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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Proposed PVG fee waiver u-turn for volunteers


Sector body hits out at plans.

Volunteer Scotland have shared their disappointment at the proposal to remove the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership fee waiver for volunteers. 

This shock plan from Disclosure Scotland would mean that volunteers supporting some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people would be liable to pay 40% of the fee for their PVG membership.

This proposal could not come at a worse time for volunteers or the organisations that support them. 

The pandemic and the cost of living crisis have created a perfect storm of rising demand for services, increasing costs and stagnating resources. 

Volunteers have been feeling the strain, resulting in a significant decline in volunteering participation in 2022. This is reflected in the experiences of volunteers involving organisations, who have been reporting difficulties recruiting volunteers for over a year.

Alan Stevenson, CEO of Volunteer Scotland said: "We are very disappointed that Disclosure Scotland are considering removing the fee waiver for volunteers who require PVG membership for their roles.

“Volunteers give their time to provide essential support to some of the most vulnerable people in Scottish society. Given the significant demand for such services, we urge Disclosure Scotland to reconsider or the Scottish Government to intervene.

“It is difficult to underestimate the potential impact of this proposal on Scotland’s communities. Volunteers who require PVG membership include sports coaches, befrienders, leaders of children’s groups, youth work volunteers, elderly support volunteers and many more. It is good practice for organisations that deliver such activities to ensure that volunteers are not out of pocket. 

“The financial burden presented by this proposed change on organisations, particularly given the current financial climate, could prove to be unsustainable and lead to a decline in the provision of vital community services.”



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Luthien Lark
2 months ago

This is hugely disappointing, particularly given the current financial climate and the knowledge that volunteering has been steadily declining. There has been an increase in demand for third sector services despite this decline, therefore the aim should be to make volunteering as accessible, flexible and streamlined as we possibly can. This is not a time to be adding financial barriers to an already precarious situation from those who should know better.

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J Farquharson
30 days ago

This burden cannot be taken up the charities supplying the Befriending and other services as their funding streams are being reduced in the present financial climate.


The Charity Sector already carries out work and services that should be the responsibility of the state.