As of April 29th 2016, a new Bill - The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 came into effect.
This act makes it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau.
WHO MUST BE VETTED- WHAT IS RELEVANT WORK?
Under the Acts, any person whose work or activity involves access to children or vulnerable adults must be vetted. Workers include staff, volunteers and those on student placements working for a relevant organisation through which they have unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults. The act defines “relevant organisation” as one that employs or permits a person to carry out work or activities which mainly consist of them having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
The work or activities where people working with children and vulnerable adult will require vetting include:
- Childcare services – see also ‘Further information’ below
- Hospitals and health services
- Residential services or accommodation for children or vulnerable persons
- Treatment, therapy or counselling services for children or vulnerable persons
- Provision of leisure, sporting or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons
- Promotion of religious beliefs
There will be a number of roles where you will have to carry out a risk assessment and decide if the position allows the person to build up a relationship of trust with a child or vulnerable adult.
WHAT IS A VULNERABLE ADULT?
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.
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.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR ORGANISATION?
If your organisation is deemed a Relevant Organisation, you are required by law to vet anyone who is engaged in relevant work before they commence their role.
There are new obligations required by you. These are
- A legal responsibility to check, verify and keep on file the applicants ID
- The storage of disclosures and data returned on each vetting subject
Evetting is being rolled out on a phased basis. Sligo Volunteer Centre hopes to be moving to Evetting in the coming months. We will keep you informed.
HOW DOES THE SERVICE WORK?
In general to avail of this service:
- Your organisation will be required to register with Sligo Volunteer Centre. There is a once of Induction/Registration Charge of €50. This covers an initial meeting with us, in depth training on the process and what you may need to have in place before you start and support around getting this in place.
There is a processing charge of €7.50 per volunteer form thereafter, and €15 per employee form.
- Your organisation will be required to meet with us/attend training about the Garda Vetting process. We organise training a few times per annum. This is €25 and the once off Induction/Registration Fee that applies in this case is €25 if further support is required.
- You will be required to sign a Service Level Agreement with us before service can commence
- Sligo Volunteer Centre will support your organisation to have certain policies and procedures in place before commencing Garda Vetting, e.g., confidentiality policy, data protection policy, Garda Vetting policy. This is all explored in the Induction/Registration process.