Is a firm required to carry out a criminal records check on a candidate whom it wishes to hire as an approved person?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expects firms to perform diligent enquiries into their candidates and it is up to senior management to decide what checks should be made. By virtue of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, a firm can ask about spent, as well as unspent, criminal convictions for candidates for approved person status. Given that the FCA will carry out checks on approved persons' criminal records, and the consequences of failing fully to disclose matters in Form A may lead to disciplinary sanctions, a firm would be well advised to carry out criminal records checks on all persons for whom it is seeking approved person status.