Disclosure Scotland helpline update – 27 March

Unfortunately due to the impact the COVID-19 situation has had on the business and the high volume of priority applications for critical sectors, we made the decision to temporarily close the helplines in order to maximize the number of staff processing applications.

You can prioritise any critical role applications already submitted by emailing the details, including barcode & ‘role applied for’ to our COVID Priority mailbox; [email protected]. NB General enquiries and application updates will not be handled via this channel.

Any other enquiries can be sent our normal enquiry mailbox; [email protected].”

Whilst we anticipate this situation temporary it is the channel we are signposting customers to at this time. We thank our customers for their patience during this on-going difficult situation.


Jillian [Customer Engagement Manager]

The Listen Project: a BBC & British Library project which connects people during Covid-19

The BBC and the British Library are looking for care home residents to take part in their latest project ‘The Listen Project’. Please see below for more information:

Would you like to record a conversation that matters whilst we all hunker down – with someone you love or care about? BBC Radio and the British Library would like to capture this strange time in our lives through the conversations we are having with each other. We look after the tech, you just decide who you would like to speak with and about what. 

Maybe it’s a chance to have that conversation about your shared experiences, the one that normal life simply doesn’t make time for.

We want to hear about the emotional connections that people are missing – or even the space that isolation gives you to reflect on the bigger issues of life, friendship, health, safer times. 

If you are interested in taking part in this project please contact Caitlin Smith at [email protected].

Disclosure Scotland applications update – 27 March

Scottish Care has received the following letter from Disclosure Scotland with a Covid-19 update on PVG applications.

Disclosure Scotland is making a temporary change to how applications are processed.

We have been working closely with the Scottish Government and key stakeholders on our response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition to our prioritisation of checks for those who have the most vital roles supporting the country during this time, as of Monday we will no longer be accepting paper applications.

On Monday (30 March) a new page will go live on our website with all the materials you need to continue to submit applications.

Please note; this process should only be completed by countersignatories.

  • you can submit an application via email using the template on our website
      • electronic signatures (typewritten or scanned) from the applicant and countersignatory will be accepted
  • we will process the application through a priority service
  • where possible we will email you a notification of the outcome, prior to receiving the paper certificate in an expedited timeframe
  • when this is not possible there will be two other outcomes:
      • you will not receive any advance notification and will have to wait on the paper certificate which will still be in an expedited timeframe
      • you will receive a notification advising that we are unable to prioritise your application at this time and will be unable to give a timescale for completion

If we do not send you a disclosure, either by email or certificate, please do not assume this is because we are late or have made a mistake. A small number of applications need us to be fully operational to process and that is impossible at this time. At this critical time, we are providing a safeguarding service to ensure the vast majority of applicants can get cleared to help with coronavirus.

If you are submitting urgent applications related to coronavirus in the following weeks please contact our dedicated helpline on 0141 302 8511. We will want to plan with you how we go about doing this most efficiently.

As it stands the list of prioritised roles remains:

  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Childcare
  • Social work
  • Social care
  • Prisons and justice

As the situation develops and evolves, the list of prioritised sectors may change as Disclosure Scotland identifies other sectors with roles critical to supporting the Scottish Government during this crisis.

Thank you for your patience during this critical time,


Gerard Hart

Chief Executive

Disclosure Scotland – Further guidance during Covid-19 on PVG applications

Please see below for latest guidance from Disclosure Scotland on PVG applications during Covid-19

In relation to identity for PVG’s I have included the details provided in the DS Code of Practice below regarding identity. The guidance states that originals seen are better but ultimately it is for the organisation to determine the process they use and naturally given the current situation to physically see a person’s ID would be against the greater good of the current crisis and against government guidance so the proposal to scan seems very sensible.

Employers must satisfy themselves of the identity of those applying for positions or those already employed who are, for example, joining the PVG Scheme for the first time. Although Disclosure Scotland will conduct its own identity checks, these should be supplemented by the checks undertaken by organisations and employers. Whilst Disclosure Scotland may have a record of the types of documents which were viewed for identification purposes, it is recommended that employers retain details of identity checks undertaken in case of further enquiry by Disclosure Scotland.

Those countersigning or making a declaration on disclosure applications or requests should encourage those involved in the recruitment process to ask for documentary evidence of identity from individuals. It is required that three pieces of information are requested to support identification. Where possible one of these should be photographic (for example, a current passport, new style UK driving licence, a Young Scot card or a National Entitlement Card, etc.). One item of address related evidence containing the name and address of the individual and one item confirming the date of birth of the individual should also be sought. In the absence of photographic evidence, a full birth certificate with a date of birth confirmed will carry more weight than a copy issued more recently. Consistency between the supporting information and the information provided by the individual in his or her application or request tends to lead to a greater level of confidence in their identity.

Where an individual claims to have changed his or her name by marriage, common law relationships or any other mechanism, the employer should seek evidence of such a change.

A disclosure certificate or record issued by Disclosure Scotland must not be taken as evidence of identity.

Individuals who were born outwith the UK or who have lived outwith the UK

There are two issues to be considered regarding the appointment of individuals who were born or who have lived outwith the UK: the first relates to the identity of the individual and the second relates to checking his or her criminal record.

With regard to the identity of the individual, employers should take particular care during the recruitment process, ensuring they follow up references and undertake other relevant checks before making an appointment. Consideration should still be given to the information described above, albeit this will relate to foreign documents.

Registered persons should still request a criminal record check for an individual with no, or very little, address history in the UK. While it may seem to be of limited value to obtain a disclosure for such an individual, under the 2007 Act the individual will become a scheme member and subject to continuous updating which will provide reassurance that the individual is not barred from regulated work and ensure that a registered person will be notified if the barred status changes.

Employers can ask prospective employees and existing members of staff to provide a criminal record certificate, where available, from their government or an appropriate government/police agency in the country where they were born and or resided.

It is suggested that the onus is put onto the individual to provide details of their criminal conviction history from their home country or countries of previous residence. It should be remembered, however, that these may require to be translated from the relevant language into English and they may contain details of offences which may not have a direct equivalent or similar offence in Scots law. Disclosure Scotland has no role in this process and the individual or the employer has to meet any additional cost.



Covid-19 Webinar: open to members & non-members – 26 March

Our next Covid-19 webinar will take place on Thursday 26 March at 3:00 pm, our CEO, Dr Donald Macaskill and our National Director, Karen Hedge will be able to answer your questions on this subject matter.

Please note, this webinar is open to Scottish Care members and external partners, colleagues and organisations and requires registration to access the webinar link.

If you are interested in attending please click this link to register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3oN1BocQQ1SVAGd6ixpvhw

Disclosure Scotland update on PVG’s

Please see below for update from Disclosure Scotland regarding PVG’s during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Disclosure Scotland is working closely with the Scottish Government and key stakeholders on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have invoked our Business Continuity plans to prevent any disruption to our safeguarding services at this time of crisis.

We will prioritise checks for those who have the most sensitive roles in supporting this crisis. The criteria for prioritisation is based upon the role, namely:

  • Healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Childcare
  • Social work
  • Social care
  • Prisons and justice

Disclosure Scotland recognises the urgency in the current situation. If you have urgent applications that need to be prioritised because of COVID-19 please contact us on [email protected] with the application barcode and ‘position applied for’ – please ensure that you only use this email for critical applications, submit other applications in the normal way. When sending an urgent application through the post, please ensure the envelope is marked ‘urgent’.

If you are submitting urgent applications related to COVID-19 in the following weeks please contact our dedicated helpline on 0141 302 8511. We will want to plan with you how we go about doing this most efficiently. We are actively planning ways to be even more responsive to this crisis and we will keep our customers informed about any changes we are making to the PVG process.

To ensure Disclosure Scotland can rapidly react to the changing environment, the UK Coronavirus Bill introduced into the UK Parliament yesterday contains two provisions about the PVG Scheme.  The first provision means organisations recruiting staff ahead of a PVG check can do so without the risk of committing an offence. Barred individuals who seek to exploit this will be reported to Police Scotland. The second change will allow Disclosure Scotland to process all PVG disclosures as if a check of the UK barred lists had been requested. Once these changes have been brought into effect, Disclosure Scotland will engage with stakeholders, setting out what they will mean in practice. 

As the situation develops and evolves, the list of prioritised sectors may changes as Disclosure Scotland identifies other sectors with roles critical to supporting the Scottish Government during this crisis.

Thank you for your patience during this critical time