The information below is also available on www.tcd.ie/Community
Organisations through which volunteers have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable persons will require volunteers to undergo Garda vetting (a criminal record check) prior to any such unsupervised access. Other volunteer projects who work with children and/or vulnerable populations may also require this as a matter of good practice. Along with volunteer interviews, reference checks and training, Garda vetting will form part of the organisations policies to protect children and other client groups.
Why can’t I send the form to the Garda Vetting Unit directly?
Garda 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 Garda Vetting Unit but has a partnership with such an organisation in order to vet volunteers. The Garda vetting unit corresponds with the registered organisation rather than the individual being vetted.
How long will it take for my form to be processed?
This process usually takes 6-12 weeks due to backlogs in the system. This can take longer 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.
Can I volunteer while my form is being processed?
This will depend on the organisation with which you volunteer. If your work includes unsupervised access to children or vulnerable persons, then you will not be able to start volunteering until your form has come back. However, you be able to start supervised work with these populations, different roles within the organisation and undergo training. You should clarify this with the 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 alloffences of which you have been convicted, including Road Traffic Offences, Juvenile offences, suspended sentences and fines.
I have a criminal record, can I still volunteer?
Having a criminal record will not necessarily preclude you from volunteering. Both the nature of the offence and the nature of the voluntary work 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. Garda 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 Garda vetting.
Will my confidentiality be respected?
Your Garda 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.
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: http://www.garda.ie/FAQ/Default.aspx?FAQCategory=36
Volunteer Centres Ireland: http://www.volunteer.ie/Information-re-Garda-Vetting.html
Part of the information above has been adapted from the National Youth Council's Information Pack on the Garda Vetting Consortium which is available from http://www.childprotection.ie/vetting. This resource includes a detailed "how to" guide for volunteers filling out the form in appendix 3.