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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 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 you need depends on the work you're doing or the role you're 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.

Basic disclosure

Anyone can apply for a basic disclosure. It is the most common and lowest level of disclosure available. It includes information on any 'unspent' convictions you have.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, some criminal convictions can be treated as 'spent' 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 does not 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're for people doing certain types of work or looking to adopt. You can apply for these through your employer or registered body.

  • 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 monitors PVG scheme members' records for any vetting information that may affect their suitability to work with vulnerable groups. This includes any criminal convictions.

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

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 types of disclosure. You can sign up on the Disclosure Scotland events page or email to find out more.

Video guidance

There's guidance on Youtube that explains the different types of disclosure.

Contact Disclosure Scotland


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

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