates selected for interview to pass a Warner Interview. This will normally take place prior to the formal interview, and questions will be asked to determine an applicant’s suitability to work with the appropriate client group, their experience of working with vulnerable groups in the past, and their motivation to work with the appropriate vulnerable group.

Extra safeguards are also put in place when seeking references. We reserve the right to apply to a candidate’s last employer for a reference if they have not been specifically named.

All referees are asked to comment on the suitability of the candidate to work with vulnerable groups. No applicant will be appointed to work with vulnerable groups if there is any doubt at all about their suitability to do so.