Criminal records guide

Guidance for recruiters on removing the barriers for candidates with criminal convictions




Ban the Box header imageOur criminal records guide is designed to support and advise recruiters on best practice for candidates with a criminal conviction.

Removing the barriers faced by people with past convictions will not only broaden the talent pool for recruiters and employers, but it will also provide those candidates with a fair chance at finding employment.

The REC is proud to support Ban the Box, a campaign lead by Business in the Community, calling on UK employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms that asks about criminal convictions.

In this guide you'll be able to find the following tools, advice and support:

Inclusive recruitment: why does this matter to recruiters?

  • Jobs transform lives

    Recruiters connect people with opportunities and make businesses more successful by helping them find the people they need to build a successful organisation . . .

    Read more

  • Access to a wider talent pool

    Expand your candidate pool to include more people from under-represented groups and meet client demand . . .

    Read more

  • Inclusive recruitment

    A succession of government reviews have highlighted the challenge faced by people with criminal records and the role of recruiters and employers in tackling this . . .

    Read more

"Many custodial sentences are served by good, honest and skilled people who have made a foolish mistake. Their employment potential is vast."


Ex-offender employment experts

Having a conversation with a candidate about criminal records


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Checklist for recruiters





Know your legal obligations and policy as a recruiter 

A comprehensive set of guidelines on how to be an inclusive recruiter, giving you an understanding of your legal obligations, how to review the policies you have in place, and how to have a conversation about this subject with both candidates and clients.


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Case studies 


Carbon60 provides specialist recruitment, outsourcing, managed and fixed price recruitment solutions within the aviation, construction, defence, engineering and technology sectors.

Carbon60 quote

“In our continued ambition to be the most trusted provider, partner and developer of people in technical recruitment, we continually work to be a responsible business that meets the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. We are therefore committed to Ban the Box and the fair treatment of everyone, regardless of offending background. We also recognise the contribution the employment of ex-offenders can make to tackle the UK’s skills shortages in our markets.” 

— Alex Downard, Operations Director, Carbon 60 



Prestige covers a wide range of sectors, from industrial and manufacturing, to public sector, healthcare and business support.

Prestige quote 

"We are delighted to have introduced the Ban the Box initiative across our business. Removing the barrier of a tick box when applying for a role can make all the difference to a person’s future. As an organisation we recognise the valuable contribution people with convictions can bring to our society and actively encourage people who want to move on from their past mistakes to apply for relevant vacancies with us."

— Vicky Black, Prestige Recruitment 


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Ban the box and BITC logos


Business in the Community 

Business in the Community — The Prince's Responsible Business Network is a business-led membership organisation made up of progressive businesses of all sizes who understand that the prosperity of business and society are mutually dependent.  

Ban the Box is Business in the Community's campaign calling on UK employers to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms that asks about criminal convictions.


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Further information 

The following organisations can provide further information, advice and support on recruiting ex-offenders

Click on a logo for more information

Nacro logoOffployUnlock logosee potential BIC BAN logo rec logo     

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