You appear to be using an unsupported browser, and it may not be able to display this site properly. You may wish to upgrade your browser.

Types of disclosure

You may need a criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland if you're applying for paid or unpaid work, volunteering, or things like applying to adopt a child.

Disclosure means sharing sensitive personal information. Disclosure Scotland checks and shares information about people's criminal records. This helps organisations to employ the right people for certain types of work, like working with children or protected adults.

Types and fees

The type of check to be used depends on the voluntary or paid work you're doing or the role you are carrying out.

Type Fee
Basic £25
Standard £25
Enhanced £25
Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme £18 or £59 (see PVG fees)

The quickest way you can apply for basic disclosures and apply for PVG is online.

Organisations can also apply by email for standard and enhanced disclosures.

Some workers may be coronavirus (COVID-19) response workers. You will not have to pay for checks about them. This will remain in place until midnight on Friday 25 March 2022.

You will not get a refund unless Disclosure Scotland has made an error or you have paid for a disclosure for a coronavirus response worker.

Basic disclosure

Anyone can apply for a basic disclosure certificate.

A basic disclosure is the most common and lowest level of disclosure available. It includes information on any 'unspent' convictions the person has.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, some criminal convictions can be treated as 'spent' – meaning they're not relevant to basic disclosure – after a certain length of time. Spent convictions are not included on a basic disclosure.

Applications for basic disclosure will be processed according to the Scottish rules under the Rehabilitation periods for particular sentences section of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Disclosure Scotland doesn't monitor people with basic disclosure, so the certificate is only valid when it's created and not for a specific length of time.

Applying in England and Wales

If you need a basic disclosure for a job in England or Wales, apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service. If you want a basic disclosure for personal reasons rather than work purposes, apply where you live – Disclosure Scotland if you live in Scotland, or the Disclosure and Barring Service if you live in England or Wales.

Standard and enhanced disclosure

Standard and enhanced disclosures involve higher level checks.

They are for people doing certain types of work or looking to adopt and are applied for by your employer or a registered body representing you.

  • standard disclosure is for specific roles such as solicitors, accountants or providing a care service
  • enhanced disclosure applies to specific roles such as checking people are suitable for adoption, or applying for certain gaming or lottery licences

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

The PVG Scheme is for people doing 'regulated work' with children and protected adults.

A PVG certificate contains all unspent and certain spent conviction information. It also contains any other non-conviction information that the police or other government bodies think is relevant.

Disclosure Scotland continually monitor PVG scheme members' records for vetting information including criminal convictions that may affect their suitability to work with vulnerable groups.

You need to be an organisation offering regulated work to apply on behalf of an individual for PVG Scheme membership.

Behaviour before the age of 12

The Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 says a child under the age of 12 years cannot commit an offence. Disclosure Scotland may still disclose information about behaviour before the age of 12.

Disclosure Scotland will only do this after an independent review for either:

  • an enhanced disclosure
  • a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme record

Find out more about behaviour under the age of 12 and disclosure.

Disregards for historical convictions for sexual activity between men

You can apply for a 'disregard' to have historical convictions for same-sex sexual activity removed from your records. Getting a disregard means these convictions will not show on any criminal record checks issued by Disclosure Scotland.

You can get a disregard for a conviction for any same-sex sexual activity that would be legal nowadays. For example, chatting up or having sex with another man.

If you have a conviction you think may be eligible for a disregard, you can find out more and apply for a disregard at

Training webinars

Disclosure Scotland runs free training webinars to help employers understand the different types of disclosure. You can sign up on the Disclosure Scotland events page or email to find out more.

Contact Disclosure Scotland

Most of the information you will need about criminal record checks or disclosure is in these pages. If you have a question that is not answered here, you can email:

Phone: 0300 020 0040
Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm
Friday 9am to 3:30pm
Find out about call charges

Back to top