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Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Part 2: Activities

189.Paragraphs 3 and 4 identify those instances in which an individual is or is not undertaking regulated work with children when caring for children or training, instructing, teaching or supervising children. They are qualified with an incidental test which narrows the scope of regulated work to exclude activities which are aimed at adults but incidentally include children. For example, a teacher in a school is doing regulated work with children by virtue of paragraph 4 (and possibly others) but a college lecturer running woodwork classes in the evening aimed at adults is outside the scope of regulated work even if one or two children attend his class.

190.Paragraph 5 makes provision bringing individuals whose normal duties involve being in sole charge of children within the scope of regulated work. This paragraph would include a contracted taxi or minibus driver taking children to school or classes.

191.Paragraph 6 includes unsupervised contact with children within the scope of regulated work. Paragraph 5(b)(iii) exempts from unsupervised contact any contact with the child supervised by a person who has agreed to do so with the child’s parent, guardian or any other adult with whom the child lives. The responsible person is the parent, guardian or adult resident and they must have agreed to the supervision of the contact by the friend or relative.

192.For example, suppose a voluntary organisation organises a pantomime trip by coach involving the organiser, adult A and the coach driver, adult B. If 30 children come along, 28 accompanied by a parent but two come unaccompanied, paragraph 5(b)(iii) provides where the parents of those two children to agree to nominate another person (perhaps another parent on the trip) to supervise their children in respect of contact with adults A and B that contact would not be unsupervised. This provision puts beyond doubt that no-one on the trip is doing regulated work with children, so long a each child is supervised either by a responsible person or by someone nominated by the responsible person for that child.

193.Family relationship and personal relationship, as used in paragraph 6, have the same meanings as in section 95 (meaning of "work") which insures consistency of interpretation in paragraph 6 and section 95.

194.Paragraph 7 covers positions such as workers on telephone advice lines and children’s magazine agony aunts. The provision does not cover general broadcasting to children, such as children’s television or radio programmes. The words in parentheses narrow the scope of providing advice and guidance to children so as to exclude from regulated work those instances where advice or guidance is given to children which is incidental to the provision of advice and guidance to individuals who are not children, mirroring the exceptions in paragraphs 3 and 4. Advice or guidance in relation to spiritual matters or spiritual well-being is considered to be captured by advice on emotional well-being and so within the scope of paragraph 7.

195.Paragraph 8 covers positions such as those involved in moderating Internet chat rooms intended for use by children where the individual has a role in protecting those children from harm. It does not cover incidental use by children of chat rooms intended for use by adults. It does not cover staff involved in maintaining and supporting such services whose function is not related to child protection, e.g. engineers.

196.Paragraphs 9 and 10 make provision for care home services and independent healthcare services for children, as defined in ROCA. These definitions are qualified to limit the positions covered to those involving contact with children. A cleaner, for example, in the head office of an organisation providing care home services would not be regarded as doing regulated work with children.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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