Nuffield Health operations in Scotland are affected by the introduction of the PVG Scheme in March 2011.
The Scheme replaces Enhanced Disclosures for all roles which involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults, but has different eligibility criteria, so many roles which previously warranted an Enhanced Disclosure are NOT eligible for PVG Scheme membership. Eligibility is covered later in this section.
The scheme is operated by Disclosure Scotland (SCRO). Under the legislation it will be illegal for Nuffield Health to employ an individual in a role undertaking “Regulated Work” (with children and/or vulnerable adults) in Scotland if that person is barred from undertaking such work. It is not mandatory that individuals undertaking Regulated Work must be PVG Scheme members, only that barred individuals are not in roles undertaking Regulated Work. However, in practice the only way that Nuffield Health can ensure that an individual is not barred (from undertaking Regulated Work) is to see their PVG Scheme Membership Certificate and have the Scheme notify the company if they are subsequently barred.
Although confirming membership will meet the legal requirement not to employ a barred person, it does not mean the individual is suitable for the role. They may still have criminal convictions that make them unsuitable, and Nuffield Health still has a duty of care to ensure this is checked. The PVG Scheme accommodates this by providing members with a PVG Scheme Record which carries any information that was available to Disclosure Scotland when the decision not to bar was made. This will include any spent and unspent criminal convictions and non-conviction information held by the Police, the same as an Enhanced Disclosure would.
When offering a role undertaking Regulated Work, Nuffield Health can ask to see the latest copy of an applicant’s PVG Scheme Record. However this may have been issued months, or even years ago and new information could have been added since. To cover this period, Nuffield Health can ask the applicant to apply for a PVG Scheme Update, which will verify their membership, state when the last PVG Scheme Record was issued and whether anything has been added to it since. Applying for an Update will also register Nuffield Health’s interest in the applicant with Disclosure Scotland, so they can notify the company if the applicant becomes barred once they have been employed.
The PVG Scheme Update will not reveal any details of any information that has been added to the record. For Nuffield Health to see these the applicant must apply for a new PVG Scheme Record which will include them.
Joining the PVG Scheme
There are two ways for an individual to join :-
- Direct with Disclosure Scotland
- Through an employer or regulator – who will be a Registered Body or an Umbrella Body acting for them.
Joining through a Registered Body will result in a PVG Scheme Membership Certificate and a PVG Scheme Record being issued. People joining directly with Disclosure Scotland will only receive a PVG Membership Certificate. Consequently there may be applicants who are members of the PVG Scheme, but do not have a Scheme Record.
The eligibility criteria for PVG Scheme membership are different to those for Enhanced Disclosures and many roles that previously required an Enhanced Disclosure are not eligible for PVG membership. The online system has been amended to incorporate a marker for roles that are definitely not eligible for PVG membership and for these the company has set a policy that an Enhanced Disclosure through the DBS will be sought. In these cases the system will automatically re-direct the Requester to use the correct application process. If you are checking somebody who has multiple roles, such as a Fitness Advisor who also works in the crèche, please select the role that relates most to children and/or vulnerable adults, in this case Crèche Assistant.
PVG Scheme Application Process for Nuffield Health
Disclosure Scotland do not have an eBulk equivalent so PVG Scheme applications have to made on a paper form. However, the eligibility for membership has been built into the eBulk system so we can re-direct Requesters if the role is not eligible.
- Step 1 – Click on the “New Applicant (PVG Scheme)” link in the header. This will bring up the input screen for PVG applications. Complete the PERSONAL, CONTACT and HOME sections.
- Step 2 – In the PVG SCHEME DETAILS section select the “Role” from the menu. If the role is not eligible for PVG Scheme membership the screen will display a message to this effect and re-direct you to the online Enhanced DBS Disclosure application screen.
- Step 3 – Is the applicant already a member of the PVG Scheme?:
- “No” – select “PVG new membership” from the “Type of check needed” menu and from the “Applicant Employment Status” menu select either “New Employee” or “New Role for Existing Employee” then submit. If you have been supplied with a stock of packs locally, give the applicant the “Application to Join PVG Scheme” form to complete and add the fact that you have done so as a comment on the online input screen. Otherwise DDC will send them a pack by post to the address you have entered.
- “Yes” – ask to see their PVG Scheme Membership Certificate.
- Step 4 – Does the applicant have a PVG Scheme Record?:
- “No” – select “Full record for existing member” from the “Type of Check needed” menu and answer “Yes” to the next question, but “No” to the one following.
- “Yes” – select “Update for Existing Member” from the the “Type of Check needed” menu and answer “Yes” to the next two questions.
If you are also a Recipient, you can ask to see their PVG Scheme Record and decide if anything on it makes them unsuitable for the role. If you still wish to go ahead with the check, ask the applicant whether anything has been added to their record since the document was issued. If they say “No”, enter the number and issue date of the document and submit.
If the applicants tells you that something has been added to their record since the document was issued, change the “Type of Check needed” field to “Full Record for Existing member”. This will save a lot of time, as a new Record will have to be seen.
If you are not a Recipient you should ask them to include their PVG Scheme Record when sending the completed application form to DDC and we will relay any content to a Recipient. They can do this in a separate sealed envelope if they prefer and the document will be posted back to their home address in 48 hours.
If you have been supplied with a stock of packs, give the applicant one titled “Existing PVG Scheme Member Application” to complete.
Since the application process is manual, so is the document checking. The number and type of original documents to be presented are the same as for DBS checks. Please read the DBS Document Checks page for more guidance. Using this link, satisfy yourself that the document is genuine and has not been tampered with then take copies of the relevant pages. Sign the copies and write your PIN (issued by DDC) under your signature (in case we cannot read it).Then send the copies with the application form to DDC in the envelope provided. If you need it, our postal address is DDC Ltd, P O Box 6878, SYSTON, Leicestershire, LE7 4ZR
Whilst Disclosure Scotland will notify the company if a PVG member in whom we have registered and interest is subsequently barred (thereby enabling the company to comply with the law), they will not notify criminal convictions and the like which do not result in barring. Consequently Nuffield Health continue with the current policy of requesting new Disclosures every 3 years, but in the case of PVG members these will be new PVG Scheme Updates. Should an Update show that new information has been added to the Record since it was last checked by Nuffield Health, a new Record should be requested. Both these processes are the same as those laid out above.