Criminal record checks and SM&CR

The SM&CR aims to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by creating a system that enables firms and regulators to hold people to account. From the 9th December 2019, all firms are required to comply with the Senior Manager & Certification Regime (SM&CR). As part of this, firms need to complete criminal record checks.

 Types of check

For individuals who work in England and Wales, a criminal record check is completed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). In Northern Ireland, it is completed by AccessNI, and in Scotland by Disclosure Scotland.

There are a variety of criminal record checks available to you:

  • A basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
  • A standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
  • An enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check, plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role.
  • An enhanced check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role.

For a majority of individuals who fall under SM&CR, a “standard check” would be recommended, however, if a role puts them in situations where enhanced screening may be appropriate, i.e. if an adviser works with vulnerable people or has access to large volumes of cash, then one of the enhanced checks may be more appropriate.

How to do a check

There are several suppliers available who offer to complete this service, for England and Wales a full list can be found here.

We are able to complete these checks for you as we have partnered with one of the industry’s leading identity management specialists G.B.Global, to provide Senior Manager & Certification Regime (SM&CR) Criminal Record Checks for you and your firm. The costs for completing these checks are £50 plus VAT.

Do I need to check this again?

Under SM&CR once a criminal record check has been completed, it does not need to be done again. A criminal record check, however, is only accurate at the time the check was carried out. As such, dependent on the role, or if the individual is changing roles, you should consider if this check should be revisited at set intervals.

What else should I be doing?

As under SM&CR, you are required to complete criminal record checks, you must also have a documented policy on employing ex-offenders. This policy should be available internally to all staff and you are also required to show this document to any applicant who asks for it.

Under SM&CR you are also required to retain these checks for six years and you must ensure that you have in place a facility to retain this data securely.

There is a lot of work to do in the preparations running up to the 9th December deadline – but we’re here to help! If you have not already attended one of our SM&CR workshops, please check out our events page for our next dates and upcoming webinars on the subject.