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Informing us of cautions and convictions

Declaring police charges, cautions and convictions 

If you are on the register

If you are on the register when you receive the charge, caution or conviction, you must disclose it to us as soon as you can after receiving it. This is in keeping with the Code (paragraph 23.2).

Please email newreferrals@nmc-uk.org with your full name, Pin and details of the charge, caution or conviction. Our Fitness to Practise department will then inform you of the next steps.

If your registration has lapsed when you receive the charge, caution or conviction

If you are not currently on the register because your registration has lapsed, you are required to declare any charges, cautions or convictions on your application form for readmission.

If you are a student

You must declare any pending charges, police cautions or convictions when you apply to study to be a nurse or midwife.

If you are charged with a criminal offence or receive a caution or conviction while you are studying, you must tell your university. The university will then investigate the charge, caution or conviction to decide if it calls into question whether you are of sufficiently good character to remain on the course.

If you remain on the course, you must declare the caution or conviction or any pending charges to us when applying to join the register. The Registrar will decide whether you are capable of safe and effective practice, taking into account the charge, caution or conviction. The Registrar may make a different decision to your university.

For help, please see information for your application.

Which charges, convictions and cautions should be disclosed?

You must disclose all convictions and cautions whether or not they are spent, unless they are protected. Protected cautions and convictions are minor offences that will not be disclosed on a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Listed offences are never protected and must always be declared to us. See the full list from the DBS.

See details on declaring offences where drugs or alcohol is a factor.

For information on how we deal with decisions on cautions and convictions, see Registrar's Advisory Group and the accompanying decision-making document on character and health:

Character and health decision-making guidance

Spent cautions and convictions

You must disclose all convictions and cautions whether or not they are regarded as 'spent' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, subject to the information below.

This is because registered nurses undertake work that is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and is an excepted area of work according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1975. This means that the provisions in the Act and the Order for when convictions are spent do not apply.

Protected cautions and convictions

You do not have to disclose any cautions or convictions that are 'protected' cautions or convictions according to section 2A of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

A caution or conviction for a listed offence will never be protected. Listed offences are those contained in the DBS list of offences that will never be filtered from a DBS check. This list contains offences that are sexual and violent offences, and offences that affect the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. The offences on the list are contained in section 2A(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. For more details, read this guidance from the DBS. If you have a conviction or a caution for an offence contained in these lists then it will never be protected and must always be declared to us, unless you have previously done so.

A caution for a non-listed offence is protected if six years have passed since it was accepted. If the offender was under 18 when it was accepted, it is regarded as protected if two years have passed since it was accepted.

A conviction for a non-listed offence is regarded as protected if 11 years have passed since conviction. If the offender was under 18 when convicted, the conviction is regarded as protected if five and a half years have passed since conviction.

However, a conviction will never be regarded as protected if it resulted in a prison sentence. If you have received a custodial sentence for an offence, this offence must always be declared to the NMC, unless you have previously done so.

More information

Information that will help with your application if you have a pending charge, caution or conviction

Declaring a charge, caution or conviction involving alcohol or drugs

Character and health decision-making guidance