Disclosure reform welcomed by committee


Legislation to update the Disclosure system protecting the most vulnerable in Scotland’s society has passed its first parliamentary hurdle today.

The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill aims to update the protection given to children and other vulnerable people by simplifying and strengthening the law governing how previous offending behaviour is disclosed.

Now Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee has published its stage 1 report on the Bill which makes it clear that whilst the Committee is supportive of the principles of the Bill, there is concern over how some of these measures will work in practice.

These include how the discrepancies between the Bill and Acts recently passed by the Parliament on the management of offenders and the age of criminal responsibility will be resolved. The report also calls for greater clarity about some decision making processes as well as ensuring that care experienced young people are not disadvantaged by the regulations relating to the disclosure of childhood offending.

The Committee has today welcomed the Bill and will work with Scottish Government to make sure the concerns are being listened to.

Committee Convener, Clare Adamson MSP said:

“This Bill seeks to simplify and strengthen the legislation that protects Scotland’s most vulnerable people. The Committee has heard concerns from those who will be most affected by these changes, including care experienced young people

“There is clearly a balance to be struck with any disclosure scheme. And while we must ensure that children and young people are protected, we must also support those who are moving on from a troubled past.”

The Bill makes a series of changes to the current scheme including introducing a range of new disclosure products, ending lifetime membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme and stopping those under 16 from being eligible for PVG checks.

Clare Adamson MSP continued:

“It is important the new scheme is fit for purpose and we look forward to working with the Scottish Government and stakeholders to ensure the concerns raised in the report can be addressed as the Bill continues its progress through Parliament.”


The Disclosure (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2019 with the aim of simplifying the system for users and organisations.

The Bill reduces the number of disclosure products from four to two as well as ending lifetime PVG scheme membership.

More detail of the Bill can be found at:


The Bill is seen as a package of reforms for the management of offenders and treatment of convictions of individuals under 18 years of age. The Bill will interact with the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act and the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act, both of which were recently passed by the Parliament.

More information about the Committee’s consideration can be found at:


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