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Working with children and vulnerable adults (vetting and barring)

As a regulator, the HCPC has powers to refer information to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), AccessNI or Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVGS). We will do this in instances where we have concerns about whether a registrant is suitable to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Individuals who want to work in Scotland with children or vulnerable adults will need to join the PVGS. You do not need to register if you want to work with children or vulnerable adults in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

What happens when a registrant is barred

If the relevant scheme or service decides to bar a registrant, our Fitness to Practice service will take this information into account during the FTP process.

About the vetting and barring schemes

The Government’s vetting and barring schemes exist to make sure that unsuitable individuals are not able to work with vulnerable adults and children. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) manages the barring process for England and Wales, whilst AccessNI provides a disclosure service for Northern Ireland and the scheme for Scotland is the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVGS). The schemes hold lists of individuals who are ‘barred’ from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. Individuals could be barred because of their behaviour or their actions.

A barring decision made under these schemes or services (preventing a person from working with children and/or vulnerable adults) applies throughout the United Kingdom.

More information

If you have questions about the schemes or services, it's best to contact them directly.

For England and Wales, the DBS manages the vetting and barring scheme. You can find out more on their website.

DBS website

AccessNI provides the disclosure service for Northern Ireland.


For Scotland, we cannot advise you on whether you need to be a member of PVGS, as Disclosure Scotland manages the scheme. However, further information is available on their website.

PVGS website

Still have a question about legal guidelines?

For more information or to discuss these guidelines, please contact our Registration team:


Tudalen wedi'i diweddaru ymlaen: 14/06/2018