On 28 October 2023, the 1974 legislation was amended by the Crime Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 and accompanying Regulations.

In the past, some offenders were required to disclose their sentences for the rest of their lives. Now, custodial sentences of 4 years or less and of more than 4 years for some less serious crimes, will be spent “after a period of rehabilitation” of up to 7 years after the sentence has been served, provided that no further offence is committed in that period.


Previous Rehabilitation Period

New Rehabilitation Period

Community Order

1 year beginning with the last day on which the order had effect

Now it is the last day on which the order had effect

Custody of 6 months or less 

2 years


Custody up to 1 year


1 year

Custody of 6  months up to 30 months

4 years


Custody of more than 1 year up to 4 years


4 years

Custody of more than 30 months up to 4 years

7 years


Custodial sentences of more than four years

Never spent

7 years

Convictions for serious sexual, violent or terrorist offences

Never spent

Never spent

Stricter disclosure rules continue to apply to jobs that involve working with vulnerable people.

The time frames that I have detailed are in relation to offenders who are over the age of 18. Slightly lower periods apply if the offender was under 18 at the time of conviction.

The new time periods are extended in the event of re-offending during the declaration period. A new conviction attracts its own disclosure period and the previous conviction and the new one need to be declared until the end of the original conviction’s active period or if later, the end of the new disclosure period applied to the more recent conviction.

Refreshing Law