Child Protection

Garda Vetting

Since the introduction of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016, there is a now statutory requirement that people who carry out relevant work (i.e. work that involves regular and necessary access to and/or contact with children and/or vulnerable adults) must be vetted prior to commencing employment or relevant volunteer work. Criminal offences will now apply to Boards of Management in the event of failure to comply with these requirements.

Under the new legislation statutory vetting will now include a check for any relevant “soft information” - which is information other than criminal convictions held by the Garda Síochana that leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons. 

E-Vetting Process

Educate Together transitioned to eVetting in November. Those who wished to be vetted must now ensure that they complete an Invitation to Vetting form (NVB 1 form). This form should be returned to the school (where applicants will be working/volunteering) along with proof of identification and proof of address. The identification provided must be accepted under the NVB 100 point check list attached below. The identification is verified by the Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management who will then forward the application to the national office for processing. The applicant will then receive a link by email inviting them to complete their online NVB 2 application form. Further details on the process can be found in the Brief Guide to Garda Vetting below. 

Please note that we cannot accept applications from individual applicants directly. Paper NVB2 forms are no longer accepted. 

Vetting of Minors 

The National Vetting Bureau permits the vetting of those over the age of 16 years old. Where an application is being made for a 16/17 year old, consent of the parent/guardian must also be obtained. All applications for people under 18 years old must be accompanied by a Parent/Guardian Consent form (NVB 3).

Schools should also ensure that the email address and contact number provided on the Invitation to Vetting form (NVB 1) is the email address and contact number of the parent/guardian and not of the young person.

Retrospective Vetting 

The DES has published Circular 16/2017 which sets out the the requirements for retrospective vetting of teaching staff, non teaching staff and volunteers.

Under the Vetting Act, there is now a statutory requirement that those who are currently employed and/or volunteering in a school and carrying out ‘relevant work’ who have not previously been vetted (under the National Vetting Bureau or Garda Central Vetting Unit) must be now retrospectively vetted. Schools and boards of management must therefore ensure compliance with retrospective vetting requirements as failure to do so is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to €10,000 or a prison term of up to 5 years or both.

All registered teachers (including resource and learning support) who have not been vetted to date will be retrospectively vetted by the Teaching Council in the context of their annual renewal of registration. Educate Together will conduct retrospective vetting for all special needs assistants, ancillary staff and volunteers (carrying out ‘relevant work’ and who commenced their role pre April 2016). 

Educate Together will carry out retrospective vetting on a phased basis which is outlined in more detail in Educate Together Retrospective Process below. 

Important Dates to note for Retrospective Vetting:

Schools should ensure all Retrospective Vetting applications are returned separate form all other, non-retrospective vetting applications and in an envelope clearly marked Retrospective Vetting.

  • Schools should identify all persons requiring retrospective vetting and notify the national office of their numbers -  Friday 24th March

  • Schools should submit Retrospective Vetting NVB1 forms along with completed verification of ID forms (confirming ID documents viewed) for all retrospective vetting applicants to national office -  Friday 5th May

  • Retrospective vetting of applicants by national office - May - July

Schools should ensure all Retrospective Vetting applications are returned separate form all other, non-retrospective vetting applications and in an envelope clearly marked Retrospective Vetting.

Vetting Disclosures 

It is important to note that the National Vetting Bureau does not provide clearance for persons to work with children in a school.

The National Vetting Bureau has required that all correspondence in relation to Garda Vetting for non-teaching posts and/or volunteer roles [1] in Educate Together schools must be channelled through Liaison Person who works in the national office. Currently Jessica Simpson and Adrienne Flynn are officially recognised as Liaison Persons by the NVB and are managing this work in the Educate Together office.

Schools have an obligation to manage Garda Vetting (GV) applications within a human rights, legislative and natural justice framework. They also have obligations under data protection legislation. It is essential to stress that school Boards of Management must make their own decisions in relation to the suitability or otherwise of prospective employees or volunteers for employment. The fact that a person has been vetted by the National Vetting Bureau does not mean that the person is suitable and does not remove the necessity for the Board to thoroughly check the background and references of a candidate [2].A selection board must assure themselves that the candidate can be trusted to do the job within the ethical standards of the school.

Schools should also ensure that their vetting policies are updated to reflect the changes in legislation and are ratified by the Board of Management of the school. 

 

[1] The vetting of teaching posts is the responsibility of the Teaching Council.

[2] Such a check should include - but not be restricted to - a detailed review of the candidate’s CV against the chronology supplied in the vetting form and a careful discussion with at least one recent employer covering a substantial portion of the candidate’s work history.

 

 

 

 

Brief Guide to Garda Vetting 2017

Educate Together Invitation to Vetting Form (NVB 1)

Garda Vetting Parental Consent Form

Garda Vetting Verification ID form

Garda Vetting Policy for Educate Together Schools

Sample Ratification Form

Garda Vetting Guidelines 2017

Educate Together Retrospective Vetting Process

Educate Together Retrospective Vetting Invitation Form NVB 1

Garda Vetting 100 Point Checklist

Address: Educate Together, Equity House, 16/17 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7, Ireland - Charity Number: CHY 11816