Policy 059: Criminal Convictions Policy

 

Purpose and Scope

 

1.1 This Policy outlines the open, transparent and accessible way in which ACM approaches criminal convictions in relation to admission and ongoing attendance on Higher Education Programmes (Degrees) and Further Education Courses (Diplomas).

1.2 This Policy applies to students studying at ACM Guildford and ACM Birmingham on programmes validated by Middlesex University. 

1.3 Students studying at ACM London on courses under a franchise agreement with Falmouth University should refer to Falmouth University’s Criminal Convictions Policy: https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/student-regulations.

 

Policy Statement

 

2.1 This policy will normally be considered in conjunction with ACM’s main Admissions policy and Student Disciplinary policy.

2.2 ACM has a duty of care to its staff and students and therefore needs to be informed of any alleged criminal activity and/or convictions by its students and by any applicant to the ACM.

2.3  Disclosure will not necessarily bar an individual from Studying at  ACM Guildford Ltd (ACM). This will depend on the circumstances and background of the individual’s offence(s). Some types of investigation, charge or offence (e.g. sexual or violent offences) may be particularly strong indicators that an applicant is unsuitable and should not be offered a place; or that a current student may be suspended, excluded or dismissed from ACM.

2.4 When assessing whether an applicant or student is unsuitable, the Admissions or Student Disciplinary Panel will consider the following: 

  • The nature of the offence(s);
  • An assessment of risk to members of the ACM community;
  • How long ago the offence(s) took place;
  • In the event of more than one offence, whether each was a single occurrence or part of a series of similar occurrences;
  • The potential impact on fellow students, staff and others with whom the applicant will have contact;
  • Evidence of the efforts that have been made to elicit extra information from the applicant and from other bodies, such as the Probation Service, and the applicant’s cooperation with this process.

2.5  These factors must be balanced against the rights of the applicant to be treated fairly. Therefore the panel may also look at attaching specific conditions on the offer an applicant may receive such as not residing in student accomodation

 Applicant disclosure of criminal convictions

2.6 Applicants are required to disclose any unspent relevant convictions as part of the application process. Failure to disclose any spent or unspent relevant convictions may result in an offer of study to be rescinded. Any Applicant receiving a conviction/being charged with a relevant offense during the application process must ensure to inform ACM immediately on admissions@acm.ac.uk.

2.7 When declaring if you have a criminal conviction, first consider if you have any relevant conviction and then whether it is unspent.

2.8 A relevant criminal conviction is deemed to include convictions, cautions, admonitions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar involving one or more of those listed below:  

  • Sexual offences, including those listed in the Sexual Offences Act 2003;  
  • Offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006;
  •  Any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm or offences which resulted in actual bodily harm; 
  • The unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking; 
  • Offences involving firearms; 
  • Offences involving arson.

If the above does not apply, any conviction is not deemed relevant and as such does not need to be declared. 

2.9 If an applicant does have a relevant conviction, the criminal conviction can become ‘spent’ after a period of time. The length of time it takes to become spent is defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and depends on the sentence or disposal made by the court following the conviction. Until that period has passed, the conviction is considered ‘unspent’. 

Further convictions can impact when other convictions become spent. Sentences of over four years in prison cannot become spent. Most cautions, reprimands and final warnings become spent immediately, so will not normally be ‘unspent’. 

2.10 Applicants must, upon request, provide full details of any/or all convictions they may have disclosed under point 2.6 above. 

2.11 Applications from candidates with criminal convictions will receive careful consideration by the Admissions Panel consisting of Designated Safeguarding Lead, Admissions Manager and relevant Programme Managers, with advice from Senior Managers where deemed necessary.  

2.12 ACM reserves the right to reject any applicant with a relevant unspent criminal conviction or any applicant who may jeopardise the security, safety or reputation and integrity of ACM or its community, or where there are other relevant professional considerations.

2.13 Matters relating to disclosures of Criminal Convictions are managed by the DSL, under the Disclosure of Convictions Procedure.

Criminal Conviction arising whilst on a course of study

2.14 Where a student that is already on a course of study with ACM, receives a new criminal conviction or is arrested and charged with an offense, the student is expected to undertake the same consideration as an application in terms of paragraphs 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9 above. 

2.15 Where it is deemed that you have a new relevant, unspent criminal conviction or have been charged with a relevant offense, a student is required to send written confirmation of the conviction and details behind the conviction to studentengagement@acm.ac.uk for consideration.  If they are sent to trial, ACM must also be kept informed at all stages either by the student or by their legal representative. If the student is convicted then this must also be reported along with details of any sentence imposed.

2.16 Students declaring with criminal convictions will receive careful consideration by the Risk Panel consisting of Designated Safeguarding Lead, Student Engagement Manager and relevant Programme Managers, with advice from Senior Managers where deemed necessary.  

2.17 Conduct which may constitute a criminal offence may also amount to misconduct under ACM’s Student integrity Policy. Therefore, in addition to any criminal process, the student may be subject to disciplinary action by ACM.

2.18 ACM reserves the right to remove any current student with a relevant unspent criminal conviction who may jeopardise the security, safety or reputation and integrity of ACM or its community, or where there are other relevant professional considerations.

2.19 Matters relating to disclosures of Criminal Convictions are managed by the DSL, under the Disclosure of Convictions Procedure. The Admissions or Engagement Manager is responsible for communicating the outcome of any risk assessment and the decision to offer or reject an application with the individual student.

Non Disclosure of Criminal Offenses

2.20 If at any time during a student’s enrolment on a course of study at ACM it is made known that the student has a previously unspent, relevant criminal conviction that they failed to disclose at the point of application or notify ACM of in a timely manner, then they will be subject to ACM’s Student Integrity Policy.

2.21 For the avoidance of doubt, it is deemed a disciplinary offence not to have disclosed any unspent, relevant conviction(s) at the point of application, regardless of whether the conviction is subsequently spent at the time of actual disclosure or when such information is made known to the ACM.

Complaints relating to criminal conviction decision

2.22 Students may utilise ACM’s Complaint and Grievances Policy and Procedure should the student feel removal from course of study unjustified. 

2.23 Through utilising the Complaints and Grievances Procedure, applicants to ACM may request a review of ACM’s admission and offer decision, but may not appeal a decision. This is because ACM’s Appeal Policy is used alongside a request to review an academic decision.

 

Responsible Parties

 

3.1 The policy lead is responsible for the cyclical monitoring and review of the policy in liaison with the Risk Committee. The Criminal Conviction Policy lead is: 

  • Admissions Manager

3.2 The policy was last updated in October 2019

3.3 Decisions and appropriate actions in support of the implementation of the Policy will be authorised by the following designated staff: 

  • Admissions Manager
  • Head of Student Engagement
  • Head of Student Services
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Registrar
  • Head of Education
  • Head of Higher Education or Further Education
  • Education Executive

 

Reference Points

Internal:

 

  • Admissions Guidance
  • Student Integrity
  • Student Grievance Policy
  • Data Access and Protection Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Disclosure of Convictions Procedures
  • Fitness to Study Policy

 

External: 

 

  • Middlesex University Regulations, B: General Regulations for Admissions
  • Falmouth University Regulations, Admissions Policy and Criminal Convictions Policy
  • UALab Admissions Policy 
  • QAA Quality Code Chapter B2: Recruitment, Selection and Admission to Higher Education
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • The United Kingdom Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2006 
  • Protection of Freedom Act 2012

Download this policy here: POL_059_Criminal Convictions policy

Posted in: Falmouth Policies, Middlesex Policies, UOTA Policies