What is the difference between a PVG Scheme application and a DBS Check?

March 25th, 2013 by Jonathan Bazely

There are several key differences between the application for a DBS Disclosure and an application to join the PVG scheme. Below are some of the key differences and the questions an employer should ask before deciding on the correct process:

Where will the applicant be working?

To be eligible for the PVG Scheme the applicant must be working in Scotland and undertaking Regulated Work with children and/or adults. To be eligible for a DBS Check the role must fall within the DBS definition of Regulated Activity and the employment/recruitment decision must be made in England or Wales. The requirements are different between the schemes and please read the corresponding pages for more information.

Continuous Updating

Under the PVG Scheme any employer that has ‘registered an interest’ in an applicant will be informed if they become ‘considered for barring’. They will not be informed if something is added to the applicant’s criminal record.

Who can apply to join the PVG Scheme?

An individual can apply to join the PVG scheme directly to Disclosure Scotland, and receive a Scheme Membership Statement. However an employer/recruiting body should ensure they obtain a Scheme Record for the applicant or a Scheme Update, to ‘register an interest’ in the applicant and received continuous updating information, about consideration for barring. To apply for a Scheme Record, Scheme Update or DBS check an application must be made through a Registered Body (such as DDC Ltd.)

Different types of application form

When an employer is offering an applicant a role undertaking Regulated Activity in Scotland they should ensure they have ‘registered an interest’ in the applicant. There are three different forms that an applicant can complete, based upon their current PVG Status. For more information please read our general PVG Scheme information page. DBS check application forms are identical for all applicants, irrespective of any previous applications.

How long does a PVG Check last?

Both DBS Certificate and PVG Scheme Records are accurate at the point of printing however anything can be added to the individual’s criminal record after that point, that would not be shown on the Certificate. Both systems offer the employer a method of checking if that Certificate is still accurate (through the DBS Update Service or a PVG Scheme Update form) however the PVG Scheme includes continuous updating so that any employer that has registered an interest in an applicant is informed if there is any ‘consideration for barring’. This does not include if anything has been added to a criminal record so employers should decide if or how frequently re-checks are required.

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