Strengthening and simplifying state disclosure.
Children and protected adults will be better protected under new legislation.
The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill, which has passed its final stage in the Scottish Parliament, will transform how criminal record disclosures operate and improve the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.
Under the new legislation, PVG Scheme membership will be mandatory for those carrying out regulated roles with children and adults, including individuals working in sports, for example, youth coaches and agents.
The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill will modernise and simplify Scotland’s disclosure system. The number of disclosure levels will decrease and individuals will have greater control over sharing their information whilst ensuring Disclosure Scotland can continue their vital safeguarding work.
Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd said: “This Government is committed to policies which balance public protection with the right to move on from past offences.
“The 2018 public consultation confirmed the PVG Scheme is greatly valued but highlighted proportionality and complexity in the disclosure system as key issues.
“Introducing a mandatory PVG Scheme will close the safeguarding gap surrounding those few roles which are eligible for PVG scheme membership but the employer chooses not to require proof of scheme membership.
“The new legislation recognises adolescence as a unique phase of life and delivers on our commitment to affording everyone a better chance to overcome early adversities, including youth offending, in order to allow them to become productive and valued citizens in adulthood.”
The reforms in the Disclosure (Scotland) Bill will change the law relating to the disclosure of criminal history and other information by Disclosure Scotland, who issue disclosure on behalf of the Scottish Ministers; and make amendments to the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.
The introduction of this legislation builds on the Age of Criminal Responsibility Act and Management of Offenders Act by making vital reforms to state disclosure. Taken together all three pieces of legislation provide a transformed disclosure system which can better account for individual circumstances.