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Council achieves ‘Recruit with Conviction’ Ambassador status

The Council is committed to providing a fair and inclusive workplace. As part of this pledge, we are pleased to announce that we have recently received the Recruit with Conviction Ambassador status.

Working in collaboration with the organisation, ‘Recruit with Conviction’, North Ayrshire Council’s new Ambassador status recognises efforts to offer safe and sustainable employment for individuals with current/historical convictions, ensuring that our internal policies and practices are both current and proportionate.

Over the past year, HR have carried out a review of the relevant recruitment policies and processes involved to meet the conditions of the status.

HR project lead, Tracey Bulloch said: “The Ambassador status is a great example of how the Council is focused on supporting a fair and equal workplace culture.

“During the review of our processes and latest Scottish Government research, we were surprised to learn that approximately 20% of adults in Scotland have one or more previous convictions. Significantly, that breaks down to 1 in 3 men and 1 in 10 women.

“The aim of the Council’s recruitment process is to find the best possible person for the job.

“So, by ensuring we are transparent and objective and that our recruitment policy and processes are in-line with current legislation, we can not only achieve the Ambassador status, we can also prevent any unnecessary exclusion of talented individuals seeking employment with us.”

The Council now meets the requirements for Ambassador status which include:

  • All relevant recruitment policies and procedures ensure a fair recruitment process for individuals with criminal convictions;
  • Convictions will only be considered after the interview stage in the recruitment process and where a candidate has reached the ‘preferred candidate stage;
  • Convictions will not be considered during the shortlisting stage of recruitment or prior to deciding on the preferred candidate.
  • Individuals at the preferred candidate stage are given the opportunity to explain any convictions that remain disclosable;
  • Recruiting managers are supported to have appropriate discussions with the preferred candidate to help inform decision making.

What are the next steps?

Factors such as the nature, seriousness, relevance to the role and the amount of time since the offence will all be fairly reviewed as part of the process. This information is considered at the ‘preferred candidate’ stage only.

Head of Service, People and ICT, Fiona Walker, shares: “We understand that barriers to employment exist to individuals with a previous conviction. The Council wants to break down barriers where we can.

“We believe that everyone applying for a job with North Ayrshire Council should have a fair chance to succeed, and sometimes this can be a second chance.

“We are proud to have achieved the Recruit With Conviction Ambassador status as it reinforces the Council’s pledge to continue to manage disclosures of criminal convictions in a fair and proportionate way and in the context of the most up-to-date legislation. This provides applicants with a compassionate and inclusive platform to show us what they can do and demonstrate their aptitude for the role.”

Complete the new iLearn module

A new e-learning course has been developed on iLearn.

Log in to iLearn here and select the ‘Find Learning’ link at the top of the screen then search for ‘Recruit with Conviction ambassadors’ to access the training.

This e-learning course is specifically aimed at Heads of Service and Recruiting Managers across the Council to ensure a fair and non-discriminatory approach to decision making when candidates have disclosed that they have a criminal record.

If you have any questions or need further info, email:

To learn more about work taking place throughout North Ayrshire to reduce reoffending and improve outcomes for people involved in the justice system please visit

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