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Russian Edinburgh is an Equal Opportunities organisation and as such undertakes to treat all applicants for paid or voluntary positions within the organisation fairly and not to discriminate unfairly on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

According to its Constitution Russian Edinburgh staff and volunteers will have regular and ongoing contact with young people and children. For this reason it will be necessary to carry out criminal record checks (Disclosures) as part of the recruitment process for some posts within the organisation. Russian Edinburgh complies fully with the Code of Practice, issued by Scottish Ministers, in connection with the use of information provided to registered persons and other recipients of information by Disclosure Scotland under Part V of the Police Act 1997 for the purposes of assessing applicants’ suitability for positions of trust.

The aim of this policy is to ensure that having a criminal record will not necessarily debar any individual from working with Russian Edinburgh, and that due consideration is given to the nature of the position together with the circumstances and background of any offences. This document should be seen as part of a policy framework designed to ensure safe and fair recruitment and selection procedures throughout the organisation. That includes:

• Recruitment & Selection Policy

• Equal Opportunities Policy

• Protection of children and young people policy


1) We are committed to equality of opportunity and our policy is to take every reasonable step to ensure that no one connected to Russian Edinburgh receives less favourable treatment than others, on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, religion, disability, sex, marital status, responsibility for dependants, or unrelated criminal record (see Equal Opportunities Policy).

2) Russian Edinburgh promotes equality of opportunity for and welcomes applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. The selection of candidates for interview will be based on skills, qualifications and experience.

3) All applicants will be asked to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage of the application process. In line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, Russian Edinburgh will only ask about convictions, which are defined as ‘unspent’ in terms of that Act, unless the nature of the position is such that we are entitled to ask questions about an individual’s entire criminal record. We will ask that this information be sent in a sealed envelope with the application form and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process. Information about an applicant’s criminal record will only be looked at for those who have been short-listed and invited for interview. Information about applicants who have not been invited for interview will be destroyed unseen.

4) We will request a Standard or Enhanced Disclosure only where this is considered proportionate and relevant to the particular position. This will be based on a thorough risk assessment of that position. Where a Disclosure is deemed necessary for a post all job adverts, application forms and other relevant literature will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.

5) At interview, or under separate discussion, we undertake to ensure an open and measured discussion on the subject of any offences or other matters that might be considered relevant for the position concerned. At interview or when receiving a disclosure which shows a conviction, we will take into consideration:

    • Whether the conviction is relevant to the position being offered;
    • The seriousness of the offence revealed;
    • The length of time since the offence took place;
    • Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour;
    • Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since offending took place.

6) Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment. We will, however, undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the subject of that Disclosure before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.

7) Russian Edinburgh will ensure that all staff and volunteers involved in the recruitment process are aware of this policy and have received relevant training and support on the recruitment of ex-offenders. We will also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to employment of ex-offenders (e.g. Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974).

8) We undertake to make a copy of this policy available on request to any applicant for a post with Russian Edinburgh.