|Garda Vetting Service|
GARDA VETTING and VOLUNTEER CENTRES
Volunteer Ireland (www.volunteer.ie) and its member organisations, local volunteer centres, as part of their commitment to support and promote volunteering have introduced a new Garda Vetting service for voluntary and community groups within their local areas. Local volunteer centres can now act as an Authorised Signatory for Garda Vetting purposes for voluntary and community organisations which do not have access to an authorised signatory within their own parent 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 vetted?
At present, there is no legal requirement to vet volunteers, although this may be introduced at some point. 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 job 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. (Your local volunteer centre will supply you with in-depth information and training on the process).
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. This means that a member of staff within that organisation has been trained to be the link between the Garda Vetting Unit and the organisation. However, they do not currently have the resources to provide this service to smaller organisations. In response to this, the members of Volunteer Centres Ireland have worked with the Garda Vetting Unit to train a designated staff member in each volunteer centre in each county to act as an Authorised Signatory between local voluntary and community organisations and the Garda Vetting unit.
What does this mean for your organisation?
If your organisation does not have access to an Authorised Signatory and you require Garda Vetting, Galway Volunteer Centre can process the vetting paperwork for your volunteers. This paperwork is then forwarded to the Garda Central Vetting Unit.
For details on the process in your area, please contact Donncha Foley in Galway Volunteer Centre. In general to avail of this service: