The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 commenced on 29th April 2016. The Act makes it mandatory to vet (criminal record check) any person who is carrying out work or activity, where a necessary and regular part consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children (under 18s) or vulnerable adults.
Mayo Volunteer Centre can assist local voluntary and community groups to access Garda Vetting for their volunteers and paid staff.
The National Vetting Bureau will make inquiries with An Garda Síochána or a Scheduled Organisation, as appropriate, to establish whether there is any criminal record or specified information relating to the applicant. The Bureau does not make decisions in respect of the suitability of an applicant for a position. This is the responsibility of the organisation.
The National Vetting Bureau has compiled a comprehensive list of questions and answers for individuals and organisations and on the process itself.
Garda Vetting – Frequently Asked Questions
Any staff member/volunteer/worker who will be doing relevant work as a primary and regular part of their role should be Garda vetted. ‘Relevant work’ is defined as work or activities relating to children, or work or activities relating to vulnerable persons,
Garda vetting must take place where any work or activity which is carried out by a person, where a “necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with children” in any of the following locations:
a) Pre-school services
b) School or centre of education
c) Hospital or health care centre which receives, treats or otherwise provides services to children
d) Institution providing residential services to children
e) Special care unit
f) Children’s detention school
g) Reception or accommodation providing residential accommodation services to applicants for asylum
Garda vetting must also be carried out in relation to any work or activity where a “necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with vulnerable people” in any of the following locations:
a) School or centre of education, unless merely incidental to work or activities undertaken in relation to persons who are not vulnerable persons
b) Hospital or care centre which receives, treats or otherwise which provides services to vulnerable persons
c) Designated centre (within the meaning of section 2 of the Health Act 2007), providing residential services to vulnerable persons
d) Approved centre within the meaning of Part 5 of the Mental Health Act 2001.
You should not be Garda vetted if relevant work is incidental to your role, i.e. happening as a minor or secondary part of your role.
A person, other than a child, who
a) is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia,
b) has an intellectual disability,
c) is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age or
d) has a physical disability
Which is of such a nature or degree
i.as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or
ii.that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing
Yes. You do not need to be Garda vetted if the relevant work is not a primary and regular part of your volunteering role.
Occasional volunteering does not require vetting. In the Act, occasional volunteering is defined as:
“Giving of assistance by an individual on an occasional basis and of no commercial consideration at a school, sports or community event other than where such assistance includes coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training.”
Organisations should be note that to vet someone unnecessarily is a breach of Data Protection as potentially sensitive data has been disclosed with no legal basis to do so.
All vetting is conducted by the National Vetting Bureau, formerly known as the Garda Central Vetting Unit. A number of Liaison Officers have been appointed across the country to help channel the thousands of requests from voluntary organisations.
Here in Mayo Volunteer Centre, we offer this Liaison Officer service to hundreds of organisations who are not large enough to have their own Liaison Officer role. For this reason, you may even see the name of our organisation in your e-vetting invitation email.
However, if you have a query, your first port of call is always the organisation you applied to volunteer with.
Your first step is always to make an application to volunteer with an organisation, for a role that requires vetting. After that process follows these steps:
- You will receive a paper vetting inviter form (NVB1) from the organisation you applied to volunteer with.
- You complete the inviter form with some basic information and return it to the organisation, along with proof of identity.
- The organisation sends your inviter form to the National Vetting Bureau.
- You will receive an email with a link to complete you vetting form online. The email will come from the National Vetting Bureau and will be valid for 30 days. Please check your spam/junk folder if you have not received the email.
If you have any queries or issues with your application, you do not contact the National Vetting Bureau. The organisations that sent your inviter form to the Vetting Bureau is the one you contact.
If you have a query, your first point of contact should always be the Garda Vetting Officer in the organisation you applied to volunteer with. If you made a few applications and you are not sure who to contact with a query, take a look at the email from the Vetting Bureau. At the top you will see this sentence:
“This is your vetting application which you have consented to and submitted by ‘name of organisation’”
This is the organisation you contact with a vetting query.
No. Vetting is conducted only on behalf of relevant organisations that are registered with the National Vetting Bureau and is not conducted for individual persons on a personal basis.
Currently e-vetting forms are returning from the Bureau in about 8 working days. To keep things moving quickly we advise you to be very careful when filling in your details. Wrong information can cause delays as the forms will need to be submitted a second time. You should also keep checking your emails for the e-vetting invitation from the Bureau, this includes check your junk/spam folder.
On very rare occasions, a vetting request will take many months to return from the Bureau. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to speed up the process on these occasions.
A vetting disclosure will be issued in respect of each person who is the subject of a vetting application. The Vetting Disclosure will include:
- particulars of the criminal record (if any)
- a statement of the specified information (if any) relating to the person which the Chief Bureau Officer has determined in accordance with Section 15 of the Act should be disclosed
- Nil & Nil will appear – if there is no criminal record or specified information to disclose
What is included in a disclosure?
- a record of the person’s convictions, whether within or outside the State, for any criminal offences, together with any ancillary or consequential orders made pursuant to the convictions concerned, or
- a record of any prosecutions pending against the person, whether within or outside the State, for any criminal offence
The following convictions will NOT be disclosed:
- Convictions over 7 years for motoring offences other than Section 53(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1961.
- District Court convictions for any other minor offence will not be disclosed after 7 years where the person has one such offence only
- Information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person received by the NVB from An Garda Síochána or a scheduled organisation pursuant to section 19 of the Act
- Gives rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting subject may harm, attempt to harm or put at risk a child or vulnerable person or both
Organisation is required to notify:
- The Health Service Executive
- The Teaching Council
- The Medical Council
- The Mental Health Commission
- The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland
- The National Transport Authority
- The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
Assessment of Specified Information
The Chief Bureau Officer will notify the vetting subject in advance of the intention to disclose the information. The vetting subject may make a written submission to the NVB in relation to the specified information concerned. There is an appeals process. The vetting subject can appeal up to 14 days after notification