When applying for a job in England and Wales, potential candidates are subject to a DBS Check. This check looks at any current and previous convictions, unspent convictions and conditional cautions an individual has to their name. This check was also performed in Scotland until 2017. However, from 1st January 2018 Scotland introduced checks for individuals living north of the border.

What Is Disclosure Scotland?

Just like a DBS Check, Disclosure Scotland helps employers make a safe decision on employing an individual. A Scottish citizen needs a criminal record check when applying for paid or unpaid work, volunteering and for instances such as adopting a child. It’s important for employers to hire the right people when it comes to roles that involve children and/or vulnerable adults. Disclosure Scotland is a government-run agency that acts on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

What Does Disclosure Scotland Do?

Disclosure Scotland scans police databases and then informs employers of any criminal convictions a candidates has. A certificate is then presented which details that information. If a person has no criminal record, the certificate will make it clear to employers of this fact.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scotland)

Disclosure Scotland is also tasked with managing the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. PVG is a membership only scheme for businesses who work with children or vulnerable adults. Employers can check the record of any individual in this scheme to ensure they’re still safe to work with young and vulnerable people.

Responsibilities of Disclosure Scotland

As part of its responsibilities in keeping records up to date, Disclosure Scotland may access a range of police data. They are also responsible for:

  • Issuing certificates for basic, standard or enhanced disclosure criminal records checks
  • Updating the PVG system with new people working with vulnerable groups
  • Deciding on adding to or removing individuals from the barred list
  • Maintaining barred lists for regulated work with children or protected adults

Types of Disclosure

There are three types of disclosure that can be completed by Disclosure Scotland.

1. Basic Disclosure

Any individual living in Scotland can apply for a basic disclosure certificate. This is the lowest level of disclosure available and is also the most common. This includes information on ‘unspent’ convictions a person has. An individual with a basic disclosure isn’t monitored, meaning the certificate is valid for when it’s created.

Application for a basic disclosure check is processed under Rehabilitation periods for particular sentences section of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

2. Standard and Enhanced Disclosure

Standard and enhanced disclosures will include higher level checks against an individual. These checks are for people doing certain types of work or individuals looking to adopt. They are applied for by an employer or the registered body representing you.

Standard disclosure is for solicitors, accountants or care workers
Enhanced disclosure applies for roles such as those looking to adopt or applying for gaming/lottery licences

Is A DBS Check Valid In Scotland?

Since 1st January 2018, Disclosure Scotland provides all basic disclosures for citizens of Scotland. Anyone from England and Wales must obtain their basic disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service. Both are valid documents but you require the appropriate check for the country you will work in.

Why The Change in Disclosure Rules?

Disclosure Scotland and DBS have different rules on what is considered a spent conviction. A conviction is spent quicker in England and Wales than in Scotland. If a basic disclosure is obtained in Scotland for a job in England, that employer will see information it is not entitled to. This becomes a breach of the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 and of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

For example: A basic disclosure check in Scotland reveals a conviction if a custodial sentence of 30 months of more is found. Whereas in England and Wales, a custodial sentence of 30 – 48 months is considered spent after 7 years.

Carecheck and Disclosure Scotland

Carecheck can support organisations and individuals with their Basic Disclosure Scotland checks. Contact us to get started with our disclosure services today.