Garda Vetting! – What is is and what has it to do with volunteering?

It is the word that sends shivers down the spine of any potential volunteer – Garda Vetting! Are you looking at a volunteer role that you think is perfect for you but underneath the screening section you see the dreaded “Garda Vetting”  that gives you the feeling of standing at the foot of Mount Everest? Do you think ‘oh no, that is not worth the trouble’? Hold on, and let me explain.

So you have come to the Dublin City Volunteer Centre Website and found a great role like this one here with Coolstar Kids Club or this one as a Telephone Supporter at Aware. Under ‘Screening details’ you can see that these roles have slightly different details. When applying for the Coolstar Club the recruitment process will including the following: Garda Vetting, References, Application Form, Identification Check, Curriculum Vitae (CV). For the Aware Telephone support it will be: Formal Interview, Garda Vetting, References, Application Form

Now, Garda Vetting will always be the last piece in the recruitment puzzle! So once you have done your interviews, handed in your CV/Application forms/References or any other check that are stated in the screening process, you can start the Garda Vetting. All that is involved in that is:

  1. You will receive a paper Vetting Inviter Form from the organisation you applied to volunteer with. (Click here to see the Inviter Form)
  2. You complete the Inviter Form with some basic information and return it to the organisation, along with proof of identity (passport and utility bill for example!) All proof of addresses must be dated within the 6 months. See more about Proof of Identity here.
  3. You will receive an email with a link to complete your vetting form online. The email will come from the National Vetting Bureau and will be valid for 30 days. If you have any support issues, there will be a contact email listed in the body of the email.
  4. Your application is processed and a disclosure is sent to the organisation in about 1-3 weeks.

Unless something comes back on your disclosure from the Vetting Bureau YOU ARE A GO GO TO START VOLUNTEERING! … with the organisation that the Garda Vetting has been done for. If you decide to then go for another glorious volunteer role with another organisation that needs Garda Vetting, the process will need to be repeated. (Top tip: Safe your details on your computer when you are completing the online application form, so you can just copy and paste the data if you need to do another application.)

So not too scary, is it!

It is a common misconception that Garda Vetting is needed for every kind of volunteering. This is not the case. You will only need to be Garda Vetted if you are going for a volunteer role that includes ‘work or activity, where a necessary and regular part consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with, children (under 18s) or vulnerable adults.’ So if you have decided that Garda vetting is definitely not worth it – you can still volunteer. Yay! A great start for you would be our list of Quick Start Opportunities  or No Garda Vetting Opportunities.

If you are now so enthralled by the subject and wish to know more, you can find more information here and here. Remember!  You migth be worried about not remembering your addresses, not having an email address and that you are simply not good with computers! What I will say to you is that there are ways around those things and the organisation you are applying to, and the Dublin City Volunteer Centre, should be able to help you.