We’re always looking for ways of improving our online support and today we’re pleased to report on some positive changes that we’ve made to our Disclosure Calculator recently. As a result, we’ve already seen a 260% increase in the number of people using the tool.
Christopher Stacey, Co-Director at Unlock, commented: “In the last 3 years, over 25,000 people have used www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk, with nearly 12,000 of them in the last year alone. On average, since the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act was updated in March 2014, around 62% of users have discovered that their criminal record is now entirely spent. These figures show how much needed this tool is, and is one of the reasons behind why we won “Best innovative use of technology” at the Helpline Awards in November 2014.”
“More recently, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make improvements to the Calculator. These were recently completed, and the result is that it’s now easier to work out if your convictions are spent. The main change is that you no longer have to go through the process of registering an email address and activating the link that was sent before you could use the tool. We’ve responded to feedback that we’d received, particularly by those who didn’t have an email address, or were having troubles with receiving the activation email, which was preventing them from using the tool. The latest usage figures are exactly what we wanted to see – more people using it.”
“Now, to use the Calculator, all users have to do is visit www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk and select why they’re using it. The option of setting up a multiple-use account remains in place for those that provide front-line services to people with convictions and who want to add the use of the Calculator into the support that they provide.”
“The changes that we’ve recently made have been made possible because of the ongoing support that we’ve had from HomeProtect, who sponsored the Calculator when it was first launched, and who have recently agreed to sponsor it again for a further 3 years.”
Rod Britton, Managing Director at HomeProtect, commented “We were delighted to continue our ongoing sponsorship of the Calculator as it’s a really useful service that Unlock provide. From an insurance perspective our underwriters need to know when a conviction becomes spent, so we can remove it from a customer’s policy at the appropriate time. Beforehand it was really difficult for customers to determine the spent date and consequently that made the process of buying home insurance more complicated than it should be. With the Calculator doing the hard work it’s now nice and easy for a customer with convictions to buy their home insurance from HomeProtect on our website or over the phone”.
Christopher Stacey added “When we first came up with the idea of the Calculator back in 2010, it was a core principle right from the start that the tool would be free to use by people with convictions. We’re incredibly grateful to the support of HomeProtect in their sponsorship. Alongside their sponsorship, the organisations that run multiple-use accounts (such as probation services, employment projects and recruitment companies) enable us to continue to make the Calculator free to use for people with convictions.”