Garda vetting is only one part of a 10 step volunteer screening procedure and should not replace good practice such as face to face interviews, verbal and written reference checks, identity verification and a robust code of good practice, child protection policy and support and supervision process.
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 provide a statutory basis for the vetting of persons carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable persons. The Act also creates offences and penalties for persons who fail to comply with its provisions.
The Act stipulates that a relevant organisation shall not permit any person to undertake relevant work or activities on behalf of the organisation, unless the organisation receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person.
Garda vetting is conducted on behalf of registered organisations only and is not conducted for individual persons on a personal basis.
If you are seeking employment or intending to volunteer with an organisation which conducts relevant work, you may be asked to make an application to be vetted.
Volunteer Ireland is a registered organisation with the National Vetting Bureau and carry out the service for affiliates who engage volunteers or employees in international volunteering. For more information on this service please contact Stuart Garland firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your local volunteer centre is also a registered organisation with the National Vetting Bureau and carries out the service for volunteer involving organisations in their county. Please contact your local volunteer centre directly about this service.
The National Vetting Bureau provide Garda Vetting applicants with the ability to apply online using our eVetting facility.
To use our eVetting service you must:
- Be over 16 years old
- If aged 16-18 years, have submitted signed “Parent / Guardian” consent form
- Have or have access to a valid email address
- Have access to the Internet
- Have completed the “Proof of Identity” process
The vetting subject manually completes and forwards to the Relevant Organisation a vetting Invitation Form (obtained from the Relevant Organisation) and provides proof of identity.
The Relevant Organisation validates proof of identity and sends the vetting subject an e-mail with a link attached inviting him/her to complete a Vetting Application Form.
The vetting subject completes a Vetting Application Form online and submits it to the Relevant Organisation.
The Relevant Organisation reviews the Vetting Application Form and submits it to the National Vetting Bureau.
The National Vetting Bureau processes the application and forwards a vetting disclosure to the Relevant Organisation.
The Relevant Organisation reviews the vetting disclosure and as soon as is practicable provides a copy of the disclosure to the vetting subject.
Who must be vetted?
Under the Acts, any person whose work or activity involves access to children or vulnerable persons must be vetted. Workers include staff, volunteers and those on student placements working for a relevant organisation through which they have access to children and / or vulnerable adults. The act defines “relevant organisation” as one that employs or permits a person to carry out work or activities which mainly consist of them having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable persons.
The work or activities where people working with children and vulnerable adult will require vetting include:
- Childcare services
- Hospitals and health services
- Residential services or accommodation for children or vulnerable persons
- Treatment, therapy or counselling services for children or vulnerable persons
- Provision of leisure, sporting or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons
- Promotion of religious beliefs
There will be a number of roles where you will have to carry out a risk assessment and decide if the position allows the person to build up a relationship of trust with a child or vulnerable adult.
Who is a vulnerable person
According to the act a vulnerable person means a person, other than a child, who is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia, has an intellectual disability, is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age, or has a physical disability, which is of such a nature or degree as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing.
Are you a relevant organisation?
A relevant organisation means a person (including a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons) who employs, enters into a contract for services or permits any person to undertake relevant work or activities, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults. A relevant organisation shall not permit any person to undertake relevant work or activities on behalf of the organisation unless the organisation receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person. A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
If your organisation is deemed a Relevant Organisation, you are required by law to vet anyone who is engaged in relevant work before they commence their role.
You are required to verify and keep on file a record of the applicant’s proof of identity.
You are required to keep a copy of all vetting disclosures for the duration of your volunteer or staff member’s time in the role for which they were vetted.
For more detailed information on vetting legislation in Ireland please see the National Vetting Bureau’s FAQ section.
IMPORTANT: The above guidance is a general overview of the legislation. Each organisation will need to examine how the legislation may affect their recruitment and selection processes. It is important to consider issues that are specific to your organisation