Future Changes to Scotland’s PVG Scheme: Disclosure Scotland Bill

On 12th of June a new Bill was put before the Scottish Parliament which will make changes to the current PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) scheme.

A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to restate and amend the law relating to the disclosure of criminal history and other information by the Scottish Ministers; to make amendments to the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007; and for connected purposes. Disclosure(Scotland) Bill

The Bill will make it mandatory for anyone in a ‘regulated roll’ to be a member of the PVG scheme. It also tightens up on the scheme.

Instead of the lifetime membership which is currently in place, people will have to apply after 5 years. It will end the automatic disclosure of convictions accrued by an individual while aged 12 to 17 years old. Anyone carrying out a regulated role (paid, or unpaid
and voluntary) must be a member of the PVG Scheme.

A regulated role : a person’s need to be a full member of the PVG scheme relies not on their job title but on whether there is a power imbalance and whether the person holds power over children or vulnerable groups. Minister for Children & Young People 

Maree ToddLocal MSP Maree Todd, SNP is also the Minister for Children and Young People in the Scottish Government in her statement to Parliament on Thursday 13th of June said:

“We must ensure that safeguarding the vulnerable in society continues to be at the forefront of our minds.

“We must never forget the reasons why the service is so important.

“The bill will deliver a range of reforms to the protection of vulnerable groups, ensuring a world-class service in protecting the public from those whose past conduct makes them unsuitable to carry out regulated roles with children and adults.

“The bill contains provisions to introduce a mandatory PVG scheme for people who carry out regulated roles with children or protected adults. Although many organisations treat it as such, the scheme is not currently mandatory, which has made it difficult for individuals and employers to understand their responsibilities and legal duties under the current legislation.

“There is overwhelming support among stakeholders for the proposal, the need for which was also recognised by Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, which concluded that there is a “compelling case” that the scheme be mandatory for those who work with children in sport.”

The simplified process cutting the number of checks from 10 to 4  will also take into consideration the context surrounding childhood offences.

You can watch the full statement and questions from other MSPS here:

Commenting afterwards Maree Todd said:

“This Bill will deliver a fairer disclosure regime that protects our most vulnerable, is simpler for employers and less invasive for the majority of users.

“Mandatory registration for people carrying out regulated roles with children and protected adults is essential, but we will also ensure that people with minor convictions – particularly crimes committed under the age of 18 – have a better chance to move on and make a contribution to society.

“It will also simplify and modernise our disclosure system with applications being made online. This will speed up employment checks and reduce the burden on employers and applicants, while ensuring vulnerable groups receive the best possible protection.”

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