Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG)


Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG)


All people undertaking regulated work with a protected group, children or adults, are required to become a member of the PVG scheme.

It is the responsibility of each club to ensure all persons (paid/voluntary) who work with vulnerable groups – children or adults at risk - are suitable to do so and should follow the Scottish Swimming Safe Recruitment Guidance and flowchart  Part of safe recruitment is ensuring that people within the club who require a PVG check have one. Scottish Swimming support clubs with the administration of this process; which is normally carried out by the WPO on behalf of the club.


Getting started with PVGs:


-    The club must have in place a Wellbeing and Protection Officer (WPO), who will act as a PVG ID checker, the WPO contact details should be registered on the membership database

  The club must have in place a Secondary Organisation Contract with Scottish Swimming

  The Secondary Organisation Contract must be signed by the WPO who will act as the club PVG ID checker. Clubs can identify more than one person to act as the club ID checker, each person must be noted and have signed the secondary organisation contract

-    Get a copy of the secondary organisation contract here

The Secondary Organisation Contract allows Scottish Swimming to process PVG applications requests for clubs and send them to Volunteer Scotland.

If you have any queries on the PVG process including: eligibility or what constitutes regulated work, please contact the Scottish Swimming Wellbeing and Protection Team:


Who Needs a PVG?


Not everyone in your club requires a PVG, only those who have a role that comes under the definition of regulated work. If you would like to know what that means, or want to know who in your club should apply for a PVG check, you can find out here


Completing a PVG


The PVG administration and application process has changed, these changes are effective from Thursday 1st of April

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act was updated by the Scottish Parliament in late 2020 one of the changes in the legislation is the introduction of an online portal for the completion of PVGs.

The new online PVG application process, where applicants (coaches/volunteers) complete their PVG via an online portal is now being implemented across the sport sector; and applies to Swimming.

This service allows applications to be submitted more efficiently and accurately and removes the old paper PVG forms. It is a quicker and simpler process for club WPO/ID checkers who will now send a short template to Scottish Swimming to start the application process. Disclosure applicants (coaches/volunteers) will receive an email directly with a link to the online portal and can then enter their information online; where it is validated as they go, reducing the number of errors and applications returned (for example the system will not allow them to proceed without 5 years of address history. Once the transition to the online portal has been completed it is also expected that the new process will result in faster turnaround times for receiving completed PVG certificates.


PVG Resources


  Online PVG application process document - this document gives a short overview of the entire PVG process, the different steps in that process and the different actions required

-     Online PVG application request form  - this is the form to fill in to request a PVG check for a coach/volunteer and includes guidance notes on how to complete the form for the WPO

-     Online PVG application guidance sheet for applicants – this is a short one page overview for coaches/volunteers (applicants) who will be completing a PVG

-     Disclosure Scotland full guidance pack for applicants – this is a full guidance pack produced by Disclosure Scotland and includes information about each section of the PVG and also includes screenshots and step by step instructions for the new online PVG portal that coaches/volunteers (applicants) will use to complete their PVG

-     Self Declaration form – this form should be completed by the coach/volunteer (applicant) and returned to your club WPO at the same time as the Online PVG application request form, who will use it as part of the safe recruitment process to check references; it is also used at this stage to check suitability to progress and have a PVG check carried out

-     Removal of interest form – is used to list coach/volunteers who have stopped their volunteering with the club and should be completed by the club WPO and returned to Scottish Swimming

-     Data Protection Advice

-     Police Act 1997 - Code of Practice


Additional Guidance for Transgender Applicants


Disclosure Scotland operates a special application process for transgender persons to assist in ensuring discretion is afforded to such individuals who do not wish their previous gender (and names) to be disclosed to the person or organisation requesting the Disclosure.
You can find out further information here


Frequently Asked Questions


There is more information covering FAQs from Volunteer Discloser Scotland Service (VSDS) and can be found here