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Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
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Home > Apply > European Mutual Recognition (EMR) > Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply to an application for admission to the HCPC Register.


This means that you must declare to us any convictions or police cautions that you have received, even if they are ‘spent’ under that Act, other than a protected caution or protected conviction. Failure to do so may result in a fitness to practice investigation.

When a conviction or caution becomes protected differs across the four UK countries. This means that, legally, the disclosure requirements for applicants living and working in England and Wales are different to those for applicants living and working in Scotland and Northern Ireland. To make sure all registrants are treated the same, the Council has agreed a policy that the requirements in England and Wales, which provide the highest degree of protection and rehabilitation, should apply to all UK applicants.

The requirements in England and Wales are that:

  • A caution is protected from disclosure six years after it was accepted. If the offender was under 18 when the caution was accepted then that period is reduced to two years.
  • A conviction is protected from disclosure after 11 years. If the offender was under 18 when convicted then that period is reduced to five and a half years. In either case a conviction will only be protected if the offender received a noncustodial sentence and has no other convictions.

A caution or conviction will NOT be protected if it is for a ‘listed offence’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Listed offences include serious violent and sexual offences and offences which are of specific relevance to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. A caution or conviction for a listed offence must always be disclosed to the HCPC.

Further guidance on listed Offences may be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.



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