Frequently Asked Questions

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Disclosures

What does ‘status’ mean on the disclosure tab in Compass?

Within the disclosures tab within Compass you will see a column called ‘Status’ this column, here you will be able to see the current status of each disclosure application.

So what does each status mean?

User Disclosure Status What does this mean?
No disclosure There is no disclosure in progress for this application and a new application will need to be started
Expired The disclosure has expired a new application will need to be started (if it has not already)
Application Withdrawn The application has been withdrawn and there is no disclosure in progress for this application and a new application will need to be started
ID check required The ID Checking part of the application within Atlantic Data needs to be completed to progress the application
Application submitted – in progress The disclosure application has been submitted, no further action is required locally to progress this application
Form returned to applicant A paper disclosure application (PVG or DBS) has been returned to the applicant as there are errors on the form
Form returned to Appointment Secretary A paper disclosure application (PVG or DBS) has been returned to the applicant’s local Appointment Secretary as there are errors on the form
ID selection required The applicant has been requested to select which ID they will use for their application, the applicant is required to log into Atlantic Data to progress the application
Final applicant information required The applicant has been requested to provide their address history and completed application, the applicant is required to log into Atlantic Data to submit the application
Application received at Atlantic Data The disclosure application has been submitted to Atlantic Data, no further action is required locally to progress this application
Application received at HQ The paper disclosure application (PVG or DBS)  has been submitted to HQ for processing, no further action is required locally to progress this application
Disclosure Issued The disclosure has been issued – no further action is required until the disclosure expires (see the Expiry Date column)

Please note that only members in England and Wales use Atlantic Data, if you are in British Scouting Overseas, Northern Ireland or Scotland then you will not see the status which relate to Atlantic Data.

A Member has left Scouting but they still have a disclosure request in Atlantic Data. What do I need to do?

If a Member has left Scouting, or has left their role which requires a disclosure, then you need to cancel their disclosure application in Atlantic Data. To do this, you need to:

  • Log in to Atlantic Data
  • Search for the relevant Member using the ‘Applicant Search’
  • The results will appear at the bottom of the screen. Click on the name of the relevant Member
  • In the popup box which appears, click on the ‘Available Actions’ tab
  • Click on ‘Cancel Application’, add any comments you wish to, click ‘Cancel Application’ and then click ‘Ok’.

The application will now have been cancelled in Atlantic Data. It is really important that you then close the relevant role on the Member’s record in Compass as well. Guidance on how to close roles in Compass can be found here.

We have automated this update and if records are closed on Compass applications will be closed in Atlantic Data overnight, if an application is in progress with the DBS then the application is not able to be cancelled and you will still be able to view their records in Atlantic Data until their disclosure results have been returned. No further action is required on your part if this is the case.

The CE check field on an appointment is blank, what do I do?

It can take up to 10 days for a CE check to clear, so during this time you do not need to take any action.

We are aware of a small number of new adults, returning adults and changes of role where the CE check is not recording properly. We are currently working on a fix to resolve this issue as soon as possible. In the meantime, if this is the case, please continue to implement and record on Compass the other elements of the approvals process as necessary (Commissioner and AAC approval, disclosure check, Getting Started training etc.) Once these have been completed, the CE check should complete automatically within 5 days and the role will become full. If this is not the case, and after 5 days the field is still not populated, the Appointments Secretary should contact the vetting team via the Information Centre or at vetting@scouts.org.uk .

Do I need to log into Atlantic Data when I request a disclosure in Compass?

If you need to process your disclosure through Atlantic Data, it is really important that when you click the button to request a disclosure in Compass you make sure that you log in to Atlantic Data as well, using the login screen that opens automatically. If you do not login to Atlantic Data at this point, the disclosure will not have been requested properly and the Member will not appear in Atlantic Data. You can find guidance on doing this and more information on how to request a disclosure here.

If you have accidentally requested a disclosure without logging in to Atlantic Data, then an overnight process will automatically request the disclosure in Atlantic Data as well. You should wait until the next day to check Atlantic Data for the member whose disclosure you are trying to process. If you still cannot find the member in Atlantic Data the next day, you will need to contact the Scout Information Centre for assistance.

Disclosure checks seem to be stuck at LPF (Local Police Force) for a long time, why is this?

The Scout Association has been informed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that there are currently significant delays with disclosure applications being processed through the Metropolitan Police. In some cases applications are taking a significant number of weeks for the local police force (LPF) check to be processed.

While mainly affecting those who live, or have lived, within the Metropolitan Police area, there may be some volunteers in other parts of the Country who are also affected.

The DBS are working with the Metropolitan Police to resolve this delay, however if the application is over 60 days from the date of being at the Local Police Force (LPF) the applicant may wish to call the DBS directly on 03000 200 190 to escalate their application.

Adding under 18 year olds to Compass

At present Compass should only be used to record adults (ie people over 18).

The only reason for adding someone who is not yet 18 to Compass is to start the application for a disclosure check. (This may be necessary for example when they are planning to go to camp on / shortly after their 18th birthday.)

Once an under 18 year old has been added to Compass it is essential that a disclosure application is made without delay. The disclosure compliance procedures starts from the date they are added to Compass (even if a later start date is entered) and so the individual will only have 30 days (60 days where a paper application is required) before they become liable for suspension. (See this FAQ for more details)

For those in who use Atlantic Data the application will be automatically available to process the day after the new member has been added to Compass following the overnight sync.

Please note that you are not able to manually request a disclosure application from Compass when adding them as you would for those over 18.

In cases where someone under 18 has been added to Compass in error and needs to have their role closed, please contact the Information Centre.

What does suspension from “any involvement on Scouting” actually mean?

In simple terms it means what it says, a suspended individual cannot have any involvement in Scouting whilst suspended. Specifically POR Rule 15.2e says: The suspended person must not:

  • participate in any activity connected with the Movement (whether or not young people are present) including administrative activities;
  • contact youth Members of the Association;
  • enter Association premises unless specifically given permission by the appropriate Commissioner;
  • be present at any place at which Scouting activities are taking place (including all types of activity whether or not young people are present);
  • wear the uniform or badges of the Association

In very limited circumstances, variations to these restrictions may be permitted at the absolute discretion of the relevant Commissioners, however individuals suspended for not having a valued disclosure may not under any circumstances engage in regulated activity (the care, teaching, training or supervision of young people) and may not be involved in any residential activity (See POR Rule 15.2e for more details)

A Member’s disclosure is showing in Compass as ‘Pending’, but there is also an Issue Date and an Expiry Date showing. What does this mean?

If there is an Issue Date and an Expiry Date, this means that the Member has a valid disclosure – it is the status field, currently showing as ‘Pending’, which is an error and needs to be amended by Headquarters.

If you come across this on a Member’s record, please contact the Scout Information Centre with details of the Member (including their name and Membership number) and they will be able to amend the record for you.

For new members, when does the 30 days in which to submit a disclosure application start?

For new members the 30 days (60 days where a paper application is required) starts on the date that the member is added to Compass.

The 30 (or 60) days does not start from the “start date” of the role, because it is possible to enter role start dates either in the past or in the future, and to use this date would mean that some people would miss the reminder e-mails.

People added to Compass will receive an e-mail (copied to their line-manager and Appointment Secretary) to remind them that they have 30 (0r 60) days in which to submit a disclosure request.

Adding under 18 year olds to Compass

At present Compass should only be used to record adults (ie people over 18).

The only reason for adding somone who is not yet 18 to Compass is to start the application for a disclosure check. (This may be necessary for example when they are planning to go to camp on / shortly after their 18th birthday.)

Once an under 18 year old has been added to Compass it is essential that a disclosure application is made without delay. The disclosure compliance procedures starts from the date they are added to Compass (even if a later start date is entered) and so the individual will only have 30 days (60 days where a paper application is required) before they become liable for suspension. (See this FAQ for more details)

How do I use the Atlantic Data reports?

Within Atlantic Data there are several reports available to support the progression of disclosure checking in England and Wales.

The reports are aimed at Appointment Secretaries and line managers within Scouting.

 

There are five reports available within Atlantic Data –

Report Type of report
Disclosure Requested Will show all applications that have been passed from Compass to Atlantic Data however no action has been taken on this application.
E-Invitations Sent Will show all applications that have had an e-invitation sent to the applicant to request they select their ID documents.
Awaiting ID Check Will show all the applications that have had an e-invitation sent to the applicant and the applicant has selected their ID documents and these need to be verified by an ID checker in Atlantic Data.
Pending Applicant Information Will show all applications that have had ID checked and the applicant is required to submit the application.
Applications submitted (not sent to dbs) Will show all applications that have been submitted (no further action is required by local members) and are undergoing final checks (by HQ and Atlantic Data) before being sent to the DBS.

 

To access these reports –

  • Log in to Atlantic Data https://thescouts.disclosures.co.uk
  • If you have more than one role select your Appointment Secretary or line manager role as appropriate.
  • On the main page on the right hand side you will see a list of reports with numbers next to them.
  • Click on the number of the report you wish view.
  • A new window will open, amend the date range as required
  • Then click search
  • Details about member’s disclosure applications will show, you can filter and sort the columns using the icons on the left above the first column. You can export the report using the icons on the right above the last column.

It is worth noting if you export to excel or CSV then the report will open in a protected view and you will need to copy and paste the data into a new excel sheet to manipulate the data.

How does the mandatory suspension process regarding disclosures work?

 

There are three key elements to the mandatory suspension process regarding disclosures. These are:

  • Welcome and reminder service for new adults joining Scouting who require a disclosure
  • Reminder service for existing adults whose disclosure requires renewal
  • The suspension and unsuspension of adults who have not submitted a disclosure application

In order for these systems to work efficiently, it is important that all volunteers (including Occasional Helpers) have a valid email address recorded on Compass so that the reminders are not missed.

New adults joining (or re-joining) Scouting who require a disclosure will receive a welcome email two days after they are added to Compass. (Note: the “clock” starts when they are added to Compass, not from the role start date) The email will remind them that obtaining a disclosure plays an essential part in safeguarding the young people in the Movement. It will also explain how to obtain a valid disclosure and that they need to complete the application process within 30 days (60 days in Scotland & BSO). This email will be copied to their line manager, the relevant Commissioner and Appointment Secretary.

If a completed disclosure application has not been made within 20 days (40 days in Scotland & BSO), a reminder email will be sent to the individual and copied to their line manager, Commissioner and Appointment Secretary.

Adults who are required to renew their disclosure will receive  reminder emails informing them that their disclosure is about to expire approximately 90 days, 60 days and 30 days before it does. The email(s) will explain what they have to do in order to apply for a new disclosure. Their line manager, Commissioner and Appointment Secretary will also be informed at 90, 60 and 30 days that the disclosure is about to expire.

If by the time the original disclosure expires a completed application has not been made, further reminders will be sent 1 day and 20 days (40 days for Scotland & BSO) after expiry.

Suspensions of adults who have not submitted a disclosure application

If after 30 days (60 days for Scotland and BSO) (of being added to Compass as a new adult or expiry of their disclosure for existing adults), a completed disclosure application has not been made, the relevant commissioner (normally the District Commissioner) will be informed that they must suspend the individual concerned.

Suspensions are not an automated process, however they are mandatory and Commissioners will need to complete the suspension process on Compass (including obtaining the approval of the next Commissioner in the hierarchy). It is critical that ‘No valid disclosure’ is selected as the suspension reason.

The Commissioner must also inform the individual concerned (usually by telephone or face-to-face meeting).

An alternative to suspension is to close the role(s) that require a disclosure. For some people, particularly new volunteers and Occasional Helpers, this can be the best approach to adopt at this point.

Once suspended on Compass; provided that they have a valid e-mail address on Compass, the individual will automatically receive written notification of their suspension together with a link to the notes for a suspended person. If they do not have a valid e-mail address on Compass the Commissioner will be required to send them a suspension letter.

If suspensions are not implemented by the relevant Commissioner and/or a disclosure application is not submitted within 7 days of notification or the role(s) closed, the matter will be escalated automatically to the next Commissioner in the hierarchy.

Once suspended, in order to be unsuspended the individual concerned will need to complete a disclosure application, obtain a valid disclosure and complete the vetting process. Once they have cleared the vetting process, the relevant Commissioner and Appointment Secretary will be notified and the individual will be unsuspended by HQ. The Commissioner will need to contact the individual concerned and tell them that they have been unsuspended. They must confirm this in writing and a specimen unsuspend letter is available here.

If a disclosure has not been applied for within 60 days (90 days for Scotland & BSO) of suspension (i.e. at least 90 days (150 days for Scotland & BSO) since a disclosure expired or was required), the roles held by the individual concerned will be closed. If they subsequently wish to re-join Scouting they will need to restart the joining process.

The process for obtaining a disclosure remains unchanged. For England & Wales you can find additional guidance about how to process disclosure checks here, for Scotland it is here, for Northern Ireland here and for BSO here.

Quick start and full user guides on using Compass can be found on the Compass Support website.

 

How do I search for someone in Atlantic Data if their surname or forename is less than 3 letters long?

Atlantic Data requires you to enter a minimum of three letters in the forename or surname fields when searching for an applicant using the ‘Applicant Search’. If the applicant’s forename or surname is less than three letters long:

  • click on the ‘Applications’ tab at the top of the Atlantic Data home page
  • from the dropdown menu which appears, click on ‘Disclosure Requests’
  • a new page will open with ‘Applicant Search’ fields on it
  • leave the relevant field blank (surname or forename) and enter their date of birth into the ‘DOB’ field instead
  • click on ‘Search’
  • the applicants record should be returned at the bottom of the page.

Alternatively you are able to search using the person’s membership number.

What do I do if I have already started the disclosure process when I realise my details in Compass are not correct?

If you begin the disclosure process and then realise the individual’s relevant details in Compass are incorrect (such as name or address) you will need to cancel the request in Atlantic Data. You will then need to  log into Compass, amend the relevant details and begin the process again by requesting a new disclosure.

To avoid this please make sure your details in Compass match those on the Members ID before the disclosure process begins. Details such as email and address can be changed within Compass but details such as name, title and date of birth can only be updated by contacting the Scout Information Centre.

How does a suspended member get unsuspended?

Once an individual has been suspended for not having a valid disclosure, in order to be unsuspended they will need to obtain a disclosure and complete the vetting process. The suspension will only come to an end once they have received formal notification in writing from the relevant Commissioner (in most cases the District Commissioner).

Guidance on how to obtain a disclosure in England and Wales can be found here. Guidance for people in Scotland can be found here, and for Northern Ireland here. For volunteers in BSO please click here.

Once suspended, can a volunteer complete a disclosure check and return to Scouting?

If a member has been suspended for not holding a valid disclosure check they will either need to complete a disclosure application or have their role, which requires a disclosure check, ended on Compass.  If the volunteer does complete a disclosure check, having previously been suspended, they may be able to resume their role once they have completed the National Vetting Process.  Written confirmation will be sent to the relevant Commissioner when that process has been completed.

Which Commissioner will be informed that an individual’s disclosure is due to expire?

Prior to the expiry of the individual’s disclosure, this will always be the Commissioner in the hierarchy is who is closest to the individual’s primary role. For example: if an individual’s primary role is a Cub Scout Leader it will be their District Commissioner (DC) who is informed; if their primary role is a District Commissioner it will be the County Commissioner (CC) who is informed in England or Northern Ireland, or the Regional Commissioner (RC) in Scotland, or Area Commissioner (AC) in Wales.

If, for any reason, the relevant Commissioner role is not filled then the next Commissioner in the hierarchy will be contacted instead. For example, if the DC is the relevant Commissioner but there is currently no one in post the CC/AC/RC (depending on the country) will automatically be contacted instead.

What happens once my disclosure has expired?

You will have 30 day in which to complete the application* for a new disclosure. You will be reminded of this by email 1 day and 20 days (or 40 days in Scotland or 30 days for BSO) after your disclosure has expired.

If you do not apply for a disclosure* within 30 days (60 days in Scotland and BSO) of your previous disclosure expiring you will be liable for mandatory suspension.

*For England & Wales this means completing the ID check process, entering your address history and submitting the application to Atlantic Data.

 

When using my driver’s license as ID what happens if I accidentally put my middle name in the ‘first name’ and ‘middle name’ field?

If you type your middle name as part of your first name, and then again in the middle name field whilst using your driver’s licence as ID an alert will appear when you attempt to submit the form, allowing you to remove your middle name from the first name field as resubmit once your name in these fields matches those on your licence exactly.
If your first name and your middle name are the same, Atlantic Data may present an error message and stop you from proceeding with your application, in which case you will need to contact the vetting team at UKHQ via vetting@scouts.org.uk.

What happens if the District Commissioner does not suspend the person concerned?

If the individual concerned is not suspended by the District Commissioner within 7 days of them receiving the request, then the County/Area/Regional (Scotland) Commissioner will be asked to suspend the individual concerned instead.

If within a further 7 days the County/Area/Regional (Scotland) Commissioner does not suspend the individual, the request will be escalated to the next most senior Commissioner in the hierarchy (typically a Regional or Chief Commissioner).

Why has Scouting imposed this new approach?

This is not a new approach. We were requiring Commissioners to suspend people that did not have a valid disclosure before Compass was launched. We are now simply reintroducing that approach, but with the additional functionality that Compass (and in England & Wales – Atlantic Data) allows.

It must be remembered that obtaining a valid disclosure from the relevant agency (DBS, ANI, PVG), together with completing the relevant Headquarters checks, play an essential part in safeguarding the young people in our Movement. Consequently, ensuring that all relevant adults have a current, valid disclosure is a key priority.

What do the ‘User Disclosure Status’ options mean in the Disclosure Report?

The Disclosure Report creates a report/list of members whose roles require a disclosure and they either do not currently hold a valid disclosure or their disclosure is due to expire.

Within the report you are able to select from a list of options to show different groups of members in your area.

User Disclosure Status

So what does each status mean?

User Disclosure Status Country What will this show?
Expired and Expiring Today England and Wales
  • Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure has expired

OR

  • They have never had a disclosure

AND

  • A new disclosure application has not been started on Atlantic Data
Expired and Expiring Today Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles and

  • Their previous disclosure has expired

OR

  • The have never had a disclosure
Expiring within 30 days England and Wales
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 30 days

AND

  • Their disclosure application has not been started in Atlantic Data
Expiring within 30 days Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 30 days
Expiring within 90 days England and Wales
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 90 days

AND

  • Their disclosure application has not been started in Atlantic Data
Expiring within 90 days Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 90 days
Expiring within 180 days England and Wales
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 180 days

AND

  • Their disclosure application has not been started in Atlantic Data
Expiring within 180 days Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 180 days
Expiring within 12 Months England and Wales
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 12 months

AND

  • Their disclosure application has not been started in Atlantic Data
Expiring within 12 Months Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their previous disclosure is due to expire in the next 12 months
Pending England and Wales
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their disclosure application has been started in Atlantic Data
Pending Scotland, Northern Ireland or British Scouting Overseas
  •  Members who require a disclosure for one or more of their roles

AND

  • Their disclosure application has been submitted to HQ/authority (DBS, ANI or Disclosure Scotland) for processing

How will I know that my disclosure is about to expire?

You will receive an email informing you that your disclosure is about to expire approximately 90 days, 60 days and 30 days before it does. This email will explain what you have to do in order to renew it.

Your line manager, Commissioner and Appointment Secretary will also receive emails approximately 90 days, 60 days and 30 days before your disclosure expires.

Why are the time-frames for mandatory suspension different between the different Countries?

England & Wales use an entirely electronic system (via Atlantic Data) to apply for disclosures. Northern Ireland similarly have an electronic system (provided by Access Northern Ireland). Volunteers in Scotland (using Disclosure Scotland) and British Scouting Overseas (BSO) are only able to used paper based systems to apply for disclosures.

In order to take into account the extra delays these paper based systems create, individuals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have 30 days before becoming liable for mandatory suspension, where volunteers in Scotland and BSO have 60 days.

Is the suspension of an individual for non-compliance an automated process?

No it is not a completely automated process, the relevant Commissioner (in most cases the District Commissioner) will be prompted to implement the suspension. They will have to: complete the suspension process on Compass (including obtaining the approval of the next Commissioner in the hierarchy – usually the County Commissioner) and recording the reason for the suspension as ‘No Valid Disclosure’. They will also need to inform the individual concerned (usually by telephone or face-to-face meeting).

Once suspended on Compass; the individual will automatically receive notification of that suspension together with a link to the notes for a suspended person.

What happens if someone is no longer involved in Scouting?

When someone leaves Scouting their role(s) must be closed on Compass. If as a line manager, Commissioner or Appointment Secretary you receive a disclosure reminder (or suspension request) for someone that has left Scouting, you should ensure that their role is closed on Compass. Closing their role(s) will stop future reminder e-mails.

How does it work for people new to Scouting?

People new to Scouting will receive a welcome email the day after they are added to Compass. The email will remind them that obtaining a disclosure plays an essential part in safeguarding the young people in the Movement. It will explain how to obtain a valid disclosure and that they need to complete the application process within 30 days. This email will be copied to their line manager, Commissioner and Appointment Secretary.

If a completed disclosure application has not been made within 20 days, a reminder email will be sent to the individual and copied to their line manager, Commissioner and Appointment Secretary.

If after 30 days (60 days in Scotland and BSO) a completed disclosure application has not been made, they will be subject to mandatory suspension.

What does “complete the vetting process” mean?

In order to complete the Vetting process, individuals will need to obtain a valid disclosure. If that disclosure contains information (whether or not that information was on previous certificates), the original certificate will be obtained (as necessary) and the information assessed by the Vetting Team and Head of Safeguarding at HQ. This assessment will be undertaken using the Safeguarding and Vetting Decision Guidance shown in POR: The Appointment Process.

Once that is process is complete, and depending upon the outcome of the Assessment, Compass will be updated to show that a valid disclosure is held and the relevant commissioner will be advised that the individual may be un-suspended.

Which Commissioner will be informed that an individual’s disclosure has expired and steps have not been taken to renew it within the given timeframe?

If an individual does not take steps to renew their disclosure within 30 days (60 days for Scotland and BSO), the Commissioner in the hierarchy who is closest to the individual’s primary role will be contacted to inform them and ask them to take action to suspend the individual for non-compliance.

If this is the case, it will be the Commissioner who is closest in the hierarchy to the individual’s primary role who will be contacted initially. Subsequent Commissioners up the hierarchy will then be contacted if no action is taking by the previous Commissioner. For example, if an individual’s primary role is a District Explorer Scout Commissioner, it will be their District Commissioner who is initially contacted to ask to suspend them for non-compliance. If no action is taken the CC (England and Northern Ireland), AC (Wales) or RC (Scotland) will then be contacted. If no action is taken by them, the relevant Commissioners up the hierarchy will then be contacted until it reaches the Country Commissioner.

What happens if an individual hold roles in more than one country, which requires a different form of disclosure (e.g. Scotland and England)?

Individuals that hold roles in Countries that require different forms of disclosure do need to hold both types of disclosure (unfortunately the legislation means that disclosures are only valid in the country that issued them).

It is therefore possible for an individual who holds roles in both England / Wales and Scotland to have a valid disclosure for one role but not for the other. If the failure to hold one or other of the required disclosures makes them subject to a suspension, then they will be suspended. Such a suspension will affect their roles in all countries (even if the hold a valid disclosure for one), this is because suspension is “suspension from any involvement in Scouting” (POR Rule 15.2 b).

A known bug with the functionality means that an adult in this situation my get an email explaining that they do not currently hold a disclosure and refer to the wrong disclosure type (eg if the PVG has expired the email may refer to their DBS expiring). If this is the case please check on Compass which disclosure is about to expire and please take the appropriate steps to complete the correct application.