The United Reformed Church PVG Process
The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme applies to applicants working or volunteering in Scotland. There are different ways to initiate the process based upon the contact details of the Verifier, and the access to the online Client Area. The default position for the URC is to request online applications for applicants, but you can specify a paper application process if your applicants would prefer.
All churches should submit an application for those carrying out Regulated Work within their church, to ensure that they ‘register an interest’ in that applicant. This means that should that applicant become ‘considered for barring’ in the future, the church would be notified by Disclosure Scotland.
Requesting a PVG check online
The online request system will help the Verifier to confirm which of the two forms will be required by the applicant, by asking a series of simple questions about their current status. This primarily relates to whether they have already joined the Protection of Vulnerable Group (PVG) Scheme, whether they have their current Scheme Record and what information was previously requested with their Scheme Record.
By answering these simple questions the system will be able to determine which form DDC will be requesting for the applicant. This will also determine the information that DDC will be asking the applicant to produce, to enable the submission of the application to Disclosure Scotland. The default process is an online application but you can specify that a paper form should be sent to the applicant if you prefer.
Requesting a PVG check with an online form
Unless specifically requested the applicant will be asked to undertake the identity verification process before completing an online application form, on the Disclosure Scotland portal. The Verifier will be asked to see and verify the applicant’s original documents and any existing PVG certificates or statements to confirm they are valid and fit for purpose. These will also need to be sent the DDC for secondary checks. Once these checks have been completed the applicant will be sent a link by Disclosure Scotland, to access their online form. This must be completed within 7 days of initiation or a new link will need to be sent by Disclosure Scotland.
Where the process is entirely paper based and the Verifier does not have access to the online Client Area, the above steps for deciding which form to send will need to be handled by the Verifier, and the corresponding forms given to the applicant. To do this we have provided some guidance below about the two types of form and when they should be used:
An application to join the PVG Scheme – this form should be used if the applicant has never joined the PVG Scheme and does not have any kind of PVG Scheme membership number. This application form will result in a Scheme Record being issued to the applicant as their record of the check results. This application will also register the churches interest in the applicant should they become ‘considered for barring’ in the future.
An existing PVG Scheme Member application – this form should be completed by an applicant that has already applied for a PVG Scheme Membership Statement or Record. The results of this check will indicate if anything on the previously issued Scheme Record has been added. If adding/removing information such as Regulated Activity with a particular group, this form should be used.
If the applicant has already joined the PVG Scheme in any format the Verifier should still request an application is completed through the church. The form to be completed will be determined as per the above form requirements. This ensures that the United Reformed Church has ‘registered an interest’ in that applicant and will be informed if there is any ‘consideration for barring’ in the future. This also allows the church to confirm or update the workforce information (Children or Protected Adults) the applicant will be working with in their role.