About Disclosure Scotland

Last updated: 5 February 2018

Disclosure Scotland helps employers make safer decisions when they're recruiting people.

It also makes sure unsuitable people don't work with vulnerable groups, including children and protected adults.

What it does

If an employer wants to hire someone, they can ask Disclosure Scotland for a certificate which gives details of the person's criminal convictions.

If the person doesn't have a criminal record, the certificate will make it clear to the employer that they have no convictions.

Disclosure Scotland also manages the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme. This is a membership scheme for people who work with children or vulnerable adults. Employers can check a member's record at any time to make sure they're still safe to work with these groups.

To keep these records accurate, Disclosure Scotland can access a range of police data, as well as data from other sources.

Its responsibilities include:

  • issuing certificates for criminal records checks for basic, standard or enhanced disclosures
  • adding people doing work with vulnerable groups to the PVG Scheme
  • deciding whether a person should be added to or removed from a barred list
  • maintaining the barred lists for regulated work with children or protected adults

Service Level Agreement

Disclosure Scotland works within a Service Level Agreement, which is an official promise to work to a certain level.

Its Service Level Agreement is to send 90% of disclosure certificates within 14 days (as long as the application was completed correctly and there are no further enquiries).

This is measured from the day it receives the application to the day the certificate is sent.

How Disclosure Scotland is managed

Disclosure Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government and runs on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Its chief executive reports to the Minister for Children and Young People.

Disclosure Scotland's Board provides support and advice to the chief executive on:

  • business priorities
  • performance
  • budget
  • risk


There are a number of publications that give you more information about Disclosure Scotland.

Framework Document

Sets out the vision and objectives of Disclosure Scotland.

Corporate Plan

Sets out the plan for transforming Disclosure Scotland between 2015 and 2018.

Annual report and accounts

Gives the most recent report on Disclosure Scotland's finances.

FOI reports data

Gives information on Freedom of Information requests sent to Disclosure Scotland, and the replies they got.

Business plan

Explains the key objectives for 2017/18 and how Disclosure Scotland will achieve them.

Procurement Strategy

Sets out how Disclosure Scotland will plan and manage its procurement processes 2017 to 2019.

Register of Interests

Record of the financial interests of Disclosure Scotland's executive, non-executive and independent members.

Board minutes

Gives the details of recent board meetings.

Audit and Risk Committee minutes

Gives the details of recent committee meetings.

Bills and legislation

If you'd like to see the legislation Disclosure Scotland falls under, you can read it here:

Find out more about how this legislation relates to disclosure application processes.

Data protection

Disclosure Scotland is fully committed to compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and all operations and processes are in accordance with the Act. Information from applicants, police forces and police records is required to prevent crime and to protect the vulnerable.

Information will only be disclosed to legitimate organisations who have a legal right to have access to this under Part V of the Police Act 1997, the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Act 2007, or can display a legal right to do so. However, Disclosure Scotland reserves the right to share information with the police where it believes a crime may have been committed.

How to complain

Disclosure Scotland takes complaints seriously and will respond fully to any concerns you raise with it.

If you have a problem with the service Disclosure Scotland has offered and you want to make a complaint, contact it by emailing DSComplaints@disclosurescotland.gsi.gov.uk

You can also call 03000 2000 40 (Monday to Thursday 8.30am - 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm), or write to:

Corporate Governance
Disclosure Scotland
PO Box 250
G51 1YU