London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 accreditation

The government's role in accreditation for the 2012 Games by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Everyone, whether a participant or official, paid or unpaid, who had access to non-public areas of Olympic and Paralympic venues in summer 2012 needed to be accredited by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

This was a requirement of the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee set out in the Host City Contract and is a feature of every Olympic and Paralympic Games.

What was the government’s role?

As part of the accreditation process, applicants underwent a background check undertaken by the Home Office on behalf of LOCOG. All Olympic and Paralympic torch relay participants were also background-checked using the Home Office process established for accreditation.

The Home Office, in cooperation with the security and law enforcement agencies, conducted immigration, criminal record and security checks to determine each applicant’s suitability for accreditation.

This rigorous process was designed to ensure those working at the Games were fit to do so and was part of a range of measures put in place to ensure the security of the Games.

A set of criteria, was established to enable initial consideration of each case. Cases were processed by a specially created Olympic Clearing House, which was operated by the United Kingdom Border Agency.

Complex or sensitive cases were referred for decision to the Olympic Accreditation Decision Board - a cross-departmental group of senior officials including representation from LOCOG - which consulted ministers when appropriate.

The effect of a criminal record

Having a criminal record was not an automatic barrier to being accredited; and, except for security staff, only convictions that were unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 were considered as part of the background check. In those cases where relevant convictions were identified, each offence was considered on its own merits, depending on the seriousness (reflected by the type of offence and actual sentence or disposal imposed), frequency of offending and when it occurred.

Generally individuals were recommended for accreditation if they had been free of sentence restrictions for a conviction for at least 12 months, or up to five years in more serious cases.

Impending prosecutions

Where a person was due in court on a charge for an offence that, should it result in a conviction, would be considered grounds for not recommending accreditation, the Home Office reached a decision based on the outcome of the court hearing and accreditation was not agreed in the interim.

What if you were refused accreditation?

The accreditation process was concluded and the Olympic Clearing House closed when the Games were over. To meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the Host City Contract, the case files and the personnel data held by the Olympic Clearing House were deleted in January 2013. It is therefore no longer possible to check the information held about an applicant.

Published 19 April 2013