An update on disclosures during the Coronavirus situation
Processing disclosure applications and re-checks
While all face-to-face Scout meetings and activities across the UK are suspended, we have taken the decision to stop processing disclosure applications and re-checks. This will be the case until the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted. The disclosure bodies’ advice to us clearly states that the workarounds for effective identity checking have been primarily put in place to ensure disclosure checks can be processed for frontline key workers needed to contribute to the Coronavirus situation. While Scouts remains important, clearly, we do not meet this criteria.
Scouts volunteers are not engaging in Regulated Activity while face-to-face Scout meetings and activities are suspended. Therefore, there is no requirement for disclosure applications and re-checks to be processed during the Coronavirus situation.
What this means during the Coronavirus situation
- Volunteers will not be suspended when a disclosure re-check has not been undertaken and a valid disclosure obtained.
- Volunteer line managers will continue to receive the reminder and suspension emails as these are automated through Compass. While this isn’t ideal, it isn’t practicable nor cost effective at this time to stop these being sent. During this period please disregard these emails (although they may be of use to create a list of those volunteers who will need to process a disclosure re-check when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted).
- Volunteer line managers should not add any new adults during the Coronavirus situation and should not process the suspension of volunteers during this period.
- Volunteers whose disclosure expires during this period may continue to meet digitally, following the advice and guidance issued on holding virtual meetings to make sure we keep all members safe.
Processing disclosure applications and re-checks when the suspension on face-to-face Scout meetings and activities is lifted Once face-to-face Scout activities and meetings resume, new disclosure applications can commence and volunteers whose disclosure has expired will be able to continue in their roles for a limited period before suspension will be necessary if a valid disclosure is not obtained. We will set a date when all volunteers who don’t have a valid disclosure must start the process to renew their disclosure. The limited period will be 90 days from that date for those volunteers to obtain a valid disclosure. We will keep this period under review based on processing volumes both for the respective disclosure bodies, who anticipate a peak in demand immediately following the Coronavirus situation, and the Safeguarding team’s ability to process disclosures returned with information. Please note we will be increasing capacity in the Safeguarding team to meet the anticipated demand.
It goes without saying that keeping young people safe is our number one priority and volunteers whose disclosure has expired should make every effort to start the process to obtain a valid disclosure as speedily as possible to avoid suspension.