The issue of Garda Vetting came up at previous SAS information events as an area that organisations required further clarity and supports on. Garda Vetting is a matter for each individual organisation to consider in terms of the work that they do in their local community. Some organisations may by the nature of the ongoing supports they provide to people develop a relationship of trust and therefore be required under the legislation to go through the vetting process. Other organisations may by virtue of the fact they have only occasional contact or no direct contact with individuals not consider themselves to be required to go through the Garda Vetting Process. Garda vetting of volunteers and staff members has not been and continues not to be a mandatory requirement of registration to the SAS.
Pobal and the Department wanted to provide supports for groups who felt that they needed to undergo the process of Garda Vetting and this was arranged with Volunteer Centres who kindly agreed to support relevant organisations through this process if they felt it was required by them.
Volunteer centres require any organisation that wants to use their Garda Vetting services, to attend the Volunteer Centre’s training first. This is so that the organisation can make an informed decision about whether or not they need to undertake Garda Vetting, and if so to also understand the Volunteer Centre’s systems to make the process as smooth as possible.
If an organisation is already using the local Volunteer Centre for vetting services, and they have already attended training on Garda Vetting with the VC, they may not need to attend training again. It is up to each local Volunteer Centre to decide if an organisation needs to attend training again, in order to avail of the Garda Vetting services.
As per the act, it is up to each organisation to determine if they need volunteers to be Garda Vetted or not. Any person who is carrying out work or activity, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children or vulnerable adults, should be Garda Vetted. 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.
Individuals being Garda Vetting are processed on the basis of a clear role title provided on the inviter form. The role title should be based on a clear role description for that individual volunteer role.
Good volunteer management practice would be that each individual volunteer role is risk assessed in terms of access to vulnerable adults and children.
Vetting is only one element of volunteer screening, it is up to each organisation to decide what additional screening tools they need to use.
If the person has already been Garda Vetted for this role the local organisation shall make a decision locally as to whether or not the person needs to be (re)vetted. It should be remembered that Garda Vetting is only a snap shot in time and a disclosure will only have information to that point in time.
The decision on whether or not to undertake Garda Vetting rests with the local organisation.
If you would like further information on the training sessions that have been organised in your County Please contact the relevant volunteer centre from the contact list attached and they will be able to advice you regarding queries that you may have.