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Spent Conviction

An old conviction that job seekers do not have to tell most employers about.

When applying for most jobs, it is not necessary to tell an employer about spent convictions or cautions.

There are certain jobs, for example working with children and vulnerable adults, that employers are entitled to ask for a standard or enhanced criminal record check and to know about all convictions, cautions and relevant allegations. In some circumstances cautions and a first conviction can be filtered.

See how long a caution or conviction takes to become spent:

Custodial (prison) sentences Rehabilitation period if aged under 18 (starts from end of sentence)
Over 4 years Never spent
30 months – 4 years 3.5 years
6 – 30 months 2 years
6 months or less 18 months
Detention and Training Orders (DTOs ) for 12-14 year olds 18 months – 2 years
Youth Rehabilitation Order (Community Order) 6 months


Other sentences and disposals Rehabilitation period if aged under 18 (applies from date of conviction)
Referral Order Length of order
Fine 6 months
Compensation Order Once paid in full
Conditional Discharge Length of the order
Absolute Discharge None
Youth conditional caution 3 months
Youth caution (warnings, reprimands) None



Pujit is 17 and has received a youth caution for shop lifting and a referral order for driving offences. The referral order was for 3 months and he has completed it. He applies for a job at a supermarket. He will not have to tell his employer about his youth caution or driving offences because they are considered spent.