The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 (the Vetting Act), which was commenced in April 2016, put in place statutory requirements for the Garda vetting of persons involved in working with children and vulnerable persons.
The Vetting Act applies not just to schools but to any relevant organisation that employs, contracts, permits or places a person in relevant work with children or vulnerable persons. The Vetting Act provides that vetting is conducted by the National Vetting Bureau on foot of an application by a relevant organisation that is registered with it. The vetting legislation and the vetting procedures operated by the National Vetting Bureau fall within the remit of the Minister for Justice.
The Vetting Act provides that a relevant organisation must, other than in certain limited circumstances, obtain a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau prior to commencing the employment of an employee to undertake relevant work with children or vulnerable adults.
The Department of Justice has recently established an inter-departmental group to undertake a review of Garda vetting arrangements and legislation. The group will make recommendations for amending the legislation and strengthening the Garda vetting process.