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Explanatory notes

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) confers on people whose personal or other details are stored either electronically or manually (data subjects) certain rights in respect of how that data is processed by the people who store it (data controllers).

Data must be processed fairly. Disclosing or transferring information will not be fair unless the data controller has provided fair processing information to the data subject. Fair processing information includes the identity of the data controller, the purpose for which the data will be processed and any other information necessary for it to be processed fairly.

Data controllers are also required by the Act to satisfy fair processing conditions, including obtaining consent from the data subject and showing a legitimate interest. A data controller must comply with additional conditions when processing sensitive personal data, including obtaining data subjects' explicit consent.

The processing of personal data must be notified to the Information Commissioner who is in charge of enforcement of the Act.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 require businesses selling goods or services to consumers by telephone, fax, mail order or via the internet to provide customers with certain information before the contract is entered into, followed by written confirmation of the contract.

Consumers have the right to cancel a contract for services within 14 days of the date the contract is concluded and the supplier must reimburse the consumer for any money paid within 14 days of receiving notice of cancellation.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is an alternative to bankruptcy. It is a mechanism that allows a debtor to settle outstanding unsecured debts by paying a proportion of the amount owed to his creditors or to come to an arrangement with creditors for the payment of his debts.

Unspent Convictions - Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

When an individual is convicted of a criminal offence a rehabilitation period is applied which relates to the sentence they are given. In general, after the relevant rehabilitation period has expired, that individual is treated as a rehabilitated person and their conviction is treated as spent.

A person who becomes a rehabilitated person, in respect of a conviction, is treated as if they have not committed or been charged with or prosecuted for or convicted of or sentenced for the offence, which was the subject of that conviction.  They are not required to disclose this conviction to the CII.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 contains a list of sentences, which are excluded from rehabilitation. These are generally more serious offences. 

CII does not require you to declare convictions which relate to motoring offences for which you have received a fixed sum penalty, such as for illegal parking, speeding (other than where a period of disqualification has been imposed). More serious motoring offences which have attracted a fine (other than a fixed sum penalty), disqualification, imprisonment or other sentence must be declared, subject to their being spent.

A conviction is unspent either before the end of the relevant rehabilitation period or where a sentence excluded from rehabilitation has been imposed.




Rehabilitation period

See Note 1

Prison for more than four years



Prison for more than two and a half years but less than four years

7 years after end of sentence


Prison for more than six months but less than two and a half years

4 years after end of sentence


Prison (or detention in YOI or youth custody) for six months or less

2 years after end of sentence or 1½ years if under 18 at time of conviction


Motoring convictions.

5 years



1 year from date of conviction


Probation order or community order

1 year from last day on which order has effect


Conditional discharge, binding over, care order, supervision order, reception order

Period of the order



Period of disqualification


Absolute discharge

None - spent immediately


Conditional caution

3 months from the date on which caution was given or (if earlier) when caution ceases to have effect


Simple caution

None - spent immediately


Compensation order

On the discharge of the order (i.e. when it is paid in full)




1.) *These periods are reduced by half if the offender was under eighteen at the date of the conviction.

2.) If the conviction carries two or more sentences, the longer period of rehabilitation is the one which is effective. e.g. driving disqualification for two years with conviction/endorsement of licence will carry a five year rehabilitation period.

3.) Once a conviction is "spent" it does not have to be disclosed on a membership application form.

4.) The above list only contains common examples. For any sentences not covered above, contact CII Legal and Secretariat for advice.