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.
Changes to recent legislation on Garda Vetting:
We have been informed that the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 to 2016 will be commencing on 29th April 2016. This has immediate consequences for school management. Current procedures for processing applications for Garda Vetting now need to change and criminal offences will apply in the event of failure to comply with these requirements.
There are a number of key changes which the legislation bring. These include:
- Statutory vetting will, in addition to criminal offences, 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.
- It will now be a criminal offence, other than very limited circumstances, for a school authority to commence the employment of an employee without first obtaining a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau (who replace the Garda Central Vetting Unit under the Act) in respect of that person.
- It will now be a criminal offence, other than very limited circumstances, for a school authority to contract, permit or place a person (e.g. Contractor, volunteer, sports coach etc) to undertake work with children or vulnerable adults, without first obtaining a vetting disclosure from the Bureau in respect of that person.
Further information will be provided by DES circular once the legislation commences. However this will now mean that staff will not be able to commence work in a school without Garda Vetting and schools will also need to ensure that panels of substitute staff comprise of those have already been vetted for use in the event of casual or emergency vacancies.
Introudction to eVetting:
From Monday 7th November Educate Together will commence eVetting which is the new online system for processing Garda Vetting. This means the existing process will now for Garda Vetting will now change.
In preparation for the changeover, we would like to advise schools that we will no longer be accepting paper Garda Vetting forms from Thursday 27th October. All future Garda Vetting applications must be made using the Vetting Invitation NVB 1 form below.
As you can see on the Vetting Invitation form, the vetting applicant must sign the form stating that documentation to validate their identity in accordance with the Act has been provided. For this reason it is now necessary that all applicants for Garda Vetting provide the school with appropriate photographic ID (e.g. Passport, Drivers licence etc) and a Proof of Address (P45, Utility bill (but not mobile bill), bank/building society statement etc). It is vital that the original (ID and/or proof of address) document is provided to the school and that the school makes the copy for the school file.
Schools must then complete the Garda Vetting Verfication ID form stating that the copies of identification and proof of address provided were provided by the applicant (i.e. the photo matches the person who provided it). The school must then return this form along with the completed Vetting Invitation NVB 1 form to Jessica Simpson, the Liason Person for Vetting in the national office.
Once both documents are received, the liason person for vetting reviews both forms. If the Vetting Invitation NVB 1 form is completely correctly, they will email the applicant a link to the vetting website and invite him/her to complete and submit the online vetting application.
Once the vetting application form is completed and submitted online, the applicant will be issued with a reference number. It is advised that the applicant retains this number for their own records. There is also an option given for the candidate to print this reference if they wish.
Please note that the form must be completed within 30 days of receiving the email. If the applicant does not complete the form within this timeframe, it becomes invalid and they will have to re-apply.
Once the vetting application form NVB 2 is completed and submitted by the vetting applicant, the form is returned to the liaison person for a final validation.
The liaison person then submits the vetting application formto the National Vetting Bureau for processing.
According to the National Vetting Bureau, there is a turnaround of approximately 5 days with all online vetting applications once they have been submitted to the NVB.
The liaison person posts the original copy of the vetting disclosure to the vetting contact person in the school.
The school will be obliged to retain the copy of the vetting disclosure along with the identity documents. The school must also provide a copy of the vetting disclosure to the vetting applicant.
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  in Educate Together schools must be channelled through Liaison Person who work from the Educate Together national office. Currently Jessica Simpson is officially recognised as such an Liaison Person and is managing this work in the Educate Together office.
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 .
A selection board must assure themselves that the candidate can be trusted to do the job within the ethical standards of the school.
For further information, contact Jessica Simpson directly at email@example.com
 The vetting of teaching posts is the responsibility of the Teaching Council.
 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.