PVG Glossary

Regulated Work

The PVG Scheme applies to those that are currently / anticipating undertaking regulated work with children aged Under 18s and protected adults. There are five steps to assessing whether an individual is doing regulated work with children aged Under 18 / protected adults:

  1. Is it work? – Will the individual be carrying out either paid or unpaid work?
  2. Who are they working with? – Will the individual be working with children aged Under 18 years or protected adults?
  3. What do they do? – Will the individual be carrying out a particular activity, working in an establishment, holding a particular position or supervising/ managing those in regulated work?
  4. Is it their normal duties? – Is it the individual’s normal duties to carry out regulated work with children aged Under 18 years or protected adults?
  5. Are there any exceptions which apply? – If delivering activities to children aged Under 18 years or protected adults is this incidental to the individual’s normal duties?

Your PVG Scheme Membership will be linked to / processed by the main organisation you are undertaking regulated work for. If you are undertaking regulated work within more than one organisation you are required to have a Scheme Record Update for each additional organisation.

Incidental Activity

Some, but not all, activities with children or protected adults are excluded from being regulated work if the activity is occuring incidentally:

For example, a Coach undertaking clinics which are aimed at adults is outside the scope of regulated work even if one or two children attend the clinic. This is because the presence of children (and the teaching of children) is incidental to the main activity and purpose of the clinic which is to teach adults.

An activity is likely to be incidental when it is:

  • open to all
  • attractive to a wide cross-section of society
  • attendance is discretionary

An activity is unlikely to be incidental when it is:

  • targeted at children or protected adults
  • more attractive to children or protected adults than others
  • attendance is mandatory.

Children/ Child

"Child" means an individual under the age of 18.

Adults at Risk/ Vulnerable Adults/ Protected Adults

Vulnerable adult/ Adults at Risk is the SVG Act equivalent  to protected adult in respect of the VBS for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are significant differences between the definition of vulnerable adult in the SVG Act and the definition of protected adult for the PVG Scheme. For more information please contact Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services.

Main Role

The principal role underaken by an individual for each employer, including voluntary and paid roles.


Someone who gives their time and services for free.

Commercial Organisation

Group with a particular skill set, strategy, resources, or priorities in place designed to turn a profit. Residual income left over after expenses is available to be distributed to employees and shareholders or reinvested back into the company at management's discretion.

Voluntary Organisation

One which relies on occasional or regular volunteers for its operations, and may or may not have paid staff. A volunteer organisation is characterised by:

  1. autonomy from the State
  2. self-governance through a board of unpaid trustees
  3. membership that is neither inherited nor prescribed
  4. aid from philanthropy
  5. benefit for or service to non-members, and
  6. not-for-profit orientation.

horsescotland Accredited

One of our existing Member Bodies

Freelance Coach

A Freelance Coach is considered to be self-employed working with priivate clients and outwith any Commercial, Voluntary or horsescotland Accredited Organisation.

Other Terms

A full glossary of terms can be found on the Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services Website.