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Disclosure (criminal history checks)

A disclosure is a document containing information held by the police and government about a person’s criminal history. Anyone can apply for a disclosure in their own name, or you can make an application as an employer of paid staff or volunteers.

It is highly recommended that anyone working with the general public applies for a Basic Disclosure certificate.

You must do a disclosure check if you take on a volunteer or staff member who has regular contact with children and protected adults – it is an offence to employ someone who has a history of harmful behaviour for this type of work. The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme was set up to facilitate these disclosure checks.

Volunteer Scotland operates disclosure services for qualifying voluntary organisations. This includes free support. Certain disclosures have a cost associated to them.

Where to go for checks and information

  • Volunteer Scotland: qualifying organisations get free support in processing disclosure checks.
  • Disclosure Scotland: issues disclosure certificates and administers the PVG Scheme for employers.
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