Garda Vetting Update

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You are all aware by now the under the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 (no 47 of 2012) it is a criminal offence not to have Garda vetting disclosure when working with children and vulnerable adults. This applies to staff that started from the 29th April 2016. When TUSLA inspect the employee can be removed from the service. For employees employed pre-April 2016 it will result in a non-compliance and a condition will be added to the registration.

Garda vetting carried out through the national vetting bureau covers the Republic and Northern Ireland

All employees, volunteers and students working in the service must be Garda vetted. This includes relief staff. This also applies to the Board of management/Directors.

Students and Contractors:

Any contractor (e.g music, drama teachers etc) or student must satisfy the service that they are Garda vetted by providing a certified copy of the vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau and the service will not be required to reapply. A certified copy means a hard copy/ an original copy. Providers should copy the original and note on the copy that they had sight of the original copy. If it is not possible to have sight of the original hard copy the provider should require that the copy has the stamp of the supplying organisation/college. In the event of e-vetting the relevant organisation can forward via email the original disclosure (password protected). This should be done with the consent of the person

Transition Year Students:

Transition year students do not require Garda Vetting if under 18 years of age. Garda Vetting will be required, however, for all transition students over 18 years.

Support staff

Support Staff that visit the service on a regular basis should be Garda Vetted. Other precautions to safeguard children should also be put in place (e.g. not allowing support staff have unsupervised access to children).

Staff from other Agencies

Staff from other agencies such as Enable Ireland can transfer their vetting from that agency to the service but providers are required to risk assess any disclosures as they would with other staff.

Parents

Parents who accompany children on occasional outings do not require Garda vetting

They should not be allowed unsupervised access to children.

Visitors

Visitors like the local firefighter or a parent (giving a talk about their work) do not need Garda Vetting but should not have unsupervised access to children.

Persons making once off visits do not require Garda vetting but should not have unsupervised access to children.

Employees Who Have Lived Outside of Ireland:

For persons who have lived/worked outside of the state for more than six continuous months (from the age of 18 years) they need to be police vetted from the countries they lived in. The person is required to provide the original Police Vetting Certificate from these countries. This applies to international applicants and to Irish applicants who have lived/worked abroad. It may not be possible to receive vetting from some countries. In these cases the expectation is that you make all reasonable attempt to do so and record this on the staff file

For employees who have worked/lived in the UK they will require an International Child Protection Certificate. This is available from: ACRO Criminal Records Office (ACRO). A Basic Disclosure will not be accepted. Further details are available from: www.acro.police.uk/icpc/

If vetting, references or qualifications are in another language not English) these will be translated. This is our responsibility as employer.

Police vetting (not Garda vetting) is the property of the individual and can be used in multiple services. It can be copied and held on file, once we have had sight of the original.

Dealing with Disclosures:

The report that comes back from the NVB may show:

1. No previous convictions against the named applicant whose details were supplied.

OR

2. Details of convictions that appear on Garda records. These are based on the information supplied on the application for Garda vetting. However, they cannot be positively confirmed by the Gardaí, as fingerprints have not been supplied. These details must be verified with the applicant before any decision is made.

OR

3. Prosecutions successful or not, pending or completed.

There is also the option of ‘possible matches’ where almost all the applicant’s details match but there is some difference, such as the address or date of birth. Again, these details must be verified with the applicant before any decision is made. When information is returned indicating a prosecution or possible match, it is recommended that a Garda vetting review meeting be held with the applicant. This has two purposes:

To verify that the applicant is the person about whom the disclosure of convictions has been made. The information returned by the Gardaí may apply to the applicant and should be verified with the applicant before any decision is made.

To provide an opportunity for the employer and the applicant to discuss the disclosure from Garda vetting.

If the applicant disputes the information returned by the NVB, the onus is on the applicant to contact the Gardaí to resolve the matter.

Risk Assessing Disclosures

Risk will be assessed in relation to the individual in terms of the risk due to a disclosed offence. In some cases, the relationship between the offence and the position the individual has applied for will be clear enough to take a decision as to whether or not the individual is suitable for employment with the service. Points to consider are:

Offences concerned with larceny, fraud and theft are crimes of deception and may be a behavioural indicator.

  • Child Protection or related offences.
  • Breaches in trust e.g. fraud.
  • Offences against property e.g. arson, armed robbery.
  • Drug related charges/convictions (particularly possession for sale or supply).
  • Offences against the person e.g. assault, harassment, coercion.
  • Offences against the state.

The risk should be thoroughly assessed. In carrying out this assessment, the following factors, in addition to other relevant case specific concerns:

  • The seriousness of the offence and its relevance to the safety of the children.
  • The length of time since the offence was occurred.
  • The age of the applicant at the time.
  • Whether the offence was a ‘one off’ or part of a history of offending.
  • Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since the offence was committed, making re-offending less likely.
  • The degree of remorse or otherwise, expressed by the applicant and their motivation to change.
  • The sentence imposed in relation to the offence.
  • Whether the applicant has undertaken any kind of rehabilitation relating to the offence they committed e.g. anger management or drug treatment programme.
  • Work history since the offence.
  • Protecting the employee from situations that might cause difficulty e.g. allegations against them etc.