IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING COMMENCEMENT OF STATUTORY VETTING REQUIREMENTS
The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 (the Vetting Act) is commenced from 29 April 2016.
Circular 0031/2016 Commencement of Statutory Requirements for Garda Vetting (published 28 April 2016) outlines the statutory requirements that will apply to school authorities from 29 April 2016 along with the practical arrangements that will be in place to support the vetting procedures. This circular supersedes and replaces both Circular 0063/2010 and Circular 26/2015 and applies to all recognised primary and post-primary schools and any other state funded centres for education (as defined in the Education Act, 1998) for children or vulnerable persons.
An FAQ document to assist schools with queries in relation to the circular is also available.
The purpose of Circular 0031/2016 is to
(1) Bring to the attention of school authorities the new statutory requirements in respect of Garda vetting which come into effect from 29 April 2016 and the criminal offences that will apply in the event of failure to comply with these requirements.
(2) Outline the practical arrangements that will be in place in respect of the vetting of registered teachers, non-teaching staff and others.
(3) Outline the wider duty of care considerations to be taken into account by school authorities as part of the recruitment/selection process for employees and others.
Section 4 of the Circular contains ten key points to note in relation to the commencement of statutory vetting:
It is the responsibility of each relevant school authority to familiarise themselves with Circular 0031/2016 and with the vetting requirements of the Vetting Act and to have in place the necessary policy, procedures and practices to ensure compliance with both the Vetting Act and circular 31/2016. In particular, school authorities should be aware of the criminal offences that apply in respect of non-compliance with the Vetting Act’s obligations in respect of statutory vetting.