Garda vetting can seem confusing and complex. This page aims to clear up any questions a volunteer may have about Garda vetting. If you are an organisation, please click here.

It is important to note that if an organisation requires you to complete Garda vetting, this must be arranged through the organisation. An individual cannot request Garda vetting for themselves – it can only be requested by the organisation the individual is volunteering or working with.

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 provide a statutory basis for the vetting of persons carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable persons.

Who must be vetted?

Under the Act, 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 persons. 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
  • Schools
  • 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 person.

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.

For more detailed information on vetting legislation in Ireland please see the National Vetting Bureau’s FAQ section.