Many people fail the vetting process because they withhold information.
Knowingly providing false information, deliberately misleading information or concealing information could be regarded as evidence of unreliability and/or dishonesty. Your clearance could be removed later if the facts are subsequently discovered.
Anyone who works for Kent Police or who work in associated partnerships are vetted. Vetting is important to assess your integrity. It helps to reassure the public that appropriate checks are conducted on individuals in positions of trust. Vetting also identifies areas of vulnerability which could damage public confidence in the force or the wider police service.
The level of vetting is determined by the level of access required to police premises, sensitive information and computer systems.
Information provided during the vetting process will be processed in strict confidence and will only be used for vetting purposes and retained securely within the Central Vetting Unit.
Do not take advice from serving police officers, solicitors or friends who have been through the vetting process. They may not fully understand police vetting and each person presents a different set of circumstances.
You will not qualify for vetting clearance if you:
have any county court judgments (CCJs) outstanding
have been registered bankrupt and have not discharged your bankruptcy. You will not be considered until three years after the discharge of the debt. Debt Relief Orders (DRO) are treated in the same way as bankruptcy
refuse to discuss a relevant matter or engage with the vetting process
If you have applied for a police officer role (including special constable) or as a member of support staff and you are in the evidential chain, your application will be rejected where:
offences were committed as an adult or juvenile which resulted in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offender's institution or community home) or
you are a registered sex offender or are subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction
police officers and special constables are unable to claim the protection of the Rehabilitation of offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975
police staff and non-police personnel applicants can claim partial protections under the Rehabilitation of offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975,in respect of protected cautions and convictions only. They are not considered as part of the vetting process if they are not relevant
What to include on your vetting form
parents (full, step, adoptive and parents’ partner). If your parent(s) have passed away, please advise us of the date they passed away
children (full, step, adopted, fostered, partner’s children) over the age of ten years
siblings (full, step, adopted, fostered, half)
spouse/partner (includes boyfriend, girlfriend whether living together or not)
house mates/lodgers (including shared accommodation with communal areas)
criminal associates (associations who you know are, or think may be, involved in criminal activities, or has a conviction or caution)
Please ensure you include:
full names (including middle-names)
maiden and previous names used including previous married names and ‘known by’ names used after the age of ten (for example through adoption)
date of birth
place of birth
If you are unable to provide any of these details, you must provide us with as much information as you can and a full explanation as to why this information cannot be provided.
Your details are checked against
criminal, intelligence and national security records
other public records such as the electoral role
in some cases, credit reference agencies
we also check content on publicly available social media sites for the purposes of service reputational reassurance and compatibility with the Code of Ethics
You must also:
ensure all County Court Judgements (CCJs) are satisfied
have up-to-date Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) documents demonstrating you are not defaulting on any payment plans in place
if you are applying for a police officer or special constable role you must declare all police contact, arrest history and reprimands, warnings, cautions and convictions (this list is not exhaustive). Failure to declare police contact is highly likely to lead to a vetting refusal
Please ensure you check your emails and your ‘junk/spam’ folder as often an applicant’s lack of response to a communication from us is because the email has been diverted to another email folder.
Criminal convictions and cautions
Each case is considered on its own merits in relation to the role being undertaken and the information you will have access to.
If you have been the subject of a police investigation or have received a conviction, caution or other finding of guilt, (such as a fixed penalty notice for disorderly conduct), it is not an automatic bar to securing vetting, but failing to disclose facts such as these at the earliest opportunity leads us to have concerns about your honesty and integrity and that could mean you will fail the vetting process.
If you’ve ever been accused of anything or subjected to a formal stop check – regardless of the outcome or what police officers said at the time – please share the details with us. This includes:
circumstances where you have been asked questions by a police officer, police staff investigator, police community support office (PCSO) or special constable who are investigating an allegation. Their questioning may or may not have led to you being arrested or led to any formal action being taken
if you have been spoken to about an incident, it’s likely that the police have recorded that encounter. We want you to tell us about that incident (no matter how far in your past)
All information you share with the Vetting Unit is treated in strict confidence; it is only used for vetting purposes and no one outside of police vetting has access to it.
We ask you to provide details of any of your family members, friends or people you associate with in respect of them being:
a known offender
a person currently or previously engaged in criminal activities
a person who has previously or does associate regularly with such persons
a person who has ever been a member of, had any contact with, or supported any domestic extremism groups e.g. Single Issue groups or groups holding extreme political views that may contradict the duty to promote race equality
This is so that we can assess if their past behaviour could lead to concerns about your vulnerability to corruption or coercion. There are things you can do to reassure us that you are unlikely to be vulnerable to corruption or coercion such as
you may not live at the same address (or are in the process of moving out)
you may see them infrequently or have no contact
It is not an automatic refusal if they have a criminal record or are currently under investigation, but will form part of the vetting decision.
If you’re honest and open with the information, it may be that we can allow your vetting to be cleared with reasonable and proportionate conditions – designed to protect you.
Financial checks are used to assess whether you have been, are currently, or are likely to be in financial difficulty, or show signs of financial irresponsibility to the extent that you could become vulnerable to financial inducement.
Most people have debt from mortgages, car loans and credit cards. We will not be making an assessment based upon the size of the debt you have but, your ability to manage that debt. There is no need to be concerned about commitments that are in line with your income, providing you meet these commitments. Debts only become a problem where they are substantial and individuals fail to take remedial action or where they are caused by compulsive behaviour, such as gambling.
We use a credit reference agency to assess how you manage your finances. It is not unusual for us to discover that people have County Court Judgements (CCJ) in their name because the person who is owed the money has lost contact with the debtor. It may be beneficial to obtain a credit reference check so that you can assess your own finances before completing your vetting form.
If we identify differences between your declaration on the vetting form and the information provided by the credit check, or where there is a need to clarify an issue, you will be contacted in an attempt to resolve the matter.
The vetting process will look into:
past breach of security or vetting policy or procedures
significant or repeated breaches of discipline
providing false or deliberately misleading information, or leaving out significant information from the vetting questionnaires
unauthorised association with people with previous convictions or reasonably suspected of being involved in crime
other inappropriate behaviour (including social media activity) which impinges on a person’s suitability to serve in the role
Kent Police has a legal obligation under the Equalities Act 2010 and the Gender Recognition Act 2004 regarding disclosure of protected information. We acknowledge the government guidelines and requirements to secure 'protected information' whether it is communicated verbally, materially or held electronically as required under UK law. Any disclosed information is managed by these protocols and is not disclosable to any other parties without written permission from the owner of the protected information.
Where you are providing details about another individual (such as partner, family members etc.) and this discloses their (transsexual/transgender) gender history the same protections are given. This information will remain confidential, and the disclosure of this information will be restricted to those police staff involved in the vetting process who will be required to honour that confidentiality under Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act (2004).
If any relevant information is divulged which requires confirmation or clarification, it may be necessary to disclose information to other organisations or agencies not part of the police service. These organisations are also bound by their equality duty and subject to the same laws of confidentiality.
If you have any questions, please complete the vetting enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you.