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Examples to help decide when to refer

The examples below are designed to help show you when organisations need to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland.

Example 1


A childcare worker physically harms children they’re caring for. When the organisation discovers this, the individual is suspended from their role. The organisation carries out a full investigation and decide to dismiss the individual from their role.


The organisation needs to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland due to harmful behaviour against children. The referral should be made when the person is dismissed, not before this.  


A referral to Disclosure Scotland does not replace other legal duties you have to report people elsewhere. You still have to make referrals to other organisations.

Example 2


A school teacher has their contract terminated by a school for inappropriate sexual behaviour towards other teachers in the staff room and at staff social events. No children were present when the incidents took place.


The organisation does not need to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland as there was no harmful behaviour involving children or protected adults. The organisation may have other obligations though, for example reporting to the police or making referrals to other organisations.

Example 3


A home carer repeatedly fails to follow set care plans for the protected adults they’re caring for. This places the adults at risk of harm. When the individual is notified of disciplinary action by their employer, they do not return to their role. They do not participate in the disciplinary investigation either.


The organisation decides that they might have dismissed the person from their role, had they not already left. This means the organisation needs to make a referral to Disclosure Scotland.

Contact Disclosure Scotland

If you’re still unsure whether to make a referral, email for help. 

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