The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was conceived under Part 5 of the Police Act of 1997, largely in response to public concern about the safety of children and vulnerable adults.
If the job you are advertising involves working with children or vulnerable people you are required by law to obtain a CRB disclosure, or ‘check’ for each candidate at the point of application.
The disclosure will show all convictions on a person’s police record, including both those considered current and ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. If the candidate has convictions against children or vulnerable people then they will not be able to be employed for work in these areas; any other convictions are down to your discretion. For example: if an otherwise suitable candidate committed a criminal damage offence in their youth and has been open about the offence on the application, then a good explanation could lay to rest any reservations you may have about progressing the application further in the process.
You can obtain disclosures either from the CRB itself or from an umbrella body who will process the check on your behalf.
More on CRB Checks