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.
Educate Together has been informed by the Gardaí that the current Garda Vetting forms will no longer be accepted with immediate effect. Forms which are currently being processed will be completed. All future Garda Vetting applications must be made using the attached application form below.
As you can see on the attached new Garda Vetting Application Form the Liaison Person (formally Authorised Signatory) must sign the form stating that the applicant has provided documentation to validate their identity in accordance with the Act. 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 and another copy is submitted with the Application form to the Liaison Person.
Schools must sign the Declaration attached stating that the copies of identification and proof of address provided to the Liaison Person were provided by the applicant (i.e. The photo matches the person who provided it).
Additional information will be provided by Educate Together in relation to the updating of school policies on Garda Vetting in the near future. The DES will also release a Circular on the matter in the coming weeks.
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 Catherine O’Brien 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 Catherine 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.
Garda Vetting Policy and Procedures
Sample Vetting Policy
Sample Ratification Form
Garda Vetting Form
Download a Garda Vetting form here. Please, where possible, print it in duplex (double-sided) form. This is a request ot the Garda Vetting Unit.
Garda Vetting Parental Consent Form
Declaration of Validation of Identity Form
This form is to be completed by the Principal/Chairperson of the Board of Management and should accompany the Garda Vetting form being sent to the Liaison Person.