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Become a Volunteer

This page tells you how to become an Independent Custody Visitor in Scotland.

Do you have what it takes to play a key part in the welfare of detainees? Find out more about how you could become a volunteer visitor, and the kind of people we are looking for.

Are you?

  • 18 or over with no direct involvement in the criminal justice system (serving police officers or special constables, Solicitors or probation officers are not eligible, to prevent possible conflict of interests for the individual). This maintains the independence of the scheme as a whole.
  • A good listener, non-judgmental, unprejudiced and impartial?
  • Interested in the community and the welfare of people detained in Police Custody?

 What are we looking for?

  • We are looking for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and from a cross-section of the community. 
  • No specialist skills are required: full training and support is given.

ICVS recruits people from across Scotland and beyond, if you believe you can offer your time and experience to this important role then please complete the ICVS application and equalities monitoring form below.

Application process

Stage 1

Please read the person specification and application guidance documents prior to completing the application form.

Information day

If you are eligible you will be invited to attend an information day. Normally this is held on a Saturday. The information day will provide a better understanding of what is involved. It will provide you with the opportunity to meet one of our volunteers.  You will gain a sound knowledge and thorough understanding of detainees’ rights and police responsibilities.

Stage 2

Informal interview

You will be asked to complete a vetting form and to attend a short, informal interview. 

Training day

Next you will attend a training day. The training day consists of practical and theoretical exercises; these cover all aspects of custody visiting. The training day comes with a set of guidelines and an explanation of a detainee’s legal rights and entitlements.

Where do I apply?

Completed application forms should be submitted by post or e-mail to the following address:

Scottish Police Authority
1 Pacific Quay
G51 1DZ

Support and help

The National Manager and the Regional Coordinators are responsible for the day-to-day management of Independent Custody Visiting Scotland; they are the first point of contact for help and support.

All newly appointed independent custody visitors are paired with an experienced visitor for a period of six months.

Following completion of the probationary period, custody visitors will be appointed to a custody cluster for a pre-determined period. This will usually be for a three-year period, and it may be renewable.

Do you want to find out more about becoming a volunteer?

Fill in this form and a member of the ICVS team will get back in touch to answer your questions.

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