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Garda Vetting

In March 2013, the National Vetting Bureau Act will come into place fully. Under the Act, organisations cannot permit any persn undertake what is termed "relevant work or activities" relating to children or vulnerable adults unless it receives a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person.

Relevent work or Activities includes any volunteering which consists of educational, trinaing, cultural, recreational, leaisure, social or physical activities to children or vulnerable persons unless the provision of these activities is incidental to the provision of same to persons who are (other) adults.

Vetting must also be undergone by those undertaking research activities in the university where a necessary and regular part of the research work or activity involves contact with or access to vulnerable persons and anyone undertaking an educational placement where a necessary part of the placement involves participation in relevant work or activities.

The full list of relevent work or activities is available.

Along with volunteer interviews, reference checks and training, Garda vetting will form part of the organisations policies to protect children and other client groups.

Further information is available from the National Youth Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I send the form to the National Vetting Bureau directly?

Vetting is conducted only on behalf of registered organisations and is not conducted for individual persons on a personal basis. For this reason, your volunteering organisation must sign your form once it is completed and send it off. It may be the case that your volunteering organisation is not a registered organisation with the Vetting Bureau but is part of a consortium in order to vet volunteers. Vetting Disclosures are issued to the registered organisation rather than the individual being vetted.

How long will it take for my form to be processed?

This process currently takes about weeks. The new legislation enables the development of a database sytem which will hopefully reduce the waiting list once operational.

If there are omissions in the form submitted or if your volunteering organisation waits until they have a batch of volunteers to be vetted before sending off the forms. Leave no blanks in your form, answer all questions and elaborate on any initials e.g. instead of writing Joe M. Bloggs, write Joe Michael Bloggs.

Can I volunteer while my form is being processed?

This will depend on the organisation with which you volunteer. If a regular and necessary part of your voluntary role consists mainly of you having access to or contact with children and/or vulnerable persons, then you will not be able to start volunteering until the organisation has recieved your vetting disclosure back from the National Vetting Bureau. However, you may be able to start different roles within the organisation and undergo training. You may also be able to offer occasional assistance with children and vulnerable adults (other than coaching,mentoring, counselling, teaching or training) at a school, sports or community event or activity.

You should clarify this with your volunteer supervisor in the organisation.

What does vetting check?

Vetting will check for any convictions and indictments against you regardless of their nature. You should disclose all offences of which you have been convicted, including Road Traffic Offences, Juvenile offences, suspended sentences and fines.

The National Vetting Bureau Act 2012 also allows for the disclosure of “soft” information, which the Vetting Bureau believes is of such a nature as to give rise to a bona fide concern that person may cause harm to or put at risk any child or vulnerable person. This information may arise from Garda or HSE investigations or from fitness to practice inquiries by statutory bodies. A person in respect of whom a disclosure of soft information is proposed will by informed and have the right to appeal this disclosure in advance of it being made. Further detail is available in the Act itself.

I have a criminal record, can I still volunteer?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily preclude you from volunteering. The nature of the offence, the nature of the voluntary work and your relationship will be taken into account by the organisation and they will make a call in accordance with their own policies and procedures. If you want to clarify what these procedures are in a particular organisation, you should ask the volunteer coordinator or supervisor directly.

I have already been vetted. Do I need to be vetted again?

Yes. vetting is carried out separately by each organisation with whom you work or volunteer and, to date, there is no coordination of this. As a result, no matter how many times you have been vetted by other organisations previously, you will need to fill out the form again for a new organisation which requires vetting.

Will my confidentiality be respected?

Your Vetting Form should not be given to anyone in the organisation who does not require the information. If you are concerned about your confidentiality, you should speak to the volunteer coordinator or supervisor in the organisation.

How do I fill out the form?

This is explained in detail on pages 6 and 7 of the NYCI Information Pack (PDF 1,643 KB).

Please note that this form is likely to change in 2013 further to the enactment of legislation.

Other questions?

As policies on this matter are individual to each organisation, it is best to contact your volunteer supervisor or coordinator with your queries.

There are also a few generic resources available online:

The Garda Vetting Unit:

Volunteer Ireland:,105-.html

Citizen's Information:

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Last updated 14 February 2013 Civic Engagement (Email).