Information for clients

Disclosing your Conviction


  • When applying for employment, it’s best to be honest about any convictions you may have – it will protect you against dismissal later on should your background become known. It also develops trust and understanding for yourself and the employer, and relieves any stress associated with the fear of being found out later
  • If asked on an application form about criminal convictions, a good strategy may be to leave that question blank (never lie), and instead discuss it openly at interview stage
  • Alternatively, you could say yes on the application form and enclose a written explanation in a sealed envelope based on the points below
  • Remember, depending on your offence history and job you are applying for, (see e.g. Sex Offenders Act 2001), if you are not asked about your conviction, you do not have to disclose (tell anyone)
  • Remember too that your minor conviction/s may be considered ‘spent’ (Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions & Certain Disclosures) Act 2016.
  • The law has changed around disclosure of convictions. Ireland now has Spent Conviction legislation – see Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions & Certain Disclosures) Act 2016. See also the links below.   So, it’s possible that you may have a ‘spent’ conviction’ which you no longer have to disclose.  (Check your Criminal Record with the National Vetting Bureau at )
  • Note too, depending on the job, that the employer may ask you to undergo Garda Vetting. This will most likely be mentioned in the job advertisement. Knowing this upfront is important as there are a number of jobs that are disallowed for people with certain offences.  See the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 at: & link below
  • Know also that although you do not typically have to disclose spent convictions, it is the case that full disclosure is always required in certain circumstances. See information on exclusions and exceptions that apply to very particular roles under the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions & Certain Disclosures) Act 2106 on:   See also link below for a listing of those specified roles
  • If you have an unspent conviction or a conviction that must be disclosed under law and are asked about it, be honest, but keep it short
  • You are not obliged to go into detail about the offence
  • Mention only the type of offence, the date of the offence and the sentence given

Further Information about Spent Convictions & Specified Roles

  • Try to highlight circumstances that led to the offence which no longer apply, for example youth, unusual situation etc. Take responsibility for your past actions though.
  • Emphasise any achievements since your conviction. Explain how far you have come since then, and how motivated you are to put your offending past behind you.
  • Give reasons why the employer should discount the conviction. State that it’s not a work-related offence, if this is accurate.  Ask to be considered on merit and ability and not on your past behaviour.
  • Be prepared for the difficult question
  • Take deep calming breaths before meeting the employer
  • Focus on your goal
  • Sound positive
  • Don’t criticise the criminal justice system
  • Accept responsibility for your actions. Show your regret
  • Don’t dwell on your offending past. You do not have to provide every detail, just what’s relevant to a potential employer – as mentioned above
  • It might be a good idea to imagine yourself in an employer’s position, and ask yourself honestly what he or she needs from an employee. If you believe you can meet those needs, say so, positively
  • Remember your strengths
  • Smile

If you have any questions, please contact our head office on 01 866 2706.

IASIO has successfully assisted over 31,000 people to gain education, training, employment and resettlement support since each of the Services began.

IASIO has been successfully assisting people to gain education, training and resettlement supports since 2000.

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