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Home > About regulation > Vetting and barring

Vetting and barring


What are the vetting and barring schemes?

In 2004, following the murders in Soham, the Government established the Bichard Inquiry to look into how people obtain work with children and vulnerable adults. As a result of the recommendations made, the Government decided to introduce vetting and barring schemes across the United Kingdom.

The purpose of these schemes is to make sure that unsuitable individuals are not able to work with children or vulnerable adults. There is one scheme for Scotland and one for the rest of the UK. A barring decision made under either scheme (preventing a person from working with children and/or vulnerable adults) will apply throughout the United Kingdom.

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.

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 is the relationship between vetting and barring and regulation?

You must be HCPC registered if you want to work in one of the 15 professions we regulate across the UK or if you want to work as a social worker in England. If you work in Scotland, you may also need to register with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

Our role as a regulator is to protect the public. We have powers to refer information to either the DBS or PVGS where we have concerns about whether a registrant is suitable to work with children or vulnerable adults. If either the DBS or PVGS decide to bar a registrant, we can consider that information through our fitness to practise process.


More information

If you have questions about either scheme, please contact them directly. We have provided links to both organisations below.

  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The DBS manages the vetting and barring scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You can find out more information about the DBS by clicking here.

  • Scotland

We cannot advise you on whether you need to be a member of PVGS. Disclosure Scotland manages the scheme and there is further information available here.



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