The PVG Scheme


The PVG Scheme is established by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. The scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland as an executive agency of the Scottish Government. PVG Scheme membership for volunteers will continue to be processed by Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services (formerly CRBS).

The scheme is the Scottish Government’s response to recommendation 19 of the Bichard Inquiry Report published in June 2004, following the murder of two schoolgirls in Soham in 2002. Recommendation 19 stated that “new arrangements should be introduced requiring those who wish to work with children, or vulnerable adults, to be registered”. The PVG Scheme provides those new arrangements.

The PVG Scheme does three things:

  • It ensures that those who either have regular contact with vulnerable groups through the workplace, or who are otherwise in regulated work, do not have a history of inappropriate behaviour (through PVG Scheme membership).
  • It excludes people who are known to be unsuitable, on the basis of past behaviour, from working with children and/or protected adults and detects those who become unsuitable while in regulated work (through the creation of lists of people barred from working with children and protected adults).
  • It ends the use of Enhanced Disclosures for work with children and/or protected adults and replaces them with new types of PVG disclosure records.

Who should become a PVG Scheme member?

Membership of the PVG Scheme is not mandatory. The Scheme provides an organisation with a means of satisfying itself that an individual whom they intend to offer regulated work (which includes both paid and unpaid work) is not barred from doing so. This is important as it is an offence under the Act for an organisation to offer work to a barred individual.

Membership of the PVG Scheme is open to people doing, seeking to do, or planning to do regulated work with children and/or protected adults.

There are two types of regulated work: regulated work with children and regulated work with adults. In the context of equestrianism only RDA volunteers (session assistants and instructors) will do regulated work with both groups, all others will only do regulated work with children.

Regulated Work

The PVG Act defines a child as an individual under 18 years of age. A protected adult is defined as an individual aged 16 or over who is provided with (and thus receives) a type of care, support or welfare service. Protected adult is therefore a service based definition and avoids the labelling of adults on the basis of their having a specific condition or disability. RDA groups meet the criteria of providing a “Welfare Service”.

Regulated Work with Children

This includes the following activities that may apply to the equestrian environment:

  • Teaching, instructing, training or supervising children.
  • Being in sole charge of children.
  • Unsupervised contact with children under arrangements made by a responsible person.

Regulated Work with Adults

This includes the following activities that may apply to the equestrian environment:

  • Caring for protected adults.
  • Teaching, instructing, training or supervising protected adults.
  • Being in sole charge of protected adults.
  • Providing assistance, advice or guidance to a protected adult or particular protected adults which relates to physical or emotional well-being, education or training