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Working with children and vulnerable adults (vetting and barring)

As a regulator, the HCPC has powers to refer information to either the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVGS). We will do this in instances where we have concerns about whether a registrant is suitable to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Individuals who want to work in Scotland with children or vulnerable adults will need to join the PVGS. You do not need to register with the DBS or PVGS if you want to work with children or vulnerable adults in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

What happens when a registrant is barred

If either the DBS or PVGS decide to bar a registrant, we our Fitness to Practice service will take this information into account during the FTP process.

About the vetting and barring schemes

The Government’s vetting and barring schemes exist to make sure that unsuitable individuals are not able to work with vulnerable adults and children. There is one scheme for Scotland, and one for the rest of the UK.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) manages the barring process for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst the scheme for Scotland is the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVGS). Both schemes hold lists of individuals who are ‘barred’ from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. Individuals could be barred because of their behaviour or their actions.

A barring decision made under either scheme (preventing a person from working with children and/or vulnerable adults) applies throughout the United Kingdom.

More information

If you have questions about either scheme, it's best to contact them directly.

For England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the DBS manages the vetting and barring scheme. You can find out more on their website.

DBS website

For Scotland, we cannot advise you on whether you need to be a member of PVGS, as Disclosure Scotland manages the scheme. However, further information is available on their website.

PVGS website

Still have a question about legal guidelines?

For more information or to discuss these guidelines, please contact our Registration team.

Tel: 44 (0)300 500 4472 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)

Email: registration@hcpc-uk.org

Page updated on: 14/06/2018
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