Under the terms of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts, 2012-2016 (“the Acts”), all persons who are employed in positions where they have regular access to children and vulnerable persons must be vetted by the National Vetting Bureau.
Section 21 of the Acts provides that it is an offence for an employer to employ a person who works with children or vulnerable persons where an application for vetting has not been submitted to the National Vetting Bureau for that person by 31 December 2017. This new deadline is provided for in Statutory Instrument 223 of 2016.
It has been reported this week that Section 21 is expected to apply to more than 32,000 teachers who qualified a decade or more ago. Previously, only recently-recruited teachers and those moving schools were required to obtain Garda clearance. The retrospective vetting will be carried out as part of a teachers registration renewal process in accordance with Section 33 of the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015 and will be facilitated by the Teaching Council. All teachers who have previously been vetted through the Teaching Council will have been issued with either a Teaching Council Garda Clearance vetting result letter (prior to 29 April 2016) or a National Vetting Bureau Disclosure (post 29 April 2016).
The vetting includes a check for criminal offences and a search of “soft information” which highlights whether or not somebody poses or could pose a threat to children or vulnerable persons.
The Teaching Council of Ireland has issued some general guidance notes on their site which may be of benefit to those seeking more information.