Media release: Scottish charity welcomes enhanced security of PVG Bill for its members


SOCIAL care charity, Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network (SPAEN), has partnered with IT specialists, Document Data Group, in preparation for the PVG Disclosure Scotland Bill becoming law early next year.

The Bill, if approved by the Scottish Parliament, will enable people employing their own carers (referred to as Personal Assistants) to request PVG Scheme Membership which will once again provide details of relevant spent and unspent convictions as part of a safe recruitment process.

Prior to the existing PVG scheme coming into force in 2003, PA employers were able to request an Enhanced Disclosure through public body, Disclosure Scotland.

The implementation of the 2003 Act meant that the information available to PA employers was restricted to a simple statement identifying whether the applicant was ‘barred’ from working with children or protected adults.

Colin Millar, chief executive officer of SPAEN and a former head of Criminal Records with Strathclyde and then Central Scotland Police forces, said the proposed changes were a massive advance for Personal Assistants and the entire social care sector.

He said: “Personal Assistant Employers are undoubtedly amongst the most vulnerable in the Scottish social care sector.

“Whilst employing their own staffs represents huge freedoms, the change in legislation which came into force in 2003 created an anomaly.

“If working in an establishment doing the same duties, the carers would be subject to a PVG records check and their employer given access to relevant spent and unspent conviction information.

“Working alone in a person’s home, using funding from the local authority to meet the same care needs, left our members bereft of this information and the security and choice that came with it.”

He added: “We appreciate and recognise that disclosure information must be handled and stored securely and this presented significant difficulties for PA employers but IT solutions in partnership with Document Data Group means this has easily been overcome and this will empower disabled people to make informed choices about who supports them in their home.

“For this reason, SPAEN welcomes the new Bill as an important advance in the protection and security of our members.”

Document Data Group managing director, David Forsyth, said: “DDG are proud to have been selected by SPAEN to provide their Secure Document Management System. This has allowed SPAEN to lead the way in the secure storage of PVG information and ensure that all their members can be confident that they are GDPR compliant.”

Notes for editors: Picture is David Forsyth, Group MD, Document Data Group.

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SPAEN contact details…

Contact: David Sinclair
Phone: 07803970320