Accreditation for officials

Many of the people attending the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues for official or work purposes will need to be accredited.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is the process of identifying and issuing a pass to those individuals who will need access to Olympic and Paralympic venues in an official capacity during the Games. This process includes background checking applicants to help ensure the safety and security of the Games.

Accreditation passes are used to identify people and their roles at the Games and to allow access to relevant sites, which may include areas where spectators do not have access.

People to be accredited include athletes, coaches, officials and selected media (collectively known as 'Games Family Members'), as well as workers and volunteers. If you need to be accredited you will be told by the organisation you are working or volunteering for. If you are an athlete or official, your National Olympic / Paralympic Committee will inform you.

Who is responsible for accreditation?

A person is successfully accredited at the sole discretion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for deciding who needs to be accredited and issuing the passes.  

The Home Office is carrying out the background checks on their behalf and will advise them whether an applicant is suitable for accreditation.

If you apply for accreditation your completed application form will be passed, via your employer (or responsible organisation), to LOCOG, who will then send it on to the Home Office.

For more about this process, see the DirectGov website.

What the background checks involve

Proportionate but stringent checks are being undertaken on everyone applying for accreditation to the Games. The checks include immigration, criminal record and security checks, to determine each applicant's suitability for accreditation.

Once checks have been carried out the Home Office will recommend that accreditation be refused to any individual it believes may present a safety and security risk. This rigorous process has been designed to ensure those working at the Games are fit to do so.

These proportionate checks will not replace any statutory requirements for employers to conduct role-specific checks - for example getting a Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Certificate when it is required for a role for working with children or vulnerable people.

Assessing suitability for London 2012 Games accreditation

Having a criminal record is not an automatic disbar to being accredited.

Normally, only current convictions that are deemed unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974, will be taken into consideration when applying for accreditation. The ROA 1974 enables some criminal convictions to become 'spent' or ignored after a rehabilitation period. A rehabilitation period is a set length of time from the date of conviction.

Each offence will be considered on its own merits, depending on the:

  • seriousness (reflected by the type of offence and actual sentence or disposal imposed)
  • frequency of offending
  • when it occurred

Driving offences, such as speeding, will not be grounds for failing accreditation. In most cases, simple cautions (as opposed to conditional cautions), warnings and reprimands will not be taken into consideration.

Grounds for refusing accreditation

As a guide, individuals will not be recommended for accreditation if they have not been free of the sentence restrictions for a conviction for at least 12 months and up to five years in more serious cases. A sentence restriction is defined as the period from the end of the sentence.
If you are due in court on a charge for an offence that would not be considered as grounds for not recommending accreditation, then the Home Office will not take into account the charge you are facing. If the charge is for an offence that, should it result in a conviction, would be considered grounds for not recommending accreditation, then the Home Office will reach a decision based on the outcome of the court hearing.

Accreditation will also not be recommended where an individual’s presence at the Games (or in the UK) would not be conducive to the public good.

Further information

If you’ve been refused accreditation and want to know how you can check that the information held on you is accurate, see the DirectGov website.

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Please email the Home Office public enquiries email address if you have any questions.