Protection of Vulnerable Groups and the Disclosure of Criminal Information

Closed 18 Jul 2018

Opened 25 Apr 2018

Feedback updated 13 Jun 2019

We asked

The Scottish Government published a consultation on proposals for change to the disclosure regime in Scotland on 25 April 2018. We asked for views on:

  • simplifying disclosure products;
  • reforming the policy underpinning the disclosure regime in Scotland; including
    •    offence lists and the process for removal of spent convictions from a disclosure;
    •    the operation of Other Relevant Information;
    •    provisions for convictions accrued between the age of 12 to 17 years;
  • how we can strengthen the barring service and ensure it continues to offer a world-class system in protecting vulnerable groups for years to come; and,
  • the impact of the proposals collectively.

You said

A total of 353 responses were received, 269 from organisations and 84 from individuals. Responses were received from a range of stakeholders, including the judicial bodies, the legal sector, local government, voluntary organisations and the medical profession. Responses expressed both support for and concerns regarding the proposals. The respondents who gave permission for their responses to be published can be found at

We did

Analysis of the responses to the consultation has been published. The responses informed the development of policy proposals and impact assessments for the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill, which was laid in Parliament on 12 June 2019.

Results updated 13 Jun 2019

We received 352 responses; 268 from organisations and 84 from individuals. Responses were received from a range of stakeholders with varying backgrounds including judicial bodies, the legal sector, local government, voluntary organisations and the medical profession.

The summary report provides a simple summary of responses received across all platforms without discussion of points raised. The full report goes into more detail on how respondents answered the questions and further addresses some of the issues raised across responses.
The consultation paper, the responses to it and the report are only one part of the process of involving those with an interest in the development of proposals to review the disclosure regime. 


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation seeks views on proposals for the reform to the disclosure regime in Scotland. The aim is for respondents to focus on what changes are required to make disclosure of criminal convictions fit for the 21st century.  Some changes that may be identified might be better pursued through non-legislative means.  Others may require to be looked at in terms of wider Scottish Government policy.

Our pre consultation engagement brought out the complex nature of the present disclosure system. It also brought out the high degree of value and trust that people invest in Disclosure Scotland and all of its products, but particularly the PVG Scheme.  The disclosure system is complex and one of our aims must be to make sure that this is simplified as much as possible to make it truly customer-focused so that we can deliver a better system suitable for the next 10 years and beyond.

The proposals relate to the following:

  • Disclosure Scotland products
  • Application for the removal of conviction information
  • The length of time spent convictions will be disclosed
  • Barring and listing functions
  • Fee structure
  • The duration of PVG scheme membership
  • Mandatory nature of the PVG Scheme
  • The disclosure of convictions of under 18s
  • Changes to Other Relevant Information
  • The scope of regulated work

Why your views matter

Scottish Ministers made a commitment during the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 passage through Parliament that this should be reviewed. The PVG Scheme has been in operation since 2011, the landscape around public protection and an individual’s right to move on with their life has changed. There have been advancements with technology. This consultation is seeking your views on these proposals to ensure any amendments to the disclosure regime takes full account of the public’s views on these matters. 

Download the consultation paper.


  • Children and Families
  • Law and Order