Scottish Government proposes charges for volunteers’ PVGs. 

What’s Happening? 

Disclosure Scotland has opened a proposal to introduce fees for volunteering. They plan to remove the current fee waiver and apply a  fee of £28 for volunteers to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme membership (this is a 60% reduction on the proposed standard fee of £70). If implemented, this will have a huge impact on volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. 

Disclosure Scotland are also making changes to the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020. As part of this, the PVG membership scheme will become a legal requirement for those in ‘Regulated Roles’, this could mean that even more people will need to be signed up to the PVG scheme, thus more people will be affected by the fee proposal. 

Our Stance 

  • We believe volunteering should be free for everyone. Volunteers give their time and effort to help others and asking them to pay to do so is insulting.  
  • At a time when we are in a volunteer crisis and volunteer numbers are steadily falling, this only puts up more barriers to volunteering. Many organisations rely on volunteers to do important work, and adding fees will make it harder for them to recruit volunteers. 
  • The implementation of this fee goes against core values and meaning of volunteering. The Volunteer Charter from Volunteer Scotland mentions, “No one should be prevented from volunteering due to their income.”. 

What You Can Do 

Now is your chance to speak up. We are conducting our own survey to examine the impact  implementing fees for PVGs could have on volunteers and volunteer involving organisations: 

ALSO, we strongly encourage you to submit your views to the VSDS online consultation. They will use this feedback to decide whether to go forward with these fee structures. Your responses are crucial. 

Submit your views now before the consultation closes on Tuesday 28 May. 

You do not need to answer every question, however we urge you to answer the ‘discount for volunteers’ section. The two questions are as follows: 

Question 6 – Do you agree with the proposal to move to a fee discount structure for volunteers in QVOs? 

[Yes / no / don’t know] 

Question 7 – What information do you think we need to consider when proposing moving to a fee discount for volunteers in QVOs? 

[Free text] 

We think Question 6 is ambiguous and could be interpreted in different ways. We recommend you do not to answer this question, and instead write your full response under Question 7

Spread the Word 

Share this information with your colleagues, friends, and anyone else who might be interested. Together, we can make sure volunteering stays accessible for everyone. 

To learn more about changes to the Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020, visit