As part of our commitment to support and promote volunteering Dublin City Volunteer Centre provides a Garda Vetting service for voluntary and community groups within our local area. Dublin City Volunteer Centre is registered with the Garda Central Vetting Unit to provide a vetting service for small to medium sized organisations who wish to vet their volunteers, but who do not have access to an Authorised Signatory within their own organisation.
What is Garda Vetting?
Garda Vetting is the process by which a form is submitted to An Garda Siochana Vetting Office asking them to check if a person has any convictions and/or prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, recorded against their name.
What is an Authorised Signatory?
An Authorised Signatory is a person who has completed the training supplied by the Garda Central Vetting Unit and is authorised to act as the liaison between the organisation requesting vetting and the Garda Central Unit.
Do volunteers need to be currently vetted?
At present, there is no legal requirement to vet volunteers, although this will become a legal requirement once the legislation is enacted (likely to be in 2016). Once the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 will commence it will make vetting mandatory.
To ensure you are fully trained and to answer all of your questions and concerns – our Volunteer Centre and Volunteer Ireland plan to run full Garda Vetting training workshops to cover all aspects of the new legislation and E-vetting system as soon as is practical following the launch of E-vetting and commencement of the legislation.
At present many organisations choose to make it a policy to vet volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults and/or are responsible for finances. However, most organisations recognise that not all volunteers may need to be vetted. For example, volunteers working in administration, doing practical work, providing professional services or a range of other volunteer opportunities may not need to be vetted as they are not interacting with the clients or directly involved in finance and will never have an opportunity to do so.
It is up to the organisation to decide whether or not a volunteer position requires vetting. This should be assessed while the organisation is in the process of developing the role description for each individual volunteer position. Whether the volunteer is being vetted or not it is important to conduct reference checks as these provide vital character reference information that is not available in a Garda vetting check.
Will An Garda Siochana vet our volunteers?
The Garda Central Vetting Unit already provides a volunteer vetting service for most large community and voluntary organisations throughout the country via an ‘Authorised Signatory’ within that organisation. However, the Central Vetting Unit does not currently have the resources to provide this service to smaller organisations.
What does this mean for your organisation?
If your organisation is based in Dublin city and does not have access to an Authorised Signatory and you require Garda Vetting, Dublin City Volunteer Centre can process the vetting paperwork for your volunteers. This paperwork is then forwarded to the Garda Central Vetting Unit. If you are not based in our area, one of our fellow Volunteer Centres can provide the service for you. To find your local Volunteer Centre please go to www.volunteer.ie.
How long does it take to be vetted?
The time it takes for vetting forms to be processed by the Garda Vetting Unit can vary. Currently the approximate wait time is 2 to 4 weeks.
How does it work?
For details on the process please contact us by email or by calling the Volunteer Centre on 01 473 7482.
In general to avail of this service:
• Your organisation will be required to register with Dublin City Volunteer Centre. Registration with us is free!
• Your organisation will be required to meet with/attend training about the Garda Vetting process.
• Your organisation will be expected to have certain policies and procedures in place before commencing Garda Vetting e.g. confidentiality policy, data protection policy, Garda Vetting policy. Copies of example polices can be provided to assist you with this process.
• Your organisation will be required to sign an agreement giving Dublin City Volunteer Centre the authority to act on your behalf as an Authorised Signatory for Garda Vetting purposes.
• Your organisation will agree to pay a standard Garda Vetting fee of €5 per each form.
The Garda Vetting Unit does not provide ’clearance’ for individuals. It merely discloses a history of offences if any should exist. Your organisation will be expected to make your own decisions in relation to suitability or otherwise of prospective volunteers. The function of the Garda vetting Unit extends solely to the provision of disclosure or non-disclosure to your organisation.