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18th April 2024

Disclosure (Scotland) Act fees and discounting consultation: Share your views!

As you will likely now be aware, Disclosure Scotland are currently seeking views on behalf of Scottish Government ministers on a range of proposals related to PVG scheme fees.

One of the proposals contained within the consultation is to remove the current fee waiver for volunteers in qualifying voluntary organisations (QVOs) and replace this with a fee discount. There are also proposals and options to introduce new fee discounts for care leavers and people in receipt of certain benefits. More information about the consultation can be found here.

At Volunteer Scotland we are very concerned about the potential impact of these proposed changes, particularly given the recent evidence of a decline in formal volunteer participation in Scotland. We will be responding to the consultation and plan to base our response on the views and experiences of volunteer involving organisations and volunteers.

We encourage you to respond to this consultation and to share your views with us; there are several ways you can do this:

1. Through the Policy Champions Network

The Policy Champions Network (PCN) was established in 2023 to increase the visibility and presence of volunteering in local and national policy across all relevant sectors. The network is open to a wide range of individuals/organisations with an interest in receiving relevant policy updates and informing how policy related to volunteering is developed.

The PCN is currently inviting views from members on the Disclosure (Scotland) Act fees and discounting consultation through a survey and is also hosting two consultation events to hear the views of members. You can join the PCN here.

2. Through the Cross Party Group on Volunteering

The Cross-Party Group (CPG) is a formal structure through the Scottish Parliament to influence MSPs on a given theme. Volunteer Scotland is the secretariat of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on volunteering, which is co-convened by Jeremy Balfour MSP and Foysol Choudhury MSP.

The most recent CPG meeting in March heard concerns about the proposal to remove the current fee waiver for volunteers in QVOs. As such, the co-convenors are exploring options to influence the Government on this issue. You can join the CPG on Volunteering here.

3. Share your views with our Policy Officer

If you have views on this issue but don’t want to join either the PCN or the CPG on Volunteering, you can email your views to our Policy Officer, Sarah Latto, directly. Any evidence or views emailed to Sarah will be considered when writing our response to the consultation.

4. Respond to the Consultation yourself

Anybody is welcome to share their views about the proposals through the official consultation process. The consultation closes on the 28th of May so you still have lots of time! You can find out more information about responding to the consultation on the consultation homepage.