Criminal Conviction Certificate
An article to explain
What is Criminal Conviction Certificate and what it means?
A member’s Basic Disclosure (termed as a “Criminal Conviction Certificate” in Part V of The Police Act 1997) is available only after proof of identity has been submitted to the appropriate criminal records authority. The certificate states that the member has no unspent convictions held in central police records (unspent according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974).
This means that in addition to a number of other checks carried out by The Association, the member’s probity and standing is verified, giving potential clients an assurance that the member is a fit and proper person to receive instructions.
No other organisation can give such an assurance for UK based investigators in the private sector, or carries out such exhaustive vetting procedures on its members.
Why members of The Association obtain Basic Disclosure
The Association has for some 60 years lobbied for regulation of investigation in the private sector.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (The Act) created the Security Industry Authority (SIA), whose mission is to regulate the private security industry effectively; to reduce criminality, raise standards and recognise quality. The Act included investigators in the private sector but its implementation has been delayed, or even possibly abandoned.
For the time being at least, public protection is dependent on the sector’s self-regulation and this is achieved only by The Association sharing the same mission as the SIA, to which end a member’s production of Basic Disclosure is part.
The bigger picture
It is only a matter of time before the ‘Wider Policing Family’ actually becomes a reality. Already The Association is experiencing wider recognition and cooperation from government departments and public law enforcement agencies. Having confidence in investigators’ probity and integrity is crucial to furthering this working relationship.
The Association’s objective is to enhance the status and influence of investigators in the private sector in general and The Association in particular, in order that The Association can continue its role as The Representative Organisation of choice for all honest investigators and the representative organisation that all outside bodies, including government, choose to turn to for consultation; to be the voice of the industry, able to affect government policy, legislation and the public debate. This The Association seeks to achieve by its verification and statement of members’ probity of which Basic Disclosure is but a part.
New Association policy from January 2010
The Association of British Investigators, in its continuing pursuit ensuring its members achieve the highest available standards and are seen as such by those who would seek to use their services, has taken the decisive step of requiring that all active UK members in the private sector hold a current (not older than 3 years) Criminal Conviction Certificate clear of criminal activity outside a tolerable level.