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Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme: Guidance for individuals, organisations and personal employers

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Chapter 3: PVG Scheme Fees

3.1 - Levels of fee

1. There are fees for joining the PVG Scheme and requesting the different types of disclosure records 49. Chapter 1 explains the different PVG Scheme disclosure records. The fees and the circumstances in which they are payable are set out in the Table below:

Circumstance

Fee

Application to join the PVG Scheme (See para 2 below)

£59

Scheme Record

£59

But free of charge when requested at the same time as an application to join

Scheme Record Update

£18

Scheme Record requested by the same employer subsequently to a Scheme Record Update (See para 3, below)

£41 (that is £59 minus £18) if the subsequent application is made within 30 days of the Scheme Record Update being issued

£59 (after more than 30 days)

Scheme Membership Statement

£18 (if requested in an application subsequent to the application to join)

But free of charge when requested at the same time as an application to join

Scheme Record or Scheme Record Update for volunteers working in a qualifying voluntary organisation in Scotland (See para 4, below)

Free of charge

2. If someone joins the PVG Scheme in relation to one regulated workforce, and then subsequently makes an application to join the scheme in relation to the other workforce, that second application will attract a further fee of £59 to join the scheme. If someone applies to join the Scheme for both workforces at the same time they will pay only one fee of £59.

3. Information on a Scheme Record Update may prompt an employer to wish to see all the information on the member's Scheme Record. In these cases, provided the request for the Scheme Record is made by the same employer within 30 days of the Scheme Record Update being issued, the fee payable is £41, being the difference in fee between a Scheme Record Update and a Scheme Record. This effectively 'tops up' the fee already paid, so the total amount paid is the same as if there had been a single request for a Scheme Record. This means it is always worth asking for a Scheme Record Update first.

4. Volunteers working in regulated work in a qualifying voluntary organisation in Scotland can have their applications processed at no cost to themselves or their organisation. CRBS offer a service processing free checks for the voluntary sector and can provide more advice. Alternatively, qualifying voluntary organisations can register directly with Disclosure Scotland and still receive free checks. But the charges that apply for registration (see chapter 9) still apply.

5. For the PVG Scheme, a "qualifying voluntary organisation" is an organisation which-

  • is not a further education institution, a school, a public or local authority, or which is not under the management of a public or local authority; and
  • is not conducted primarily for profit, and any profit generated is used to further the objectives of the organisation and not distributed to its members 50.

6. The second element of the definition excludes most private-sector businesses, large financial institutions and publicly listed companies.

Students

7. Simply doing unpaid work does not equate to being a volunteer. Students on placements are not volunteers as their work is mandatory (not voluntary) in the context of getting their qualification.

Volunteers moving to paid work

8. An individual whose application to join the PVG Scheme was as a volunteer in a qualifying voluntary organisation, and therefore in respect of which no fee was payable, will be treated in the same way as an individual who paid to the join the PVG Scheme in relation to subsequent disclosure requests for paid regulated work. For example, for an individual who obtained a free Scheme Record when recruited as a volunteer for a voluntary organisation, the fee payable for a Scheme Record Update for paid work for a council would still be £18.

3.2 - Payment: the individual or the employer

9. There are no set rules on who pays and payment can be made by either the individual or the organisation or personal employer requiring the disclosure. But Disclosure Scotland will not send out a disclosure record until the fee has been paid, except in cases where an arrangement has been made for an organisation to be invoiced (see chapter 9).

10. For a Scheme Membership Statement, which an individual would apply for if they want to join the PVG Scheme in anticipation of applying to do regulated work, or if a self-employed individual wished to have their own evidence that they are a PVG Scheme member, the individual will always pay the fee. They will also have to pay the higher level fee again if they subsequently apply for regulated work and the organisation wants access to their Scheme Record.

11. For a Scheme Record or a Scheme Record Update, an existing or prospective employer may pay the fee for the individual. Others may expect the individual to pay the fee themselves.

3.3 - Methods of payment

12. Most methods of payment are acceptable to Disclosure Scotland, but cash cannot be used. Disclosure requests can be paid for by credit or debit card, by cheque or by money order. Registered bodies can make invoicing arrangements with Disclosure Scotland.

3.4 - Refunds

13. A refund may be given in very unusual circumstances if an application cannot be processed by Disclosure Scotland, possibly because the identity of the individual cannot be confirmed. Refunds are not given for any of the following reasons:

  • an individual being recruited by an organisation has turned down the job offer or otherwise not taken up the employment;
  • the time taken to process the request and issue the disclosure record;
  • the individual wishes to leave the PVG Scheme; or
  • the individual does not like the information contained on a disclosure record.

14. However, where a disclosure record is found to contain inaccurate information ( e.g. following a vetting dispute), a corrected disclosure record will be issued free of charge to whoever received the inaccurate version.

3.5 - The role of CRBS

15. CRBS plays an important role in helping voluntary organisations to access the benefits of the PVG Scheme, and especially the free checks that are available to volunteers doing regulated work for qualifying voluntary organisations. CRBS is part of Volunteer Development Scotland and is funded by the Scottish Government.

16. CRBS functions include:

  • Enrolling voluntary organisations and acting as the registered body for them.
  • Countersigning applications for scheme disclosures and forwarding them to Disclosure Scotland on behalf of enrolled organisations.
  • Facilitating the return of disclosure records from Disclosure Scotland to enrolled organisations.
  • Assisting voluntary organisations to assess the suitability of applicants to work with children and/or protected adults (if requested to do so).
  • Advising voluntary organisations on broader measures of child and adult protection.

17. Enrolment with CRBS is free of charge as are all applications for disclosure records for volunteers doing regulated work for qualifying voluntary organisations. However, a charge is applied to each scheme application that is made on behalf of a paid staff member within the voluntary organisation.

18. For more information, contact CRBS:

Web: www.CRBS.org.uk
Post: Central Registered Body in Scotland,
Jubilee House, Forthside Way, Stirling, FK8 1QZ
Telephone: 01786 849777

Case study C3.1

Fees - self-employed piano tutor

A. Timothy is planning to offer piano tuition to children in their own homes once he has completed his university course. He realises that this will be regulated work with children and that some parents (as personal employers) might want to check that he is a PVG Scheme member. He decides to make a unilateral application to join the PVG Scheme in anticipation of regulated work with children.

B. As he is joining the PVG Scheme, this will cost him £59. He will receive a Scheme Membership Statement which he can show to personal employers. This will state that he is a PVG Scheme member in respect of regulated work with children and whether or not he is under consideration for listing for the children's list.

C. Some parents might want to see a more recent Scheme Membership Statement, especially if some time has elapsed since he received the original. In this case, they can request and countersign an application for another Scheme Membership Statement. This will cost £18 and a copy will go to the personal employer. It is a matter for Timothy and the personal employer to decide who pays the fee. Timothy can show his copy of the Scheme Membership Statement to other parents

Case study C3.2

Fees - locum doctor

A. John, a doctor, does locum work for different Health Boards. He is already a PVG Scheme member in respect of both workforces. He has nothing on his Scheme Record nor does he do anything to result in any new vetting information arising.

B. Each time he is appointed to a new position by a new employer (a different Health Board), a Scheme Record Update should be requested. This will cost £18 each time. As there is nothing on his Scheme Record, the Scheme Record Update should be sufficient for each Health Board without sight of his Scheme Record.

Case study C3.3

Fees - voluntary work and move to paid work

A. Ahmed has done voluntary work in an adult care setting through an Islamic charity connected to his local Mosque. For this he received a Scheme Record at no charge. Separately, he has done voluntary work teaching children through a children's charity. Again, for this he received a Scheme Record at no charge. He is a member of the PVG Scheme for both regulated work with children and regulated work with adults but has two separate Scheme Records one for each workforce and received at different times.

B. Ahmed is now training to be a social worker and has been asked for a disclosure record in respect of both types of regulated work. He asks for a Scheme Record Update which costs £18. The Scheme Record Update confirms that there is no vetting information on either his Scheme Record in respect of regulated work with adults or his Scheme Record in respect of regulated work with children, nor any new vetting information since. The Scheme Record Update is sufficient for his new employer and it does not matter that the Scheme Record was issued for voluntary work.