; Making a Referral

The duty for organisations to refer individuals to the Scottish Ministers, to assess if the worker should be included on the Disqualified from Working with Children List, was part of the legal obligations conferred by the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act (POCSA) 2003. This duty continues under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act. Organisations are required to refer a worker to Disclosure Scotland if the grounds for referral are met. Consideration will then be given to whether that individual should be barred from working with children.

The grounds for referral are where an individual in regulated work (whether in the course if their work or not) harms a child or placed a child at risk of harm, and the employer takes disciplinary action to remove an individual from regulated work (or would if the work had not left for another reason). There is also a requirement to refer if the worker engages in inappropriate conduct involving pornography, conduct of a sexual nature involving a child or given inappropriate medical treatment to a child.  The duty applies to paid and unpaid workers in regulated work, and also if the worker resigns or retires from their post before a disciplinary procedure can be implemented. The duty also applies even if the worker is disputing the dismissal.

Organisations need to ensure they have any incident(s) documented that constitute the grounds for referral. This information should then be passed to Disclosure Scotland. Disclosure Scotland has a standard referral form that can be completed, although organisations do not have to use it.

It is an offence not to make a referral within 3 months of the criteria for referral being met.

Further information about making a referral can be found on the Disclosure Scotland website

More information about the PVG Scheme can be found here on the Disclosure Scotland website


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