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Recruitment and selection: key differences in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Updating authors: Lynda Macdonald, Annabel Mace and Rachel Tynan, consultant editor (Scotland): Gillian MacLellan, consultant editor (Northern Ireland): Jonathan Simpson

Future developments

Exclusion from disclosure checks (Scotland): Certain spent convictions are excluded from higher-level disclosure where 15 or more years have passed since the date of the conviction (seven years and six months or more where the individual was under 18 when convicted) (see Exclusion from disclosure checks). Provisions in the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020, which received Royal Assent on 14 July 2020, will, when commenced, reduce the period so that certain spent convictions will be excluded from higher-level disclosure where 11 or more years have passed since the date of the conviction (five years and six months or more where the individual was under 18 when convicted). The reduced periods will be equivalent to those that already apply in the rest of the UK. Further, individuals will be able to request an independent review of certain disclosure content.

The Act will also reduce the number of main disclosure levels from four (basic, standard, enhanced and Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme) to two (level one and level two).

PVG scheme (Scotland): As well as making it an offence for an individual to work, or apply to work, in a regulated role with children and/or adults if they are not a member of the PVG scheme, provisions in the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020, when commenced, will make it an offence for an organisation to offer a regulated role to an individual without first receiving confirmation from Disclosure Scotland that the individual is a member of the scheme. A five-year membership period will replace lifetime membership.