Types of disclosure

Last updated: 31 January 2017

If you're an employer or applying for a job, you may need to do a criminal record check with Disclosure Scotland.

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

What type of disclosure do I need?

There are different types of checks depending on the type of work you're doing:

  • Basic disclosure
  • Standard disclosure
  • Enhanced disclosure
  • Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

Basic disclosure

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. This is because a basic disclosure only shows any unspent convictions you may have.

Anyone can apply for a basic disclosure certificate.

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.

Standard and enhanced disclosure

Standard and enhanced disclosures involve higher level checks. They are for people doing certain types of work and are applied for by an employer.

  • standard disclosure is for specific roles such as law enforcement, firearms licences or provision of a care service
  • enhanced disclosure applies to specific roles such 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 criminal convictions that may affect their suitability to work with vulnerable groups.

You need to be a registered body to apply on behalf of an individual for standard or enhanced disclosures or PVG Scheme membership.