What is a PVG Check?

Apply for a DBS Check

Most people hunting for jobs in the UK will have heard of criminal records checks, and they may also be familiar with acronyms like DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) or even the previous body, the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau). That’s not the end of it though, as the DBS only covers England and Wales. If you are applying for a job in Scotland, or recruiting staff to work in Scotland, then you might come across yet another acronym – PVG.


All About Scottish Disclosure

Scotland’s legal system is separate from that in England and Wales and has its own terminology. For example, the crime of perjury (lying in court) doesn’t exist in Scotland; the equivalent crime of “defeating the ends of justice” covers everything which is known as perjury or perverting the course of justice in England and Wales. To take account of these fundamental differences in the law and court system, Scotland has its own system for running criminal records checks. Disclosure Scotland is the body which oversees criminal records checks in Scotland but apart from the difference in name, the ethos of the organisation is the same as the DBS. The jobs which would require a disclosure check in England and Wales are the same jobs as will require a disclosure check in Scotland – there’s no difference in that aspect of the system.


So, What’s PVG?

PVG is a scheme run by Disclosure Scotland. PVG stands for Protecting Vulnerable Groups. In England or Wales, people who wish to work with children, patients in hospital, prisoners or the elderly require a standard or enhanced disclosure check as these activities are classed as regulated work. In Scotland, there are still enhanced and standard disclosures, administrated by the PVG scheme. It all sounds complex, and it can be, but remember – your employer is the one who carries the responsibility for making sure you have the right check for the job you will be doing.


Getting a PVG Check

The good news for anyone who has ever completed a DBS certificate application before is that the process for a PVG check is very similar. First, fill in the application form either online or old style, using pen and paper. Your employer should be able to help with any questions you are struggling to answer, or Disclosure Scotland has a team which can respond to telephone or email queries. After you have completed the form, you will be asked to show a selection of documents which prove your identity and your address.

After you have completed the paperwork, the form will be passed on to Disclosure Scotland for checking. Police Scotland will check their records to see what information they have about you on their system, and if you have lived elsewhere in the UK, liaise with other forces to collate the information. Finally, Police Scotland will produce a certificate, which they will send out to you in the post. Your employer may want to keep a note of the number of your certificate, but you should have the original returned to you.