Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme

What is the PVG scheme?

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. It helps makes sure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to do 'regulated work' with children and vulnerable adults are prevented from doing

Why do I need to join the PVG scheme?

You will need to apply to join the PVG scheme if you want to study on a course where you will interact with vulnerable groups. Courses where PVG scheme membership is required will be clearly advertised on the course webpage, along with the PVG scheme conditions. The two conditions are:

Condition 1) PVG scheme membership is required in order to take part in key elements of the course e.g. placements;

Condition 2) PVG scheme membership is an entry requirement of the course.

If you are eligible to join the PVG scheme, a copy of the PVG scheme record will be returned to the University or Academic Partner to which you are applying. Criminal convictions and any information considered relevant by Disclosure Scotland be disclosed on the PVG scheme record. The Privacy Notices for Further Education Admissions and Higher Education Admissions have more information about this.

What are the possible outcomes of the PVG scheme application?

You will either be eligible or ineligible to join the PVG scheme. Disclosure Scotland keeps a list of people unsuitable to do regulated work with children and a list of people unsuitable to do regulated work with protected adults. The lists are separate, although people can be on both lists. If Disclosure Scotland adds someone to one or both of these lists, it is known as being 'listed'.

If you are listed you will not be eligible to join the PVG scheme. Having a criminal conviction and being listed is not the same thing e.g. some people with criminal convictions will be eligible to join the PVG scheme. If you require guidance about criminal convictions and PVG Scheme Membership, please contact Disclosure Scotland.

If you have a criminal conviction that is disclosed on the PVG scheme record then you may be subject to a risk assessment in order to ascertain your suitability for placements or a course of study. This risk assessment is carried out an individual basis, and staff will not be able to indicate in advance of an application what the outcome of the risk assessment will be. As a result of the risk assessment, you may be ineligible to go on certain placements, your application may be rejected or offer of a place on a course withdrawn.

Condition 1 applicants who are listed would be prevented from taking part in key elements of the course e.g. placements. Condition 2 applicants who are listed would be prevented from enrolling on the course if they are listed.

If you know that you are listed and wish to know more about options that may be available to you, please contact the university or Academic Partner to which you are applying.

What happens next?

For Condition 1 applicants: if you are offered a place on the course you will be given a PVG application form before or during the enrolment process. You should complete this form and submit it using the instructions provided.

For Condition 2 applicants: If your course requires a PVG scheme membership as a condition of entry, you will be contacted and directed to do this by Admissions staff.

Who pays for the PVG scheme application?

Further Education students have the cost of their application paid for.

For HE students, please contact the University or Academic Partner for more information about the specific course you are applying for.

The cost is £59 or £18 depending on the type of disclosure record required. If you do not know if you are a Further or Higher Education student, contact the Academic Partner to which you are applying.

If you have any questions…

Please discuss your concerns with a member of staff at the Academic Partner to which you are applying. The PVG scheme uses complex language and staff are here to help you understand the scheme and how it protects vulnerable people.

Quick reference table

Condition typeExplanationPVG impactPVG application process
Condition 1 PVG scheme membership required in order to take part in key elements of the course e.g. placements. Listed applicants would be prevented from taking part in key elements of the course e.g. placements. If offered a place on the course you will be given a PVG application form before or during the enrolment process
Condition 2 PVG scheme membership is an entry requirement of the course. Listed applicants would be prevented from enrolling on the course. You will be contacted and directed to do this by Admissions staff.