This post is relevant for those who are involved in organisations that work with children or any person whose work or activity involves access to children or indeed vulnerable adults.
On the 29th of April 2016 the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016 came into effect.
These Acts make it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Siochana National Vetting Bureau.
This bureau deals with requests to provide information on certain prospective employees or other workers and carries out vetting for relevant organisations that are registered with it. Vetting is not done for individuals on a personal basis.
Under the Acts, any person whose work or activity involves access to children or vulnerable adults must be vetted. This includes staff, volunteers and those on student placements working for a relevant organisation through which they have unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults.
A “relevant organisation” is defined in Section 2 of the Acts as one that employs or permits a person to carry our work or activities which mainly consist of them having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
The work or activities where people working with children and vulnerable adults will require vetting will include:-
1. Child Care Services.
3. Hospitals and Health Services.
4. Residential Services or accommodation for children or vulnerable persons.
5. Treatment, Therapy or Counselling Services for children or vulnerable persons.
6. Provision of Leisure, Sporting or Physical Activities to children or vulnerable persons.
7. Promotion of Religious Beliefs.
8. Under the Private Securities Service Act 2004 Garda Vetting has been extended to Private Security Employees (for example, bouncers and night club security staff).
Section 20 of the Acts provides for the re-vetting of employees and other workers after a certain period of time which is to be set out in regulations. Until then, good practice suggests that re-vetting should be carried out every five years.
An organisation that requires Garda Vetting of individuals must register with the National Vetting Bureau. The organisation must appoint a liaison person to apply for and receive vetting disclosures. There is further information on the National Vetting Bureau website.
Under the Acts there are penalties attached for people who employ or enter a contract of service or allow a person to undertake relevant work on behalf of the organisation unless the organisation receives a vetting disclosure from the Bureau in respect of that person. Similarly those who fail to comply in terms of re-vetting also commit an offence as shall those who falsify or alter a vetting disclosure or make a false statement for the purposes of obtaining, or enabling other persons to obtain, a vetting disclosure or allows a vetting disclosure which relates to him or her to be used by another person in such way as to give rise to the reason to belief that records related to another person.