PVG and Disclosure Checks

Recruitment guidance and Disclosure Certificates (Clubs can find a sample recruitment process attached below).

Recruiting someone to a role in a club

When someone is appointed to a role in a club (coach/welfare officer/parent helper) it is the club and committee of that club who are recruiting them.

And while many of these roles are volunteer positions clubs still need to have a thorough recruitment process, particularly if this role is regulated work with a protected group. (if you need don't know what this terms mean you can read guidance on the Volunteer Scotland website here).

Scottish Fencing and British Fencing require all clubs to ensure the coaches and welfare officers they employ on a voluntary or paid basis to have current Disclosure Certificates.

Self-Declaration of Convictions

Before requesting a Disclosure check clubs should ask anyone undertaking regulated work to complete a self-declaration form. (see the template below). Once the declaration form is completed two independent members of the club committee should vet this.

The self-declaration allows a club to have a conversation with a volunteer before requesting a disclosure check. It could be that the volunteer declares a conviction that makes them unsuitable for the role and the club decides not to proceed with the appointment. Or they could have committed a minor offence and the club decides to proceed. It is better to complete a self declaration form and have a conversation with a volunteer than try to make a decision based on a certificate which lists an offence with no background.

Once this step is complete the club should ask for two references. Again these should be checked by two independent committee members. 

Which form? 

If the volunteer has a PVG membership number (they may be a teacher for example or coach at another club) clubs need to request a scheme update form from Scottish Fencing. If the volunteer does not have a PVG membership number the volunteer needs to join the PVG scheme and this is a different form. Some basic disclosure checks can be completed without joining the PVG scheme so clubs need to be aware that having a certificate might not mean the volunteer has joined the scheme. The key is whether they have a PVG membership number. Email the office with the number and type of forms you require with the address  you would like these posted to and we will send the clubs the blank forms.

Secondary body contract

Scottish Fencing is acting as an intermediary body on behalf of clubs when we process PVG checks. To ensure that we are agreed on who has what responsibilities and duties clubs need to sign and return a Secondary Body Contract - see below.

As part of the agreement clubs need to read and agree to abide by the Ministerial code of practice which clubs can find here

For Scottish Fencing to process PVG checks on behalf of clubs, clubs need to add a fair processing note to their data protection policy. With this note added it enables Scottish Fencing to act as a secondary organisation and process PVG certificates on behalf of clubs.


“The Data Protection Act requires that you are informed about how your personal information is used. For the purposes of child wellbeing/child protection matters, the club may share information about you with the sport’s Governing Body in Scotland and/or National (UK) Governing Body where it has been alerted to circumstances that might affect your status as a member of the PVG scheme for regulated work with children and/or protected adults or your suitability to carry out the regulated work role for which you have applied/been appointed or already doing. In the event such sharing is deemed necessary, it will normally only be carried out between the registered Child Protection Officers in the Club and Governing Body.”

How to complete a PVG form

The individual applying for the position needs to complete sections A – C, clubs need to complete part D. If someone is paid for a role, the club needs to pay Volunteer Scotland for the Disclosure Check. Only roles which are voluntary are entitled to free disclosure checks. Volunteer Scotland can no longer accept cheque payments so refer to their guidance for further details.

Clubs need to do ID checks by completing the PVG verification sheet using the guidance notes (both attached below). Return this sheet with the completed PVG form to Scottish Fencing. If this is a coach wishing to join the British Fencing Coaches register they will need to select on this form that they are happy for Scottish Fencing to share their PVG information with British Fencing (we only share certificate number, date of certificate and PVG membership number).

Scottish Fencing will complete section E using the information on the PVG verification form and send this to Volunteer Scotland for processing.


Once the Disclosure Check is processed the volunteer/coach will receive a copy of their certificate before Scottish Fencing. Scottish Fencing will receive a copy about two weeks later. This allows someone to appeal agains the disclosure of, for example, spent convictions.

If agreed on the secondary contract Scottish Fencing will forward the certificate to the club member responsible.  Because there is a fair processing notice Scottish Fencing can then share any information deemed necessary with the Child Protection Officer of that club.

British Fencing Coaches' Register

If this is an application on behalf of a coach who wishes to join the British Fencing Coaches' Register and they have ticked the relevant box on the PVG verification form Scottish Fencing will share the certificate number, date of certificate and PVG membership number with the administrator for the British Fencing Coaches register. Please do not scan/copy or send Disclosure Certificates to British Fencing (or Scottish Fencing) as it is illegal to make a copy, picture or scan of Disclosure certificates.


You can find further advice on how to complete the forms at the Volunteer Scotland Website 


2018 SF Self declaration club recruitment.docx28.21 KB
2017 PVG Scheme - ID Verification Coversheet.docx32.51 KB
2018 SF Safe Recruitment steps.docx37.47 KB
2018 PVG ID Verification guidelines.pdf529.44 KB
Updated Secondary Org Contract.doc194 KB