Types of disclosure

Last updated: 26 September 2017

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.

What type of disclosure do I need?

Disclosure Scotland provide:

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

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

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.

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 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.

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 contact:

Disclosure Scotland

Phone: 03000 2000 40

Overseas: 0044141 427 2284

Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

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