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Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme

EthicalIn this section:

Please note: The Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 [1] has not yet been implemented. The Act passed royal assent in June 2020, and will be fully implemented up to and including 2024.

Changes to the Act aim to modernise and improve the disclosure system in Scotland by building on previous legislation. The changes focus on safeguarding children and protected adults, while identifying the need for people with previous convictions to move on from them and contribute to society.

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme [2] was established by the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (the PVG Act) [3]. The Scheme introduced ‘regulated work’ [4] for children (PVG Children’s List) and protected adult groups (PVG Adults’ List). A child is defined as an individual aged under 18 years. All adults are classed as protected adults while receiving dental treatment.

In 2011, the PVG Scheme introduced continuous monitoring of an individual and coordinated it with other regulated work/activities that the individual may undertake. All dental professionals that provide clinical care are considered to undertake regulated work in both the Children’s and Protected Adults’ groups.

It is an offence for an employer to knowingly recruit a barred individual (i.e. an individual who is on the PVG Children’s List and/or the PVG Adults’ List) to do regulated work. A PVG certificate issued by Disclosure Scotland [5] is the only way for an employer to confirm that an individual is not barred from regulated work.

The General Dental Council recommends dental professionals keep up to date by doing Continuing Professional Development in safeguarding children and young people, and safeguarding protected adults [6].

Staff in regulated work

Since February 2011, it has been necessary for new clinical staff undertaking regulated work to join the PVG Scheme for both the Children and Protected Adults workforces to demonstrate to their employer that they are not barred from working with children and protected adults. See Applying for PVG Scheme Membership.

Staff not in regulated work

Receptionists and practice managers are not in regulated work therefore they are not eligible for PVG membership, but as they have access to patients in receipt of a health service, they are eligible for a Standard Disclosure [7]. Other staff who have no access to patients are not eligible for PVG or Standard Disclosure. A Basic Disclosure may be applied for in this situation, however it is not a mandatory requirement.

Ensure that all staff who undertake regulated work are members of the PVG Scheme by applying for and obtaining a copy of their Scheme Record, or, for an existing PVG member, their Short Scheme Record.

Arrange for Standard Disclosure for staff who have access to patients but are not undertaking regulated work.