The Scottish Government introduced the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme on 28 February 2011.

From this date, anyone seeking work with children or protected adults has to apply to join the Scheme in order to be eligible to take up a post either in a paid or voluntary capacity.

Some courses may include a placement, or might require you to work with children or protected adults as part of your assessment.

‘Children’ are considered people under the age of 18.

‘Protected adults’ are individuals aged 16 or over who are provided with (and thus receive) a type of care, support or welfare service. It is a service based definition and avoids labelling adults on the basis of disability. A person will be a protected adult for the duration that they are receiving the service. Therefore some adults will be protected most of the time (e.g. residents within a care home) whereas others will only be protected for short periods of time (e.g. whilst receiving medical treatment at a hospital).

When should I apply for PVG membership?

You should apply for PVG membership when you know where your placement will take place, and if it will require regulated work in terms of children or protected adults or both.

This will be discussed with your tutor or Curriculum Manager at interview, or on acceptance of your course.

You can get a PVG application form from the Guidance office at each campus. When you return your completed form you will need to provide one form of photo ID, along with proof of address with a date on it that is no more than 3 months old.

Original ID and proof of address can include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • National ID card
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement


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How do I apply for PVG membership?

Please note that you cannot apply online for PVG membership.

If you are already a member of the PVG scheme, you should complete an Existing Scheme Member application form.

Your PVG application form will be signed by a counter-signatory (a member of Fife College staff) who signs the application on behalf of the College.

The PVG check will normally take around 2-6 weeks to be processed.

Your PVG certificate will be posted by Disclosure Scotland to your address and a copy will be sent to the counter-signatory in the College.