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Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Sections 4749.  Scheme members, records and vetting

88.Application by an individual to become a scheme member will lead the Scottish Ministers, as the Vetting and Disclosure Unit, to make enquiries to see whether any vetting information exists about that individual. Section 49 sets out what constitutes vetting information. Subsections (1)(a) and (c) relate to police information: conviction information from the Criminal History System and the Police National Computer and relevant non-conviction information from chief constables. For enhanced disclosures under the Police Act, the test for relevance for non-conviction information is made against each post. Under this Act there are only two relevance tests: one for each type of regulated work. Subsection (1)(b) provides that whether an individual is on the sex offender’s register will also constitute vetting information.

89.Section 49(1)(d) provides a power for the Scottish Ministers to prescribe other information as vetting information. The Scottish Ministers intend to use this power to prescribe certain information held by regulatory bodies and local authorities. For example, registration or de-registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland may be vetting information.

90.Any vetting information which is found by the Vetting and Disclosure Unit will be passed to the Central Barring Unit for consideration. It is anticipated that in around 90% of cases no information will be found at all. In cases where vetting information is found, it will be included on the individual’s scheme record. However, in many cases it will not be relevant for the Central Barring Unit and it will not be necessary to begin a formal consideration for listing. For example, a driving conviction would be classed as vetting information and would appear on the scheme record under section 48. However, in many circumstances, it will not be relevant information and would be discounted without any consideration for listing.

91.Section 47(2) requires the Scottish Ministers to make arrangements for the ongoing monitoring of vetting information for scheme members. As far as possible, this will be automated. The expectation is that the Scottish Ministers, as the Vetting and Disclosure Unit, will be reactive rather than proactive because the information provider will trigger action. A scheme member's scheme record will be linked to the Criminal History System and, eventually, the registers of members held by professional regulatory bodies. In the longer term, councils may also notify the Vetting and Disclosure Unit of vetting information. For example, when a child is added to the child protection register, the parents’ names might be checked against the register of scheme members. This section allows the Scottish Ministers to make arrangements in this way.

92.Any new vetting information will be added to the scheme record. New relevant information will trigger a consideration for listing.

93.Section 47(4), among other things, provides protection against any breakdown in procedures or communications. If information does not show up when it should, it can be considered later. For example, if there is a delay in entering conviction information on to the Criminal History System, it can be treated as new vetting information when it is discovered.

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