Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland)

Please note that the following information only affects employers who employ staff in regulated activities in Scotland. Those of you using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (England and Wales) or Access NI (Northern Ireland) will not be affected by these changes.
The introduction of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act (PVG) has meant that new application forms are needed going forward. At the time of releasing this communication Verifile is waiting for the first batch of these new forms to arrive at our office. If you know that you require these new forms please contact us as soon as possible and we will add you to our distribution list. The new application form will be used for all checks provided by Disclosure Scotland - Standard, Enhanced or PVG Registration/Update.  
If an employee or prospective employee based in Scotland is undertaking regulated work then Enhanced Disclosure is no longer the correct choice. If the employee or prospective employee is not yet a member of the PVG Scheme then the employer must order an initial registration with the PVG Scheme and a Scheme Record. If the individual is already a member of the PVG Scheme, a Scheme Record is to be ordered instead of the Enhanced Disclosure currently used. The Scheme Record will give all information in the individual's file.
Many employers may decide to order only a Scheme Record Update on existing PVG Scheme members as it is cheaper. If the Scheme Record Update gives some information they will then be able to order the full Scheme Record.

Disclosure Scotland's New Pricing Structure:

Disclosure Scotland Checks

Disclosure Scotland Statutory Fee*



Application to join the PVG Scheme





Scheme Record


£59 (free of charge when requested at the same time as an application to join)


The Scheme Record is a disclosure record which contains a scheme membership statement and any vetting information that is held about a scheme member. In response to a disclosure request, the content of the scheme record can be disclosed to scheme members and registered persons employing them in regulated work or acting for anybody employing the individual.



Scheme Record Update



The Scheme Record Update is a disclosure record that contains a more limited summary of the information held in an individual's scheme record. The scheme record update provides the scheme membership statement, the date that the last full scheme record was issued, whether it contained any vetting information, and whether any vetting information has been added to or removed from the scheme record since that date.



Scheme Record requested by the same employer subsequent to a Scheme Record Update.


£41 (if the subsequent application is made within 30 days of the Scheme Record Update being issued)

£59 (after more than 30 days)




Scheme Membership Statement

£18 (if requested in an application subsequent to the application to join, but free of charge when requested at the same time as an application to join)


The Scheme Membership Statement is a disclosure record that shows that a named individual is a member of the PVG Scheme and the workforce(s) to which the membership relates. It also shows whether or not they are under consideration for listing for that workforce.



Scheme Record or Scheme Record Update for volunteers working in a qualifying voluntary organisation in  


Free of charge**



Enhanced Disclosure (for prescribed positions NOT in Regulated Work)





Standard Disclosure (for exempted positions NOT in Regulated Work)





Basic Disclosure including on-line applications (for non-exempted positions




(*) These costs do not include Verifile's admin fee which remains the same.
(**) Volunteers working in regulated work for a qualifying voluntary organisation in Scotland can have their applications processed at no cost to themselves or their organisation. For the purposes of the PVG Scheme, a "qualifying voluntary organisation" is an organisation which is not a further education institution, a school, a public or local authority, or which is not under the management of a public or local authority; and is not conducted primarily for profit, and any profit generated is used to further the objectives of the organisation and not distributed to its members. Simply doing unpaid work does not equate to being a volunteer. Students on placements are not volunteers as their work is mandatory (not voluntary) in the context of getting their qualification.

Case Studies 

We have included some case studies below to explain how the PVG Scheme will work in practice.

Self-employed Piano Tutor

A. Timothy is planning to offer piano tuition to children in their own homes once he has completed his university course. He realises that this will be regulated work with children and that some parents (as personal employers) might want to check that he is a PVG Scheme member. He decides to make a unilateral application to join the PVG Scheme in anticipation of regulated work with children.
B. As he is joining the PVG Scheme, this will cost him £59. He will receive a Scheme Membership Statement which he can show to personal employers. This will state that he is a PVG Scheme member in respect of regulated work with children and whether or not he is under consideration for listing for the children's list.
C. Some parents might want to see a more recent Scheme Membership Statement, especially if some time has elapsed since he received the original. In this case, they can request and countersign an application for another Scheme Membership Statement. This will cost £18 and a copy will go to the personal employer. It is a matter for Timothy and the personal employer to decide who pays the fee. Timothy can show his copy of the Scheme Membership Statement to other parents

Locum Doctor

A. John, a doctor, does locum work for different Health Boards. He is already a PVG Scheme member in respect of both workforces. He has nothing on his Scheme Record nor does he do anything to result in any new vetting information arising.
B. Each time he is appointed to a new position by a new employer (a different Health Board), a Scheme Record Update should be requested. This will cost £18 each time. As there is nothing on his Scheme Record, the Scheme Record Update should be sufficient for each Health Board without sight of his Scheme Record.

Voluntary work and move to paid work

A. Ahmed has done voluntary work in an adult care setting through an Islamic charity connected to his local Mosque. For this he received a Scheme Record at no charge. Separately, he has done voluntary work teaching children through a children's charity. Again, for this he received a Scheme Record at no charge. He is a member of the PVG Scheme for both regulated work with children and regulated work with adults but has two separate Scheme Records one for each workforce and received at different times.
B. Ahmed is now training to be a social worker and has been asked for a disclosure record in respect of both types of regulated work. He asks for a Scheme Record Update which costs £18. The Scheme Record Update confirms that there is no vetting information on either his Scheme Record in respect of regulated work with adults or his Scheme Record in respect of regulated work with children, nor any new vetting information since. The Scheme Record Update is sufficient for his new employer and it does not matter that the Scheme Record was issued for voluntary work.


If you have any questions about the Basic Disclosure cost increase or the PVG Scheme then please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to assist.