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Is there a way around this? - June 7th 2012, 10:38 AM

First of all, as this is relevant, I have to tell you I have criminal convictions, and one of these is for assault.

The only careers I've ever considered, that I would find fulfilling, involve either teaching or helping people. I've recently run into a big hurdle, where this is concerned.
I cannot get into courses for nursing, or sport and rec, due to my convictions.

If I get the qualifications, then apply for jobs doing either clinical psychology or teaching, (which I already have some incomplete studies towards), I'm likely to be turned down because of my convictions.

Now, there's one bright side: in spite of my convictions, I've been working as a gymnastics coach for some years now, and from that job, I have a referee who could also be a character witness/referee if necessary. But I don't think that's going to be enough.

See, if I can't get qualified, I face a life of basically factory work and part-time coaching. And I can't get into the courses at the moment. I don't really want to work in industry forever, although it brings in cash, it would simply get too boring for me.

So does anybody have any suggestions? Is there any way around this?
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Re: Is there a way around this? - June 7th 2012, 11:47 AM

Not sure if this is helpful or not.

I also have a criminal conviction and know that it's probably off putting when applying for jobs. I am sure though, employers aren't actually allowed to discriminate because of convictions? (I know they can say it was for other reasons though instead). How long ago were your convictions? The further into the past it becomes, the less likely they will be looked unfavourably upon. Also some employers may also have a past and wouldn't like to judge... I suppose it could just come down to the person looking at your application?

With regards to studying, is there any way you can do an open university course? Or something similar? Or perhaps there is some sort of rehabilitation group you could go to to show colleges/universities and even employers that you're serious about changing your ways? I know that may sound tedious, but some people will look at you more positively if you can evidence you have changed.

I'm not sure how helpful this is and what resources you have as I am in the UK but don't give up. Hopefully there are options for you and someone will give you a chance!
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Re: Is there a way around this? - June 7th 2012, 04:50 PM

I don't have a criminal record, but when I applied to my counseling program I had to fill out a form that said I had never been conviced of, or pled guilty or no contest to a felony and also that I had never had a conviction sealed or expunged. I assume this is the problem, or similar to the problem you're having.

It goes on to say that if you answered yes to any question, you should contact the program coordinator and/or the dept. of education because you may be denied liability insurance which would end your program (because you can't finish the required courses without insurance)

I would suggest talking to someone at a school or in a program you would consider taking and see what the specific requirements are before jumping to the conclusion that you are ineligible.

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Re: Is there a way around this? - June 8th 2012, 12:47 AM

Oh, for the nursing, and sport & rec, qualifications, I'm definitely ineligible, as it says "persons with any assault convictions will not be accepted into this course".

But as for the other stuff, in New Zealand, yes, employers can discriminate on the basis of convictions, but there's a procedure they have to follow - pretty much everybody has to fill out a police check form when they are hired/interviewed, and the police check then sends back something saying whether they think you're suitable for the job, based on your criminal history. If they say no, you can be fired.
It's important to note that although my record says that I shouldn't be working in coaching (responsibility, children, etc), my manager has continued to employ me.

My convictions are from 2008, 2011, and there are two pending from March/April this year. The assault was 2008. 2011 was possession of an offensive weapon, so that combined with assault really doesn't look good.

I've been working on studying part-time, for now it's just a matter of sorting out my finances. I don't see this becoming a huge issue until one of two things happens - I apply for a job as a teacher, or I apply to do a Masters in Psychology.

So I guess I'll discuss it with the department when the time comes.
But just say I don't get in, what do I do then?
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