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News > CHSS Statement on changes to PVG and Disclosure Checks

CHSS Statement on changes to PVG and Disclosure Checks

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) believes that the proposals to remove the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership fee waiver for volunteers will have a devastating impact on voluntary organisations and volunteering.

We are grateful for the service, support and guidance from Disclosure Scotland as PVG and Disclosure checks play a vital role in safeguarding CHSS service users, colleagues and volunteers, by building an environment which actively prevents harm and deters unsuitable individuals who may target charities to gain access to vulnerable people. The current fee waiver for volunteer PVG applications has enabled CHSS to safely recruit the thousands of volunteers across Scotland who gift their time and share their unique skills and expertise, to support the 1 in 5 people in Scotland living with chest, heart and stroke conditions and Long Covid live their lives to the full.

The proposal to remove this fee waiver will place a huge financial burden on voluntary organisations and act as a barrier to sustaining volunteering and welcoming new volunteers. These proposals come on top of existing pressures on the voluntary sector. The cumulative impacts of the pandemic and cost of living crisis have led to a rapid decline in formal volunteering. The number of adults in Scotland volunteering for an organisation or community group has fallen below 1 million for the first time in 15 years (Scottish Household Survey, 2022).

The proposals will also act as a barrier to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s Volunteering Action Plan which sets out a goal to ‘reduce the barriers to participation’ and ensure that ‘the places and spaces where we volunteer are developed, supported and sustained’.

This will be further exacerbated by other changes from the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 including the legal requirement for organisations to carry out these checks and to renew them every 5 years.

We urge Disclosure Scotland to reconsider and encourage stakeholders across the sector to respond.

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