Staff Garda vetting: What you need to know
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 commenced on Friday 29th April 2016, resulting in consequential obligations for the University concerning new and existing staff members. This Act provides a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting for persons who wish to undertake relevant work or activities (see Definitions section below) with children or vulnerable adults.
Garda vetting applies to anyone who will have regular access to children and/or vulnerable persons in the course of their employment at DCU. It is now a criminal offence for organisations to fail to carry out the necessary vetting of such employees, contractors and volunteers. Please access DCU's Garda Vetting policy. (Policy currently under review - June 2017).
Overview of Vetting Process
Human Resources are currently vetting all new staff, where required. It is now mandatory that all new staff, including research staff, hourly occasional staff and Visitors are vetted (where relevant – see Definitions section below) and in advance of their proposed commencement date. If you are aware of any existing staff member or are about to recruit a new staff member who is currently or will be engaged in relevant work or activity with a child or vulnerable adult, please contact your HR Officer or Catherine.Farrell@dcu.ie to initiate this vetting process. We will able to advise and assess the relevance of the work and determine if vetting will be required. New Recruits who are undertaking ‘relevant’ roles cannot commence employment under any circumstances until they have successfully completed the vetting process via the National Vetting Bureau.
Section 20 of the Act provides for retrospective vetting and re-vetting of employees. Retrospective vetting of non-vetted existing staff (where required – see Definitions section below) must be carried out for all relevant staff in DCU and affiliated organisations by 30th April 2018. As yet there is no timeline prescribed by the Minister with respect to the re-vetting of existing employees. However, HR will write to all departments in the coming months to arrange for the re-vetting of existing employees.
DCU has implemented an online e-Vetting process for staff in association with the National Vetting Bureau (NVB), which processes all applications through its online system. Please access the DCU Garda Vetting Procedure for full details.
Where an applicant to DCU has resided outside Ireland for a cumulative period of 36 months or more over the age of 18, a Foreign Police Clearance certificate must be presented. New Recruits must successfully complete the process within 6 months of their commencement date. Please access the DCU Foreign Police Clearance guideline for full details.
Detials of the full vetting process are outlined in the University Sector Vetting Policy for Staff. Below, is a summary of the key process changes (2017):
|Mandatory Vetting||All new staff (where relevant) cannot commence employment unless vetted. Offences for contravention.|
|Additional information required on Vetting Form|
|Verification of identity||From now on the identity of the Applicant must be validated by the Relevant Organisation.|
Applicants will have to produce a number of documents to prove their identity to the Garda Liaison Person for staff from an agreed list before the NVB application can be processed see Vetting - Identity Check Declaration Form.
|Relevant Work||Relevant Work or activities must be identified before the NVB application form can be processed.|
Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
|Filtering of offences||Vetting disclosure will be issued in respect of each person who is the subject of a vetting application. The Vetting disclosure will include:|
(a) Particulars of the criminal record (if any) relating to the person, and a statement of the specified information if any) relating to the person which the Chief Bureau Officer has determined in accordance with Section 15 of the Act should be disclosed,
(b) State that there is no criminal record or specified information, in relation to the person.
Following receipt of a vetting disclosure in respect of a person the University shall, after the expiration of such period as may be
prescribed by the Minister, make a further application for a vetting disclosure for that person
|Retrospective Vetting||All applications by 30th April 2018 – where the person has not previously been the subject to vetting and holds a position that has been identified by the University as ‘relevant’ in line with the policy/legislation.|
1. Relevant Work or Activities
- Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults.
• Act shall not apply where a person gives assistance on an occasional basis at a school, sports or community event or activity, other than where such assistance includes the coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training of children or vulnerable persons.
Each relevant organisation will have to assess the positions involved in accordance with the Act.
2. Child/Vulnerable Adult
• A “child” means a person under the age of 18 years.
• A “vulnerable” person” means a person, other than a child, who
(a) is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia,
(b) has an intellectual disability,
(c) is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age, or
(d) 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.)