Garda Vetting Legislation Overview January 2015

National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012, is scheduled to commence in the Spring of 2015 (delayed from Nov 2014).  The purpose of this Act is to provide a legislative basis for the vetting of people who seek positions relating to children or vulnerable persons.  Previously, persons applying for such positions were vetted on a non-statutory basis. This Act makes vetting mandatory.

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This means it will be a legal requirement for a relevant organisation to receive a vetting disclosure from National Vetting Bureau via Liaison Officers, for any person who will undertake relevant work or activities on behalf of the organisation. 

Relevant Work or Activities – means any work or activity which is carried out by a person where a necessary and regular part of the work consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with children or vulnerable adults.


Vetting Disclosures – following the vetting procedure,the Liaison Officer will receive a vetting disclosure which can

EITHER

§  include details of a ‘criminal record’ (if any) and a statement of ‘specified information’
(if any) relating to the person

OR

§  will state that there is NO criminal record or ‘specified information’ in relation to the person. 

All results of disclosures will be forwarded to the organisation who submitted the application.  The organisation must make available a copy of the vetting disclosure to the applicant if the applicant requests this, and should take into account any disclosures when assessing suitability of the applicant for the role.  Confidentiality is of the utmost importance, and it will be an offence to use or disclose the information in a disclosure by the organisation other than in accordance with the Act.

Criminal Record – A criminal record in relation to an applicant means a record of this person’s convictions, held by An Garda Siochana, for any criminal offences, together with any orders made pursuant to the convictions concerned, and record of any prosecutions.

Specified information – this means information relating to the applicant, concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person received by the Garda Siochana by a specified list of organisations legally required to inform the Garda Siochana.  It is information that is considered to give rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting applicant may harm, cause to be harmed, attempt to harm or incite another person to harm a child or vulnerable person.

Re-vetting / Retrospective Vetting – Persons previously vetted do not require to be re-vetted due to the commencement of the Act, unless the vetting has reached its renewal date as stipulated within the organisation vetting policy.  If a volunteer, not previously vetted, has been carrying out relevant work for a period before the commencement of the Act, the organisation should make an application for vetting disclosure in respect of that person.

Copies of the Act are available to downloadwww.irishstatue.ie or www.oireachtas.ie