Public Law

This week Jackie and I delivered the first of our seminars on the PVG Scheme. There was a healthy debate at the end of the session on how the PVG Scheme has fared so far and is operating in practice. Our guest speaker, Stuart McQueen of Clackmannanshire Council, revealed that local authorities have set up their own “self help group” so that they can discuss the difficulties they are having working with the Scheme! I’ve set out below some of the concerns raised by our audience made up of delegates from local authorities, care homes and further education colleges. I’ll keep updating the list of issues (and maybe even provide some answers) in future posts after we’ve run the seminars in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

  • Whilst the PVG Scheme replaces an Enhanced Disclosure for the majority of roles, there are certain jobs where individuals don’t qualify for the PVG Scheme but could have unsupervised contact with children or protected adults. Delegates expressed concern about those who “fall between the gaps”, including Leisure Attendants and in certain circumstances, Library Assistants.
  • Volunteer parents were raised as a particular “grey area” by delegates. When should a volunteer parent  join the Scheme? Is it really fair, or realistic to ask parents to join?
  • Concerns were also expressed in relation to contracting out services. If a care home has a contract with a company to service their televisions, does each repair man of that company need to join the Scheme, or just the one who comes on a regular basis? Some delegates suggested that the practical way to deal with that problem was to supervise the repair man (please interpret to include repair woman) but will that always be practical?
  • Should temporary lecturers join the Scheme? If so, should employers incur the cost of them joining the Scheme or simply ensure they are supervised during the period they are working. Surely supervising lecturers in this way increases costs and defeats the point of bringing in the temporary staff in the first place?

If you’d like to come along to pose a few questions of your own then please sign up here.

Niall McLean