Navigating the Future: Understanding the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 and What It Means for You
We at Verifile are committed to keeping you informed about the latest developments in the Scottish disclosure system. The Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 aims to improve the criminal records disclosure system in Scotland by removing unnecessary barriers for people with convictions seeking employment or other opportunities. It also aims to enhance the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. Here's what you need to know.
The Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 aims to modernise the disclosure system in Scotland. The Act focuses on:
- Simplifying Disclosure Products: The Act introduces simplified disclosure products and gives individuals more control over their information.
- Fairness and Proportionality: An individualised approach to the disclosure of childhood offending and rights of review for convictions disclosed will be introduced to enhance fairness and proportionality.
- Regulated Roles: The Act replaces the concept of 'regulated work' with 'regulated roles', making it easier to understand.
- Mandatory PVG Scheme: The PVG scheme will become mandatory for those in regulated roles with children and protected adults.
- Conditions on PVG Scheme Members: Disclosure Scotland will have the ability to impose conditions on PVG scheme members under consideration for listing.
The Journey So Far
The transformation began with the introduction of PVG online in 2020, which has significantly improved the application process and reduced the time to deliver disclosure results. This innovation supports over 90% of our customers who apply for services online. The journey is continuing with the introduction of digital disclosure results, providing an end-to-end digital service of the PVG scheme under the current law. This offers a faster, more user-friendly, and accessible experience.
Timeline for Implementation
Disclosure Scotland is committed to implementing the fairness and safeguarding outcomes achieved by the Act. The implementation is significantly technical and will affect many individuals and organisations in Scotland. Disclosure Scotland is striving to work collaboratively with stakeholders to inform product design. The target date for implementing these reforms is 1 April 2025. This timeframe ensures:
- Stakeholders and customers have time to prepare for the new disclosure regime.
- The new services maintain an excellent level of service to the people of Scotland.
Groundwork and Preparations
To prepare for the next phase, Disclosure Scotland has:
- Published a revised Code of Practice for stakeholder feedback.
- Reappointed the Independent Reviewer to prepare for the ability of applicants to review disclosed information.
- Commenced specific sections of the Act related to applying for removal from the barred lists.
- Issued guidance to Police Scotland on the disclosure of 'other relevant information'.
- Developed an online account, currently in testing, to facilitate customer interaction before and after the Act goes live.
Digital Transition and COVID-19 Response
Disclosure Scotland has been proactive in digitizing its services. They recently launched an online results service for the PVG scheme and are piloting this with a limited number of customers. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Disclosure Scotland has made significant progress in implementing the Act.
What You Can Do Now
- Update Your PVG Details: Ensure that Disclosure Scotland holds accurate address and contact information for PVG scheme members.
- Notify When a Member Stops Working: Organisations should notify Disclosure Scotland when a PVG scheme member stops doing regulated work. This helps in eliminating unnecessary monitoring.
We want to assure you that Verifile is on top of these changes. We are working closely with Disclosure Scotland to ensure a smooth transition for all our clients. Your trust is our priority, and we are committed to providing you with timely updates and guidance as we navigate these changes together.
Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.