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Referrals and Consideration for Listing


Employers have a duty to report to Disclosure Scotland any harmful behaviour which  indicates that an individual may be unsuitable to do regulated work. This is called ‘making a referral’. The PVG Act (2007) places a duty on practices to make a referral when certain criteria are met [2]. It is an offence not to make a referral within 3 months of the criteria for referral being met.

There are 2 criteria that must be met prior to a referral being made:

You believe the person has caused harm or is likely to cause harm to a child or protected adult.

The harmful behaviour meant that that person involved:

  • was dismissed as a result
  • would have been dismissed, but left before they could be
  • was transferred permanently away from doing regulated work with children or protected adults

The harmful (or potentially harmful) behaviour must be reported even if it takes place outside work, or if the employer finds out about the behaviour after the employee has left.

Examples of the criteria for making a referral can be found on the Disclosure website [1].

Both the GDC and the NHS Tribunal have the power to make referrals. The employer has a legal obligation to refer.

NB: Fitness to practise concerns about a member of staff’s professional competence should be addressed by the GDC.

A referral may trigger a consideration for listing. If the outcome of the consideration for listing is that the individual is placed on either the PVG Children’s List or PVG Adults’ List, and is therefore barred from one or both kinds of regulated work, then the practice must remove the individual from that regulated work as it is an offence not to do so.

The GDC will be informed if the individual is listed.

Be aware of the duty to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland if a member of staff meets Disclosure Scotland referral criteria [1].

Remove a member of staff from doing regulated work if you are informed by Disclosure Scotland that they are barred.

Sources of Information