Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
What is the PVG scheme?
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to do 'regulated work' with children and vulnerable adults are prevented from doing so.
Why do I need to join the PVG scheme?
You will need to apply to join the PVG scheme if you will interact with vulnerable groups. For some courses PVG scheme membership is essential and in other courses optional modules/units may require PVG scheme membership. This information will be clearly advertised on the course webpage.
When you apply for PVG scheme membership, a copy of your record will be returned to the university or academic partner to which you are applying. Criminal convictions and any information considered relevant by Disclosure Scotland will be disclosed on the PVG scheme record. The Privacy Notices for Further Education Admissions and Higher Education Admissions have more information about this.
What are the possible outcomes of the PVG scheme application?
You will either be eligible or ineligible to join the PVG scheme. Disclosure Scotland keeps a list of people unsuitable to do regulated work with children and a list of people unsuitable to do regulated work with protected adults. The lists are separate, although people can be on both lists. If Disclosure Scotland adds someone to one or both of these lists, it is known as being 'listed'. If you are listed you will not be eligible to join the PVG scheme.
Category 1: Courses where PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. If the applicant/student is listed (i.e. not allowed to work with one or both of the vulnerable groups) the applicant/student will be unable to achieve target qualification and may be unable to enrol or required to leave the course.
Category 2: Courses where PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. If the applicant/student is listed (i.e. not allowed to work with one or both of the vulnerable groups) applicant will not be able to enrol on specific optional modules/units.
Having a criminal conviction and being listed is not necessarily the same thing e.g. some people with criminal convictions will be eligible to join the PVG scheme. If you require guidance about criminal convictions and PVG Scheme Membership, please contact Disclosure Scotland.
Where an applicant is not listed but has criminal convictions that are disclosed as part of the PVG Scheme membership process, a risk assessment will be carried out that will ascertain the applicant’s suitability for the course and a future career in the relevant area.
Access to a full range of placement opportunities is subject to the outcome of the PVG Scheme application, which may disclose previous criminal convictions.
If you know that you are listed and wish to know more about options that may be available to you, please contact the university or academic partner to which you are applying.
Who pays for the PVG scheme application?
Courses below degree level:
Students on courses up to and including HND level have the cost of their application paid for.
Courses at degree level and above:
Students meet the costs of their PVG applications, except on courses where there is external support provided (e.g. BSc Nursing).
The cost is £59 or £18 depending on the type of disclosure record required and if you have previously applied to the PVG Scheme Membership..
Issues arising during the course
If you become subject to any criminal investigation or are subject to consideration for listing, you should discuss this with a member of staff as soon as possible. Withholding this information may result in you being unable to obtain the award for which you have enrolled or being required to leave the course.
If you apply for a job that involves interaction with protected groups, you will have to reapply to the PVG scheme via the new employer. Any future employment is subject to the potential employer’s assessment of the PVG application and is independent of any placements you have undertaken previously.
If you have any questions…
Please discuss your concerns with a member of staff at the Academic Partner to which you are applying. The PVG scheme uses complex language and staff are here to help you understand the scheme and how it protects vulnerable people.