PVG Scheme

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and/or protected adults, can’t do ‘regulated work‘ with these vulnerable groups.

How the scheme works

When someone applies to join the PVG Scheme Disclosure Scotland carries out criminal record checks and shares the results with individuals and organisations.

The application process involves gathering criminal record and other relevant information. This can be shared with the employer who is providing regulated work, unless the person applies to have a conviction removed from their PVG Scheme record.

If the information shows the applicant might be unsuitable for regulated work, they’ll be referred for further investigation as part of the ‘consideration process‘.

EU Nationals applying for roles with children

Disclosure Scotland checks your criminal history information held in the UK, as well as from your country of nationality, if your nationality is one of the following:

  • Germany
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Hungary
  • Greece
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Poland

Once someone is a PVG scheme member

Disclosure Scotland keeps checking their suitability to continue working with children or protected adults. If they find new information which means someone might have become unsuitable to work with children or protected adults, they’ll tell their employer.

‘Harmful behaviour’ by PVG scheme members

If the courts, police, regulatory bodies or previous employers provide information to Disclosure Scotland which suggests someone may be unsuitable for regulated work, this will trigger a consideration for listing.

Find out more about when an employer should make a referral to Disclosure Scotland.

Barred from regulated work

If Disclosure Scotland decides that someone’s unsuitable to do regulated work with vulnerable groups, they’ll bar them from working with children and/or protected adults, and inform their current employers. They’ll also remove them from the PVG Scheme and tell any other employers listed on their record that they have been barred.

How long does it last?

A PVG Scheme member’s paper certificate shows the information available on the day it was created. Membership of the scheme lasts forever though, and scheme members are continuously checked, unless they decide to leave the scheme.

Types of work covered by PVG

The PVG Scheme doesn’t apply to all jobs and volunteering. It only applies to ‘regulated work’. There are 2 types of regulated work – work with children and work with protected adults. Regulated work is usually jobs including:

  • caring responsibilities
  • teaching or supervising children and/or protected adults
  • providing personal services to children and/or protected adults
  • having unsupervised contact with children and/or protected adults

There are many kinds of roles, both paid or unpaid. Some examples are:

  • nurse
  • child-minder
  • girl guide leader
  • dentist

It can also apply to certain positions of trust within organisations, even where the role doesn’t involve any direct contact with children or protected adults. Examples of this include:

  • membership of certain council committees
  • trustees of charities focused on children
  • trustees of charities focused on protected adults

Some employers, like aid agencies, send staff or volunteers to provide care and education, for example, to people in countries outside the UK. These employers can apply to have an individual PVG-checked when that work, if done in Scotland, would be considered to be ‘regulated work’.