On 15th June 2010 the Coalition Government announced that the planned commencement of voluntary registration with the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which was due to begin on 26th July 2010, had been scrapped.
The Government has stated its intention to bring the criminal records and Vetting and Barring regimes back to common sense levels. Until this remodelling has taken place, those aspects of the new SVG Scheme which are already in place will continue, but no further elements will be introduced.
Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme
The Scottish Government has announced that its new PVG Scheme will come into effect from 30th November 2010. The PVG Scheme is a new membership scheme that will replace current disclosure arrangements for people who work with children or vulnerable groups in Scotland.
The PVG Scheme will be managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland which, as an agency of Scottish Government, will take on responsibility for deciding who should be barred from working with vulnerable groups.
It is expected to take at least 4 years to phase in the PVG Scheme. During the first year after it goes live, the PVG Scheme will only be available to those who are joining the vulnerable groups workforce for the first time, moving posts or whose circumstances have changed. Applications to join the scheme will continue to be made and responded to on paper.
In the year after go live, the new secure, electronic PVG Scheme system will become available which means that organisations, groups and individuals will be able to interact with the scheme online.
Shortly after the electronic system goes live it is expected that existing members of the vulnerable groups workforce will begin to join the PVG Scheme in phases over at least 3 years.
A package of training and guidance materials has also been launched by the Scottish Government, including a new helpline 0870 609 6006, to help those who will work with the new system.