Online PVG process

Disclosure Scotland has now moved to processing PVG applications online, and the Scouts have worked with them to design a process for everyone to follow.

Locally, our only part in the process is to check an applicant’s three forms of original ID and make sure that these details agree with what is held on Compass. If it is a new member, they will also have to be added to Compass. However, everything else will be dealt between UK headquarters, Disclosure Scotland and the applicant themselves.

We are recommending that Districts agree the exact process for the steps below, with all those involved, to ensure a consistent approach. Almost all our PVG's only cover regulated work with children. If a PVG is also required for work with protected adults, please contact disclosures@scouts.org.uk for advice.

The way we access our PVG certificates is also changing.

Disclosure Scotland is moving to the issue of electronic rather than paper PVG certificates, with immediate effect.

From now on, applicants will view disclosure results online, instead of receiving paper certificates. You will have to verify your identity to set up an online ScotAccount to access the result. We believe the ScotAccount will allow you to access other public services too.

You should continue to apply for a PVG as we do just now - none of that is affected. However, once Disclosure Scotland processes an application, the applicant will receive an email from them. The email will have a link in it, plus the application reference number. When you click on the link, you will be asked to set up a ScotAccount and sign in. You will then be taken to your disclosure results. 

The Safe Scouting team was advised by Disclosure Scotland, at the end of last week, that we are moving over to this system straightaway. You will not receive paper PVG certificates for any applications, from now on. More details are available here.

So who does what?

Adding new adults to Compass

The people who currently add members to Compass and assign new adult roles can continue to do so. If that sole responsibility sits with one person per District, it may slow the process down, so now could be the time to think about line managers adding new members. However, that is a District decision, which the Appointments Secretary must be happy with. Please remember too, that the compliance clock starts ticking from the date the role is added to Compass.

Checking an adult’s ID

Again, this responsibility still rests with the same people who checked ID under the paper system. It will often be a Group Scout Leader/Line Manager, but that might not always be possible, depending on local circumstances. This process applies to those new to Scouting and to those renewing their PVG after 5 years. Remember too that someone may be an existing member of the PVG Scheme, through another organisation.

Three original ID documents (not photocopies) will need to be produced, with at least one of those documents being photographic. Acceptable forms of ID can be found on the UK website. Across the three documents, proof of the following applicant information must be provided:

Full name (including any middle names)

Date of birth

Current residential address

ID Checkers should use the online ID Checking Form provided they can also access the adult’s record on Compass, to check that the address and date of birth recorded there are the same as on their ID documents.

They will tick to say they have checked these for complete accuracy. GSLs and DGSLs/AGSLs can see the required information for Group roles. If someone else regularly checks IDs but cannot check applicant details on Compass, they could be given the role of Group/District/Region Administrator, which will give them access to the relevant records.

If you cannot access the adult’s record on Compass, to check against the ID documentation, then you must use the paper ID Checking Form, which can be downloaded from the UK website. All acceptable forms of ID are listed on the electronic and paper forms. Once completed you should pass the downloaded form to your GSL, DGSL/AGSL, DESC, SAS Manager or Appointments Secretary and they will check against Compass and transfer the information to the electronic process.

Please use secure means to transfer ID Checking forms to other people, e.g. hand delivery, signed for mail or password protected attachments to email. Once the information is transferred to the electronic process, any paper forms should be shredded.

The links to the online and paper forms will always be available on the UK website, on the page relating to the Disclosure Process in Scotland.

If you are using the electronic ID Checking Form then, once submitted, the information will go directly to the Appointment Secretary’s email inbox.

If someone has a specific plan for an adult role when they are 18, it is permissible to apply for a PVG from age 17.5 years. However, because the person is under 18, their Compass record will not be visible. As a result, the only way to do this, and allow for the necessary checks, will be to pass both the Adult Information Form and ID Checking form to the Appointments Secretary, similar to how we managed the paper system. It doesn’t apply to many people, so hopefully won’t add significantly to what we are asking Appointments Secretaries to do.

Confirming the person’s details are correct and submitting information

This responsibility sits with Appointments Secretaries. They will receive the ID Checking information by email, together with a link to an ‘Update Form’, which will allow the Appointments Secretary to accept or reject the submission.

Before making that decision, the Appointments Secretary should click on the ‘Open Update Form’ link in their email and then check that:

The applicant has already been added to Compass

The information provided is the same as that held on Compass - name, email address and membership number

The three forms of ID used are acceptable, in that together they prove the applicant’s full name, date of birth, current address and one is photographic ID.

If this is for an existing PVG member, the membership number has 16 digits

The ID checker has a full appointment on Compass

If the Appointments Secretary is going to accept the application, they must also add the applicant’s date of birth and full address from Compass, before submitting to Smartsheet. The Update Form will then go directly to the Safe Scouting Team at Gilwell.

If there are issues that the Appointments Secretary requires to have resolved, they will reject the application, without adding the address and date of birth and state the reason for this e.g. ID used does not prove current address, email address is different from Compass etc. This will be emailed back to the ID Checker to rectify and send a further update.

Safe Scouting Team at UK headquarters

The team at UK headquarters will also check the information against Compass and will accept or reject in a similar way to that outlined above. If everything is correct, the Appointments Secretary and the ID Checker will receive an email to let them know that the application has now been initiated with Disclosure Scotland – that is the signal to tell applicants that the email containing their unique link to the Disclosure Scotland online application form is now in their inbox (and if not to check their spam).

At this stage, Compass is also be updated to show ‘Final applicant information required’. It means that the application process has been initiated with Disclosure Scotland and The Scouts are now waiting for the applicant to complete their online PVG application, within the deadline.

Disclosure Scotland

Disclosure Scotland will deal with the applicant directly. Based on the request from the Safe Scouting Team, Disclosure Scotland will email the applicant a unique link to their own online application. The link will expire after 14 days so we need to make sure applicants understand importance of checking their inbox and their spam/junk mail regularly. Disclosure Scotland will send the applicant auto-reminders on day 7 and day 12. Once the applicant has completed their online application and submitted it to Disclosure Scotland, the status on Compass will change to ‘Application in Progress’

If the link expires, the whole process must begin again, which is in nobody’s interest.

No one else in Scouting has any part to play in this stage of the process. Via their online application, the applicant will advise Disclosure Scotland of any change of address since their previous disclosure, if they have not done so already. The applicant will view disclosure results online, and UK headquarters will be notified of the outcome and then relevant parties will be informed.

Communications from Compass and Safe Scouting Team

None of this has changed.

If a Commissioner has to follow up on a disclosure they will be contacted accordingly.

If the disclosure is issued satisfactorily, Compass will be updated and an email will go to the Appointments Secretary.

90, 60 and 30 day notifications will continue to be sent to the individuals, Appointment Secretaries and line managers, for PVGs that are due for renewal etc. but that clock keeps ticking until the applicant submits their online application to Disclosure Scotland, not when the ID Check arrives at Gilwell.

The Disclosure Status on Compass has the following meanings:

Final applicant information required – Safe Scouting team has approved the ID check, has initiated the application process with Disclosure Scotland and the applicant should have an email asking them to complete the application.

Application in Progress – Applicant has submitted their online form to Disclosure Scotland, who are now processing it. (This will also stop the PVG compliance process).


Paper forms

If there are specific circumstances that prevent an individual using the online process, e.g. they do not have an email address, or photo ID, the Appointment Secretary can contact disclosures@scouts.org.uk and request a paper form. Only one form will be provided however, and forms are no longer available from Scout Stores. Also, if a disclosure is also needed for regulated work with protected adults, please contact disclosures@scouts.org.uk .

Paper forms are no longer accepted for routine applications and any that are received at UK Headquarters will be sent back, which will also lead to considerable delays.