The SIA is required by law to check that those applying for an SIA licence are 'fit and proper' to work in the industry. One of the checks the SIA undertakes is to review criminal records. This information sets out how the SIA will receive data about an applicant's criminal record.
By completing and submitting an SIA application an applicant agrees to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or AccessNI (for Northern Ireland) sharing the data contained in a criminality certificate with the SIA for the purposes of taking a licensing decision.
In order to receive this information the SIA sends completed applications to the DBS / AccessNI. The DBS / AccessNI will issue a certificate to the applicant disclosing information about any relevant convictions or cautions the applicant may have received. The DBS / AccessNI also share the data contained in an applicant's criminality certificate with the SIA in accordance with the consent given on application.
If, on receiving a DBS / AccessNI certificate, an applicant believes the certificate is not accurate, they should inform the DBS / AccessNI and the SIA. On being informed that the applicant considers that the certificate is not accurate a final decision on a licensing application will not be made until the SIA receive confirmation from DBS / AccessNI, having completed its disputes process, that the data contained in the certificate is correct or that it does contain inaccurate information. The SIA will not take the inaccurate information into account when taking a licensing decision.
Once a licensing decision has been taken the SIA will hold the data received from the DBS / AccessNI securely for a period of six months, following which it will be destroyed.
Applicants are able to withdraw their consent for the SIA to receive criminality data directly from the DBS / AccessNI at any time. However it should be noted that the application cannot proceed until the SIA receives the conviction information.