Ministries Council foots bill for vital minister scheme application

Church of Scotland ministers are to have the costs of joining the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme paid for by the Ministries Council.

Until now, ministers had been expected to cover the £59 charge of joining the PVG scheme from their own pocket.

At a meeting of the Ministries Council, members heard an increasing number of congregations had registered their opposition to ministers being asked to pay the one off fee.

The PVG check is a legal requirement for Church of Scotland ministers and all must join the Scheme by October next year.

Members voted by an overwhelming majority to change the policy so the Church picks up the charge.

The cost to the Church of paying for PVG membership for ministers and associated staff will be around £60000.

This will now be accommodated within the Ministries Council budget. To date, 149 ministers have already paid the fee, and this cost will now be reimbursed.

The PVG scheme is likely to help save the Church on administration costs in the future.

Ministers must be registered for both regulated work with children and protected adults.

Ministers who are already members of the Scheme, through other regulated work, need to complete an Existing PVG Member Application.

The Church of Scotland is the country's largest charity and is currently in the process of registering more than 30000 volunteers and paid staff for the PVG scheme. Volunteers are not required to pay any fee.

To join the Scheme, ministers do not have to do anything until they receive an email from the Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service to enquire if they need to join the Scheme or are already members. This is being done on presbytery-by-presbytery basis.

The appropriate application form will be sent to them with comprehensive guidance and contact details for further help.