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. These can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland.

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, and is administered by the Central Registered Body in Scotland for voluntary sector organisations as a free service.

Where to go for checks and information

  • Disclosure Scotland: issues basic disclosure certificates and administers the PVG Scheme for employers outside the voluntary sector.
  • Volunteer Scotland: provides free disclosure records, guidance and support to voluntary sector organisations working with children and protected adults.