Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG): For PAs

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed by Disclosure Scotland. Anyone who wants to work with children or vulnerable adults, will need to have a PVG check and become members of the scheme.

This helps ensure that people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults cannot do ‘regulated work’ with these groups.

PVG is a membership scheme which makes sure its members are allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Personal Assistants and the PVG Scheme

As a PA, your Employer can ask you to apply online for a PVG check.  If your employer countersigns your application, they will receive a copy of your PVG certificate.

This certificate is called a Scheme Membership Statement and it shows your PVG membership information. It includes confirmation they you are not barred from working with children/protected adults. It will also show if you are under consideration for listing – this means if Disclosure Scotland receives information about you that might mean you are unsuitable for regulated work, they will do an assessment to decide whether to list you.

As a PA, you cannot be asked to apply online for a PVG check if:

  • you are a family member of the employer and live with them
  • you live with the employer as if you are a family member (you are not related to them but live with and support them)
  • you have a personal relationship with them and are not being employed or paid for the work.

Upcoming changes to the PVG process

A new law was passed in 2020 – the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 – which will come into force in April 2025. The new law focuses on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, while balancing the need for people with convictions to move on from past convictions and contribute to society.

The most important change that the new law will make for Personal Assistants is that it will become a legal requirement for PAs to be a member of the PVG scheme. This is because PAs are deemed to be are carrying out a ‘regulated role’ working with either children or protected adults.

What PAs and Employers need to do after April 2025

When the new law comes into effect, PA Employers will need to ask any potential new PAs to undergo a PVG check at either level 1 or 2. If a new PA is not a member of the PVG scheme they will need to join.

The information that is shared by Disclosure Scotland can only be shared with a ‘regulated body’. This means that the prospective PA will receive a copy of their disclosure as well as an organisation acting on behalf of the PA Employer. This ‘regulated body’ will then have to decide what information in the disclosure received by them is relevant to the PA’s employment. They will only be able to share relevant information with the PA employer.

Costs for PVG registration

Once the new law is fully implemented, all PAs, including self-employed PAs, will need to register with Disclosure Scotland. There is a cost to join the PVG scheme (currently £59).

Next steps

Take a look at the resources available to guide you in more detail.

Part of
Last Updated
01 July 2024
First Published
01 April 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.