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IMPORTANT: The above guidance is a general overview of the new legislation. Each organisation will need to examine how the legislation may affect their recruitment and selection processes. It is important to consider issues that are specific to your organisation.
What is the new vetting legislation?
The National Vettin Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 .This legislation is part of a suite of complementary legislative proposals to strengthen child protection.
When will it commence?
Why has this legislation been introduced?
Who is subject to vetting?
Those involved in ‘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 in’ –
- Childcare Services
- 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 or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons (unless this in incidental to the provision of services to a mixed group including adults)
- Promotion of religious belief
- See schedule I Part I (pages 29 - page 32) of legislation for detail.
Who is exempt from vetting?
The Act does not apply to any work or activity undertaken in the course of a family relationship or to persons who assist occasionally and on a voluntary basis in certain activities or events be they school, sport or community related. This recognises the occasional but necessary involvement or assistance of parents or other persons. However, the Act will apply where such involvement includes coaching, mentoring, counselling, teaching or training of the children or vulnerable persons
How does my Organisation decide who should be vetted?
Useful Guidance: Is the person ‘providing physical or leisure activities and services to children’? If not, they do not require vetting.
All youth leaders, coaches, trainers, religious leaders who work with groups of children, whether alone or accompanied by another adult, must be vetted.
If substitute persons are required from time to time for this work then they should be appointed from a panel of persons who have been vetted
What if we need to appoint a volunteer at short notice for a one off event?
Is it an offence to fail to vet a youth worker who is working directly with children?
Where does the liability rest for non-vetting?
What is the procedure for vetting applications?
Where an employer receives a vetting disclosure containing details of criminal records or specified information it must provide a copy of the disclosure to the vetting subject. It may consider and take into account the information disclosed in assessing the suitability of the person to do relevant work or activities. This should be done in a safe and confidential manner.
What is soft/specified information?
What is the process for disclosing specified information?
Who assesses the vetting subject’s suitability?
The Head of the Registered Organisation should appoint a Decision Maker or Decision Making Committee to assess the suitability of applicants for positions within the registered organisation vis-à-vis any Garda vetting disclosures that may be received in respect of them.
How long should an organisation retain returned vetting information?
What about re-vetting and retrospective vetting?
The Vetting Unit will now issue a Vetting ID number to participants. So, in the event of a 6 months lapse since they last filled out a form, they will only be asked for those 6 months.
What if the vetting applicant has lived outside of Ireland?
There is an intention to introduce the Criminal Records Information Systems Bill 2013 which will provide for exchange of criminal records with other countries. This implements an EU Framework Decision on exchange of criminal records information. That Bill will also provide for exchange of information with non-EU states.