Disclosure Scotland

Who, or what is Disclosure Scotland?

Disclosure Scotland operates on behalf of the Scottish Government and is an Executive Agency that processes criminal records checks, very much like the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Its primary function is to help safeguard vulnerable members of society (such as children and at risk adults) from exploitation. They hold details of criminal records and lists of those barred from working with certain specific at risk groups. These records also assist employers to make safer and more informed recruitment decisions. 

Disclosure Scotland Checks

Security Watchdog (part of Capita plc) offers three types of Disclosure Scotland checks – Basic, Standard and Enhanced. On completion of the checks Disclosure Scotland issues a disclosure certificate, which is accepted as proof of an individual's suitability to fulfill a role within employment.

Categories of Disclosure Check

You should select your Disclosure Scotland check based on the risk level of the position you are recruiting at. For most positions this will be the the basic level, whilst positions covering financial duties would select the standard level. Where the position necessitates working with children and at risk adults an enhanced level check is recommended.

Basic Disclosure Scotland Check

A Basic Disclosure (termed as a "criminal conviction certificate" in Part V of the Police Act 1997) is the lowest level of Disclosure and is available to anyone in the UK for any purpose. It contains details of convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 or states that there are no such convictions. it is not job-specific or job related and may be used more than once.

Employers and volunteering organisations are entitled to ask prospective employees/volunteers to obtain a Basic Disclosure as pre-employment check.

Standard Disclosure Scotland Check

This is primarily available to anyone involved in working with children or vulnerable adults, as well as certain other occupations and entry into professions as specified in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. Standard Disclosures shows all conviction information, spent and unspent including cautions. If the post involves working with children or vulnerable adults, the following may also be searched:

  • Protection of Children Act (POCA) List;
  • Information that is held under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99)

Enhanced Disclosure Scotland Check

This is the highest level of check available to anyone involved in regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. It is also available in certain licensing purposes and judicial appointments. Enhanced Disclosures contain the same information as the Standard Disclosure but with the addition of any other non-conviction information considered relevant by the police or other Government bodies.

Information included

The information included in the Disclosure will depend on the type of Disclosure applied for.

    Type of Disclosure
Information Included Basic Standard Enhanced
Unspent convictions
Spent convictions
Inclusion on children's list
(where relevant to post applied for)
Inclusion on adults' list
(where relevant to post applied for)
Other relevant information held by police forces

If you would like more information on our employment screening services and advice on which one is right for your organisation please contact us.


Benefits of Disclosure Scotland:

  • 40% cheaper than paper applications

  • No set-up fee

  • No postal costs

  • No enveloping

  • Unlimited amount of users for no extra charge

  • Enable paper processing administration teams to be deployed to other parts of your business

  • Swift set-up - typically 1 working day

  • Results 5-10 days faster than paper applications

  • No data errors; no rejected applications

  • Issues of lost or delayed forms via the postal system eliminated

  • Organisation / Applicant can log in from anywhere that has access to the internet

  • One log-in provides users with access to multiple divisions

  • Organisation can be split into different regions / directorates / service levels and areas

  • Simple Management Information reports at the click of a button to download onto your system (CSV file / Excel spreadsheet)

  • Key information is automatically archived within the system for as long as you wish

  • Our customer portal allows direct access for the applicants, providing a stress-free, effortless experience for both applicants and managers

  • Certificates can be sent to the organisation rather than the applicant – reducing the risk of false certificates being presented

  • Confirms applicants' honesty and integrity

  • Applicant data is encrypted

  • Hosted within an ISO27001, a Capita-owned data centre, and all components of the solution are protected by intrusion detection and intrusion prevention devices

  • Warm disaster recovery – the system can be up and running within 4 hours in the case of a disaster

  • Complies with the Disclosure Scotland Code of Practice

  • Legislative updates maintained

The system provides an intuitive application form that contains strict validation rules, allowing the required data to be captured quickly and easily without errors or omissions and, unlike many existing systems that replicate a mock up online form to capture detail and then manually feed onto a traditional paper form, our route and forms are directly fed into Disclosure Scotland.