By Suzanne Tompkin (Barnardos’ Vetting Service) 021 4547060 firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 was enacted in December 2012 and is scheduled to commence in the near future. The Act provides a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting of persons who wish to undertake certain work or activities relating to children or vulnerable persons or to provide certain services to children or vulnerable persons.
When is the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 scheduled to commence?
It is envisaged that the Act will commence in the near future.
What is the purpose of the Act?
The Act will provide a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting of persons who wish to undertake certain work or activities relating to children or vulnerable persons or to provide certain services to children or vulnerable persons.
Who conducts vetting?
Vetting will be carried out by the National Vetting Bureau (formerly the Garda Central Vetting Unit) which is based in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Who will be required to be vetted?
Any person who is carrying out work or activity, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
Are persons who carry out work or activity on an occasional basis required to be vetted?
The Act shall not apply to persons who assist on an occasional basis and for no commercial consideration. This would include persons who assist on an occasional basis at a school, sports or community event or activity other than where assistance includes the coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training of children or vulnerable persons.
What is the definition of a child?
A child means a person under the age of 18 years.
What is the definition of a vulnerable person?
A vulnerable person means a person, other than a child, who is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia, has an intellectual disability, is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age, or has a physical disability, which is of such a nature or degree as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing.
Is vetting conducted on an individual basis?
No – vetting is conducted only on behalf of relevant organisations that are registered with the National Vetting Bureau and is not conducted for individual persons on a personal basis.
What is a relevant organisation?
A relevant organisation means a person (including a body corporate or an unincorporated body of persons) who employs, enters into a contract for services or permits any person to undertake relevant work or activities, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
A relevant organisation shall not permit any person to undertake relevant work or activities on behalf of the organisation unless the organisation receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person. A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.
How is the identity of the Applicant validated by the relevant organisation?
You should satisfy yourselves as to the identity of those applying for positions. International best practice recommends forms of identification should be produced, one of which should be photographic identification. These can include Passport, Driving Licence, and National Identity Card. Other forms of identification to be produced for the purpose of the verification of current address may include recent utility bill (gas, telephone, electricity) Bank/Building Society / Credit Union statement and birth certificate. **
**In the instance of a single child-minder/ children’s service provider / proprietor of an organisation we will need you to provide certified copies of your identification documents and an original document with your current address information.
How do I get my identification documents certified?
You can have your photographic identification documents certified at any Garda station. You should take your original Passport /Driving Licence document, along with a photocopy of this document, to your local Garda station, where they will verify your photographic identification and stamp the certified copy.
What are the procedures for consideration by National Vetting Bureau of application for Vetting Disclosure?
Where the bureau receives an application for vetting disclosure in respect of a person concerning relevant work or activities, the Bureau shall make such enquiries of the Garda Siochana as it deems necessary to establish whether there is any criminal record or specified information relating to the person.
What details are disclosed as a result of vetting?
A vetting disclosure shall include particulars of the criminal record (if any) relating to the person, and a statement of the specified information (if any) relating to the person or a statement that there is no criminal record or specified information, in relation to the person.
What is specified information?
Specified information in relation to a person who is the subject of an application for vetting disclosure means information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person received by the Bureau from An Garda Siochana or a scheduled organisation pursuant to section 19 of the Act. It is information that is considered to give rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting subject may harm, attempt to harm or put at risk a child or vulnerable person. If such information is going to be disclosed to a relevant organisation relating to one of their applicants the Chief Bureau Officer must, in advance, notify the vetting subject of the intention to disclose the information.
Will the National Vetting Bureau make decisions in respect of applicants looking for employment in relevant organisations?
All decisions in respect of the suitability of applicants for positions in relevant organisations are the sole responsibility of the relevant organisation concerned. The National Vetting Bureau has no input into any decision made in any relevant organisation in respect of the suitability of an applicant for a position within such organisation.
Where can I go for further information?
Full details of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 can be accessed using the following link: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2012/en/act/pub/0047/print.html
What will happen now?
The Barnardos’ Vetting Service will be in contact with you once the vetting application procedure or the vetting application form is changed. In the meanwhile you should continue to submit vetting applications using the current procedure.
The Barnardos’ Vetting Service