Protecting Vulnerable Groups - Sector-based work academies and student placements

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has created a range of employment programmes and schemes.

These programmes support job seekers who are close to the labour market, but who would benefit from pre-employment training and work experience, as well as supporting employers to fill their vacancies more efficiently. Current programmes and schemes that are relevant to social care include sector-based work academies and work experience.  

The Care Inspectorate welcomes initiatives that support training and education leading to employment within social care.  

The Care Inspectorate has been asked by DWP to issue a statement on what we expect from providers offering these placements. The guidance below relates to these and similar short term placements (1-4 weeks).  

The Care Inspectorates expects providers to adhere to the PVG legislation. Anyone carrying out regulated work must be a member of the PVG scheme. Providers are therefore required to consider whether the 'student' on placement is carrying out regulated work or not. 

PVG membership -   Short term placements 

The Care Inspectorate expects providers of services to ensure that all individuals engaged in the provision of the care service have had appropriate disclosure checks.  Where necessary, the organisation should seek advice (from Disclosure Scotland, Central Registered Body in Scotland CRBS  or independent legal advice) and be able to demonstrate that they have carried out appropriate checks to ensure that staff are fit to be engaged in the provision of the care service. 

The Care Inspectorate expects that providers will assess each post/role within the care service in order to determine what levels of checks would be required.  

The Care Inspectorate's priority is to ensure that this is done in a way that protects and promotes care and welfare of people who use services, and that providers’ actions are consistenct with any duties incumbent upon them under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 and safe recruitment. 

The Care Inspectorate would expect that the following issues are taken into consideration when providers assess whether the individual/s are carrying out regulated work and require to be PVG scheme members, or not:   

  • Is the individual carrying out care/support tasks? 
  • Will the individual be left alone with people who use services have sole/unsupervised access?
  • Will the tasks of the role allow for the individual to be shadowed at all times to prevent sole/unsupervised access to people who use services?
  • Will the individual be appropriately supervised at all times by a permanent member of staff who has had a satisfactory DS check, to minimise any risk to people who use services?

Where a provider considers that the student will not be carrying out regulated work and is able to confirm that individual/s do not have unsupervised access to people who use the service, the Care Inspectorate expects that a risk assessment is carried out.