1.1 When an individual applies to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, Disclosure Scotland carries out a check of criminal records in the UK, and in certain circumstances directly with UK Police Forces, to establish if any relevant information is held about the individual. If information is found, an assessment will be undertaken by Disclosure Scotland to decide if the person is unsuitable to be a PVG scheme member. This process could result in them being ‘Listed and Barred’ from working with vulnerable groups.
1.2 Once a person becomes a PVG Scheme member, their record is subject to continuous updating. This means that, if new vetting information comes to light during the time of their PVG Scheme membership, Disclosure Scotland will assess it to determine if it has an impact on the person remaining in the PVG Scheme. This information could, for example, be provided by a Police force or by the Courts following a criminal conviction or due to reported consistent behaviours which might deem an individual unsuitable to be working with /volunteering with any vulnerable groups.
1.3 Disclosure Scotland will assess the information to see whether it may be necessary for the individual to be added to the Children’s list and/or the Adults’ list. Sometimes, the information will not meet the statutory tests for further consideration and will be dismissed. If the initial tests are met, the second stage is a full assessment, called ‘Consideration for Listing’, in order to establish if the individual is unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups. Whilst the individual is under consideration for listing, this information would appear on any Disclosure record requested during that time.
1.4 If a person is being considered for Listing, either at the point of joining the PVG Scheme or whilst a member, then the National Safeguarding Co-ordinator, as the lead collator of the PVG scheme for the Catholic Church in Scotland, would be informed by Disclosure Scotland. If contacted, the National Safeguarding Co-ordinator would then alert the respective Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser regarding the individual who is being considered for Listing. This is intended to ensure that the applicant does not commence his/her role or, if already in post, should is suspended from this role until a final decision has been made by Disclosure Scotland.
1.5 Once the decision has been made, Disclosure Scotland will inform the applicant and the office that collated the original PVG application (for most, the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service). When informed by Disclosure Scotland, the NSC must immediately inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or Religious Congregation. The DRAMT must then be convened to consider if the volunteer can commence (or continue) in the role, if the decision has been that he/she will not be Listed. If the applicant is 'Listed & Barred', it would be illegal for him/her to apply for a PVG in order to commence (or to continue) any work involving contact with children, young people and vulnerable groups. If the individual were a parish volunteer, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser must inform the Parish Priest and the Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator.
1.6 If a church employee has been dismissed or a volunteer has been deemed unsuitable to be working with any vulnerable groups, there is a legal requirement on a Diocese to refer the individual to Disclosure Scotland for consideration under the 'Listing & Barring' process. The DRAMT must consider all grounds for making such a referral and make an appropriate recommendation to the Bishop / Major Superior who must be the signatory to the referral. Guidance on the completion of a referral is available from Disclosure Scotland.109https://www.mygov.scot/pvg-referrals/
1.7 Disclosure Scotland will carry out an initial assessment of the information to see whether it may be appropriate for the individual to be included on the Children's list and/or the Adults' list. Sometimes, the information will not meet the statutory tests for further consideration and will be dismissed at this stage. If the initial tests are met, the second stage is consideration for 'Listing', in order to establish if the individual is unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups. Whilst the individual is under consideration for Listing, this information would appear on any Disclosure record requested during that time. If the outcome of the consideration process is that the individual is not barred, the organisation must not treat the individual any differently on the grounds of the consideration case than it did before.
1.8 'Listing', in the context of the PVG Scheme, means the inclusion of an individual's name on the DWCL (Disqualified from Working with Children List) or the DWAL (Disqualified from Working with Adults List) maintained by Disclosure Scotland. Once 'Listed', an individual is 'Barred' from any voluntary or paid work that might bring him/her into contact with any vulnerable groups. Some individuals are placed on one list; others are placed on both. Some can be listed for a short period (several months or a few years); others can be listed for longer periods (10 years+ or permanently).
1.9 In 2015 all eight Scottish Dioceses decided that, if any applicant is listed on either List, then he/she must not be allowed to take up any paid or voluntary position which involves contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults within the Catholic Church in Scotland.