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Criminal record checks for coronavirus (COVID-19) response workers

Some workers in Scotland (whether paid or unpaid) may be coronavirus response workers. If they meet all the criteria for a coronavirus response worker, they do not have to pay for a disclosure.

If the worker is carrying out work in England or Wales they should apply through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Who is a Scottish coronavirus response worker

A Scottish coronavirus response worker is someone who meets all 4 criteria:

  1. They must only need a disclosure because of their coronavirus work.
  2. Their role must only exist in response to coronavirus.
  3. They must be working in a qualifying sector.
  4. They are carrying out work in Scotland.

If you need someone in that role anyway for work not normally about coronavirus, you'll still need to pay, even if that work is in a qualifying sector

Coronavirus work example

Someone recruited for an additional school cleaning role should qualify as a coronavirus response worker, if:

  • they only need a disclosure because of their coronavirus work to prevent the spread of coronavirus
  • the role only exists in response to coronavirus
  • the role is in a qualifying sector (education)
  • the school is in Scotland

The cleaner meets all 4 criteria.

Non-coronavirus work example

A teaching vacancy created as normal (for example, by someone retiring). The recruited teacher would not usually qualify as a coronavirus response worker. Although the work is in a qualifying sector in Scotland:

  • they need a disclosure for more than their coronavirus work alone
  • the role does not 'only exist' in response to coronavirus

The teacher does not meet all 4 criteria.

Applications that do not meet the 4 criteria

If you complete a coronavirus response worker application but the worker does not meet all 4 criteria:

  • Disclosure Scotland will not process the application and will return it
  • you'll have to complete a new application and pay for it (if for work in Scotland)
  • you'll have to apply and pay through the Disclosure and Barring Service (if for work in England and Wales)

Qualifying sectors

You must meet all 4 criteria for a coronavirus response worker.  This includes working in one of the qualifying sectors.

The qualifying sectors are:

  • healthcare (including dental care)
  • pharmaceutical
  • childcare
  • social work
  • social care
  • prisons, law and order, and justice
  • education (early years, primary and secondary)
  • emergency services
  • critical national infrastructure
  • energy and water supply
  • defence
  • local and central government public services
  • environmental protection
  • animal health and welfare
  • funeral services
  • medicines and pharmaceutical supply
  • food supply and food processing
  • chemical supply
  • telecommunications
  • public transport
  • postal and delivery services
  • financial services
  • food retail

Email the eligibility team on to check your role is for a coronavirus response worker.

Applications for coronavirus response workers

To apply for a coronavirus response worker through Disclosure Scotland, the worker must be carrying out work in Scotland (whether paid or unpaid).


Coronavirus response workers carrying out work in Scotland (whether paid or unpaid) can apply for most types of disclosure online:

By email

For some types of disclosure you'll need to complete a digital form and send it to Disclosure Scotland:

Email completed forms to

Disclosure Scotland will accept an electronic signature from the applicant and countersignatory. Either a typewritten or scanned signature is valid. There's no need to print and sign a form by hand.

All qualifying voluntary organisations (QVOs) enrolled with Volunteer Scotland Disclosure Services (VSDS) should follow VSDS processes.


You do not have to pay for disclosures about coronavirus response workers. This will remain in place until midnight on Friday 24 June 2022.


If you submitted and paid for a disclosure for a coronavirus response worker, you can get a refund.

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