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Scotland - Criminal Record Checks

The British Horse Society (Scotland) has updated its Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) policy in line with current Scottish legislation.

  • Last reviewed: 6th July 2022

The BHS in conjunction with Horse Scotland and Disclosure Services provides a complete checking service for BEF member bodies, BHS Approved Centres, affiliated riding clubs and other equine organisations. 

For further details or queries, please contact the BHS Safeguarding team on email at or call 02476 840746. 

What is the PVG scheme?

The aim of the scheme is to ensure those who have regular contact with children and protected adults through paid or unpaid work do not have a known history of harmful behaviour. 

When do I need to join?

If you are being asked to do regulated work with children and/or regulated work with adults for the first time, you should join the PVG scheme.  

Individuals who are self-employed, or expect to become self-employed, in a capacity which involves regulated work, may wish to join the PVG scheme for, or in anticipation of, such work. This includes BHS Accredited Professional Coaches and BHS Approved Centre proprietors. 

What is regulated work?

If you are working with under 18s on a day-to-day basis and this is part of your normal role you are likely to be in regulated work with children. If you are supervising those in regulated work, for example, a proprietor, you are also in regulated work with children. For a full definition please see the guidance document Criminal Record Checks – Scotland, Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme – Approved Centres. 

BHS Accredited Professional Coaches

As a freelance instructor you need to decide whether the work you are doing is considered to be regulated work and requires a PVG check. If you are working with private clients under the age of 18 in their own homes on a freelance basis you will be required to complete a PVG check. Freelance instructors who have not yet joined the PVG scheme but need to can obtain a scheme membership statement directly from Disclosure Scotland at a cost of £59. Under the PVG scheme parents may choose to check whether you are barred from working with children, this is through their right to be able to access a disclosure as personal employers. 

If you work in regulated work for another organisation, as well as your freelance work, you will be able to access a scheme record or scheme record update through your employer. This is a higher level check and in most instances will be easier than applying for a scheme membership statement as an individual. It will also provide a link between you and your employer. If your employer would like further information, ask them to contact the BHS using the details below. 

For more information, see the BHS guide on Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme information for Accredited Professional Coaches. 

Remember to let us know once you are a PVG scheme member, so we can keep the details with your Accredited Professional Coach record. There is a permission form in the above guide for you to complete and return. 

BHS Approved Centres

Approved Centres have to ensure all of their employees and volunteers in regulated work join the PVG scheme by completing a scheme record or a scheme record update (if they are already a member of the PVG scheme). 

If you are a BHS Approved Centre proprietor and you are in regulated work or expect to carry out regulated work you will also need to apply to join the PVG scheme by completing a scheme membership statement. 

Livery yards

If children are left unsupervised at the yard and staff are responsible for them, they are likely to be in regulated activity and therefore will require a check. If there is only a proprietor on site, they will need to apply for a scheme membership statement as they are classed as self-employed. 

Not-for-profit organisations

Applications for registered charities and not-for-profit organisations are being completed through Horse Scotland, please contact Tracey Parker, Horse Scotland lead collator at 

BHS Affiliated Riding Clubs (BRC)
Updating your PVG details

Remember to keep your PVG details updated at Disclosures Scotland.