Garda Vetting FAQs
Garda Vetting is the term given to the process where the Gardaí are requested to provide certain information relating to the Garda record of a particular individual. The person in question must have given their consent for such information to be provided. Garda Vetting is used by employers in certain sectors to ensure the individual in question has not been convicted of a crime or accused of a relevant offence, prior to employing them into a position of responsibility to work with Children or Vulnerable Persons. It is seen as a means of ensuring enhanced protection for these groups.
Legally, any person whose work involves access to Children or Vulnerable People must be vetted. Under the Health Act 2007, Care and Welfare Regulations 2009, and National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland, all Nursing Home Employees who have contact with Children or Vulnerable Persons must be Garda Vetted prior to commencing Employment.
In addition, the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 has made it an offence to permit any person to undertake “relevant work or activities” on behalf of a “relevant organisation” unless the organisation has received a Vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau in respect of that person.
“Relevant Work or Activities” refers to any type of work carried out by the person which consists of necessary and regular access (more than once) to or contact with vulnerable persons or children.
Any organisation that employs or permits any person to undertake relevant work or activities involving access or contact with children or vulnerable people is considered a “relevant organisation” for the purposes of the Act. Therefore, permitting any Nursing Home employee to undertake such relevant work or activities without first receiving a Garda Vetting Disclosure is an offence under the Act 2012-2016.
- Nursing Homes and Applicants complete the hard copy (paper) NVB 1 form
- If applicant is aged between 16 and 18 years, parent/guardian consent is also required using NVB 3 form
- Nursing Home validates the identity of the person using the 100-point Check Identity Validation Form
- Nursing Home keeps the original Identity Validation Form and copies of the proof of identity and address on applicant’s file. It is no longer necessary to send the identity declaration to NHI, as you will be declaring this on the Vetting Invitation Form.
- Original hard copy (paper) invitation form (NVB 1) signed by the Applicant and Nursing Home to be kept on file by the Nursing Home. Application process to be completed online via NHI Portal.
- NHI will check the Invitation Form. Incomplete and illegible forms will be returned to the Nursing Home. Complete forms are entered onto e-vetting system.
- E-vetting system sends email with link to Applicant, who then accesses the link to the NVB form.
- Applicant logs into the e-vetting site using the Link. See e-vetting User Guide
- Applicant completes vetting form online and submits to the National Vetting Bureau (NVB).
- NVB returns the application to NHI for review. If form is in order, it will be re-submitted to the NVB for re-processing.
- If form is incomplete, Applicant will get email to complete application again.
- Applicant can track the progress of their vetting disclosure. During this waiting period, the employee cannot engage in “Relevant work” as previously defined. They can, however, engage in induction or training that does not involve access to or contact with children or vulnerable persons.
- NVB sends disclosure to NHI.
- NHI forwards vetting disclosure to Nursing Home.
- Nursing Home gives copy of disclosure to applicant if they require same.
The Vetting Disclosure may include information on the individual’s criminal record or “specified information” concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person that did not result in a criminal conviction. Specified information is information that is considered to reasonably give rise to a bona fide concern that the Vetting subject may harm, attempt to harm, incite any person to harm, or otherwise put at risk any child or vulnerable person.
Should a criminal record or “specified information” be divulged within the Vetting Disclosure, a decision as regards their suitability for the role will be required by the Nursing Home.
Upon such a disclosure being received, senior managers such as the HR Manager and Director of Nursing/PIC should meet to assess the risk of the disclosed information.
It is best practice to also meet the individual to discuss and to give them the opportunity to respond to the Disclosure. It is important to take into account all information made available, including the nature of the offence, the length of time since the offence, whether a prior disclosure was made, any rehabilitation attempts made and any other relevant information prior to making a final decision.
However, the duty of care owed to residents must always be the priority when contemplating what action to take.
Before any decision to withdraw the offer of employment is made on the back of a Vetting Disclosure we strongly recommend contacting your ISME or your HR representative to discuss best practice/process.
In instances where the offer of employment is to be withdrawn, senior managers should again meet with the individual to outline their decision, which should then be confirmed in writing. The individual should be offered the opportunity to appeal the decision to a more senior member of management.
Given that HIQA standards have long required Nursing Home employees to be vetted retrospective Vetting should not be an issue at present. However, if, for any reason, any employee has not been Vetted it is essential to ensure that they submit themselves for Vetting immediately in order for their employment to continue.
It is expected that further guidance will be given, through regulatory instruments, regarding re-Vetting timeframes in the future. Re-Vetting timeframes are currently a matter for each individual nursing home to establish.
It is necessary for an Applicant to be re-vetted if they are changing role within a nursing home.
The Personnel Manager/HR Department within each individual Nursing Home has access to highly confidential and sensitive information in relation to the individual being Vetted. It is therefore essential to ensure that Data Protection legislation is adhered to at all times.
As with all aspects of Data Protection, consent is key. The individual must give their consent for the process to take place and for the release of the information held by the Gardaí to the particular organisation requesting the information.
Information received must be stored in a secure manner and access should be restricted to as small a number as possible.
Garda Vetting disclosures should be used for the purpose stated only (i.e. in this case, to determine the suitability of a potential candidate for a role) and should not be passed to third parties.
Each individual has a right to access any personal information held on file about them including access to Garda Vetting Disclosures. It is good practice to provide the individual with a copy of the Garda Vetting Disclosure as soon as is reasonably practicable.
It is not recommended for a number of reasons. Firstly, data protection concerns arise when passing sensitive information such as this from one organisation to another, even with the individual’s consent. More concerning however, is that the disclosure provided is considered out of date once it leaves the National Vetting Bureau. Given the duty of care owed to residents, it is advised to ensure that a new Vetting Disclosure is obtained each time a new employee joins your organisation.
In order to be considered for a job that entails necessary and regular access to children or vulnerable persons within a Nursing Home it is a legal requirement for that individual to submit themselves for Garda Vetting. All offers of employment should be made “subject to maintaining satisfactory Garda Vetting”. Anybody who refuses can have their job offer withdrawn.
A job offer and contract of employment can be issued pending Vetting, provided they are aware that the offer is made subject to Vetting. They should not engage with or have any contact with children or vulnerable persons pending Vetting, however, training or induction can take place in this time. Any contract provided to the individual should clearly state that full employment will not be confirmed until a satisfactory Vetting disclosure has been received, and they will be unable to partake in their normal duties until such a time.
Yes- any person who will carry out work or activities that require regular contact with children or vulnerable persons must be vetted.
Following Disclosure of a Criminal Record/s to the organisation, if the individual raises any concerns in relation to the accuracy of the disclosure of Criminal Record/s, you should ask them to outline their specific concerns in writing and submit it to the NHI Liaison person. The concerns should then be submitted via the liaison person to the National Vetting Bureau for further checks. This dispute process relates to any information Disclosed that is not considered “specified information”.
In respect of “specified information” being on the applicants record the individual will be given the opportunity to appeal against the Disclosure of any “specified information” prior to the information being forwarded to the organisation. The individual themselves will be notified by the Chief Bureau Officer, and a summary of the specified information that they are considering disclosing will be provided. The individual will have the opportunity to make a written submission in relation to the release of this information within 14 days from the date of notification. The Chief Bureau Officer will take a number of matters into account before making a final decision as to the release of this information, including the relevance of the information to the type of work involved, and the rights of the individual.
No, the National Vetting Bureau provides objective information only and will not make any recommendation in terms of the person’s suitability for the role. It is up to each individual Nursing Home to determine suitability based on all the information provided.
Yes-if you feel you require more information it can be requested. However, you must obtain the individual’s consent prior to doing so. The request can then be forwarded in writing to the NHI.
Applicants aged 16-18 are required to fill up parental consent form (NVB 3) and complete parents email address on form NVB 1, both of which can be downloaded from the Useful Links section.
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 provide a statutory basis for the vetting of persons carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable persons. The Act also creates offences and penalties for persons who fail to comply with its provisions.
Garda Vetting Terms & Conditions
If forms are not completed correctly and clearly, they may be returned to you for completion/verification. This can significantly slow your vetting process.
Garda Vetting Terms and Conditions of Use can be found here.
Terms and Conditions for our website and membership portal can be found here.
For more information:
Email Anne: [email protected]
Email Jennifer: [email protected]
Tel: 01 469 9804