SCREENING & GARDA VETTING

SCREENING & GARDA VETTING

SCREENING & GARDA VETTING

SCREENING & GARDA VETTING

Screening Process for Volunteers

As a voluntary organisation working with children, the Irish Girl Guides must ensure that all children and young people in our care are protected from harm of all kinds. The welfare of our members is of paramount importance and all IGG policies operate within the framework of IGG’s mission statement and support IGG’s aims and objectives in providing a safe environment for its members. As part of our responsibilities in ensuring this, IGG have appropriate screening procedures in place for volunteers, including Garda vetting.

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 provides a legislative basis for the mandatory vetting of persons who wish to undertake certain work or activities relating to children or vulnerable persons. Therefore people who have on-going contact with children, in the provision of leisure or physical activities (paid or voluntary), other than those who assist ‘occasionally’ or in the course of a family or personal relationship, must be Garda Vetted. This applies whether the person works alone or accompanied by another adult.  This Act now makes vetting mandatory. Failure to comply with this duty is an offence under the Act.

Please note that Garda Vetting is only one element of IGG’s recruitment and selection procedures and new volunteers must complete all elements of the screening process before becoming registered members of IGG. The information disclosed through IGG’s screening process will at all times remain confidential and be treated with the utmost respect. All personal information received verbally or in writing will be treated as confidential.

All adults wishing to become Leaders in the Irish Girl Guides must successfully complete the screening process. The local Commissioner/Regional Development Officer (RDO) will meet you to ensure you:

  • have the personal character to set a high standard of behaviour
  • understand the aims and methods of IGG and intend to adhere to its rules and policy
  • are willing to undertake further training and work towards your warrant
  • have a particular interest in girls of the relevant Branch age
  • are willing to undergo the IGG screening

The prospective Leader will be provided with a Leader Pack containing all the forms and booklets appropriate to the IGG screening procedure for Leaders. These Packs are available, free of charge, from National Office, all IGG Distribution Centres, Regional Development Officers (RDOs) and Commissioners. The Commissioner/ RDO will explain the steps of this confidential process. The process then proceeds as follows:

  • The prospective Leader completes the following forms found in the Leader Pack:
    • IGG Leader Application Form
    • ID Validation Form
    • Vetting Invitation Form
  • The prospective Leader must arrange to meet with their Commissioner or RDO in person in order to have their identification verified and their ID Validation Form signed confirming their identity. (Information on the steps to follow and list of identification documents required can be found in the Leader Pack).
  • Having read IGG’s Code of Ethics and Good Practice, the prospective Leader signs the Agreement Form for Leaders with the Irish Girl Guides which the Commissioner/RDO countersigns to give her approval.
  • All completed forms should be returned to IGG’s liaison person: the Safeguarding Membership Officer (SMO), IGG National Office, 27 Pembroke Park, Dublin
  • On receipt of completed ID Validation Form, supporting identification documents as required and the Vetting Invitation Form, an invitation to the e-vetting website will be sent to the prospective Leader’s email. Using the link supplied, they can access the National Vetting Bureau Online Vetting system to complete a Vetting Application Form.

N.B. Please note all completed screening forms should be returned together to National Office, as the ‘Acceptance on provisional basis letter’ cannot be issued until all completed forms are received by the SMO.

  • Once the prospective Leader completes the online Vetting Application Form, this is automatically passed to the Liaison Person in IGG to review for completeness before forwarding to the National Vetting Bureau for processing
  • IGG will issue a letter by email to the prospective Leader once all her screening forms are received and her online Vetting Application Form has been completed, informing her that she has been accepted on a provisional basis, subject to successful completion of the screening process including Garda Vetting, and can attend meetings strictly under the supervision of a warranted IGG Leader or RDO
  • A copy of this letter will also be forwarded by email to the Unit Contact Person (UCP) as proof that all forms have been received and the prospective Leader’s screening process is underway. The UCP must ensure that this letter is received from the SMO within three weeks of giving the Leader Pack to the prospective Leader. If this letter is not received she must follow up on the outstanding forms immediately.
  • The SMO contacts the two referees who have been listed on the Leader Application Form to seek their approval of the application.
  • When the prospective Leader successfully completes the full screening process including Garda Vetting, IGG will issue a letter by email informing her that she has been registered as a Leader. Confirmation is also sent by email to her UCP, District Commissioner and RDO.

While the screening process is underway, new Leaders may help with a Unit strictly under the supervision of a warranted IGG Leader or RDO. Until the screening process is complete, you must never have unsupervised access to children.

For the protection of our girls and adults, adult members and Leaders cannot attend a residential event until they have successfully completed the full screening process, including Garda Vetting.

A Unit Helper helps out occasionally i.e. “now and then”, “from time to time”, “irregularly”, “once in a while” when additional help is needed e.g. at Unit meetings, holidays or camps. This includes someone who is on a parents’ rota and includes both males and females.

Unit Helpers do not require vetting unless attending a residential. The exception to this is an assistant for a member with special needs who helps on a regular basis, but is still regarded as a Unit Helper. In this situation Garda Vetting is required.

However, all Unit Helpers need to submit a signed Unit Helper Agreement Form. This is available from your local Leader.

Screening Process For Unit Helpers attending residential events

Unit Helpers attending residential events must complete the full Unit Helper screening process including Garda Vetting. The current Leader will provide the prospective Unit Helper with a Unit Helper Pack containing all the appropriate forms and booklets. These Packs are available, free of charge, from National Office.

The Leader will then explain the steps to the confidential process and proceed as follows:

  • The prospective Unit Helper completes the following forms:
  • The prospective Unit Helper must arrange to meet with their Unit’s Leader in person in order to have their identification verified and their ID Validation Form signed confirming their identity. (Information on the steps to follow and list of identification documents required can be found in the Unit Helper Pack).
  • The Leader goes through IGG’s Code of Ethics and Good Practice with the prospective Unit Helper and explains the Child and Adult Protection Policy
  • The prospective Unit Helper signs the Agreement Form for Unit Helpers with the Irish Girl Guides which the Leader countersigns for her
  • All completed forms should be returned to IGG’s Liaison Person: the Safeguarding Membership Officer (SMO), IGG National Office, 27 Pembroke Park, Dublin 4
  • On receipt of completed ID Validation Form, supporting identification documents as required and the Vetting Invitation Form, an invitation to the e-vetting website will be sent to the prospective Unit Helper’s email. Using the link supplied, they can access the National Vetting Bureau Online Vetting system to complete a Vetting Application Form.
  • Once the prospective Unit Helper completes the online Vetting Application Form, this is automatically passed to the Liaison Person in IGG to review for completeness before forwarding to the National Vetting Bureau for processing
  • When the prospective Unit Helper successfully completes the full screening process including Garda Vetting, IGG will issue a letter by email informing them that she/he has been registered as a Unit Helper. Confirmation is also sent by email to their Leader.

Please note Unit Helpers cannot attend a residential until they have successfully completed the full screening process i.e. Unit Helper Agreement form submitted and Garda Vetting completed.

The Unit Leader will provide the Senior Branch member with a Purple Senior Branch Pack containing all the forms and booklets required. (Please note this is not the same pack as given to new Adult Leaders joining IGG). These packs are available free of charge from the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office at safeguarding@irishgirlguides.ie; IGG Distribution Centres; Regional Development Officers and District/Area Commissioners. The Unit Leader will then explain the steps to the confidential process.

The process then proceeds as follows:

  • The Senior Branch Member completes the following forms found in the Purple Senior Branch Pack:
    • IGG Purple Leader Application Form
    • ID Validation Form
    • Vetting Invitation Form
    • Garda Vetting Parent/Guardian Consent Form
  • The Senior Branch Member must arrange to meet with their Unit Leader in person in order to have their identification verified and their ID Validation Form signed confirming their identity. (Information on the steps to follow and list of identification documents required can be found in the Purple Senior Branch Pack).
  • All completed forms should be returned together to IGG’s liaison person: the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office, 27 Pembroke Park, Dublin 4.
  • On receipt of completed ID Validation Form, supporting identification documents as required and the Vetting Invitation Form, an invitation to the e-vetting website will be sent to the email address provided by the Senior Branch Member. Using the link supplied, they can access the National Vetting Bureau Online Vetting system to complete a Vetting Application Form. (The link is only valid for 30 days).
  • Once the Senior Branch Member completes the online Vetting Application form, this is automatically passed to the Liaison Person in IGG to review for completeness before forwarding to the National Vetting Bureau for processing.
  • IGG will issue a letter by email to the Senior Branch Member informing her that her screening process is underway once all the forms in the Purple Senior Branch Pack have been received by National Office and her online Vetting Application Form has been completed.
  • A copy of this letter will also be forwarded by email to the Unit Leader as proof that all forms have been received and the Senior Branch member’s screening process is underway. The Senior Branch Member cannot help with the Unit once she turns 18 years of age if this letter has not been received. This is the Unit Leader’s responsibility to police.
  • The Safeguarding Membership Officer will issue an Endorsement request letter to the Unit Leader whose name is provided on the Leader Application Form to endorse the application.
  • An Agreement Form for Senior Branch becoming Leaders with IGG which is also required as part of the screening process will be held by National Office and sent to the Unit Leader when the Senior Branch member is approaching her 18th birthday. This form will be presented to the Senior Branch member by the Unit Leader when she turns 18 years of age. Having read IGG’s Code of Ethics and Good Practice, the Senior Branch member signs this form. The Unit Leader will also sign this form before returning it to the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office.
  • When the Senior Branch Member successfully completes the full screening process including Garda Vetting, IGG will issue a letter by email informing her that she has been registered as a Leader. Confirmation is also sent by email to her Unit Leader, District Commissioner and Regional Development Officer.

Senior Branch members changing to adult Leaders must ensure they submit all screening forms found in the Purple Senior Branch Pack prior to their 18th birthday in order to continue assisting with a Unit when they reach 18 years of age. Please note Senior Branch Members are allowed submit their screening forms to IGG for processing from 17 years of age.

Please note Senior Branch members 18 years and over must successfully complete Garda Vetting before being allowed attend a residential event at which under 18’s are in attendance. This includes Senior Branch residential events. Senior Branch members assisting in a leadership capacity at an event must successfully complete the full Leader screening process including Garda Vetting before being allowed to attend.

 More details on the screening process can be found in Irish Girl Guides Garda Vetting Policy and Procedures which is available on request from the Safeguarding Membership Officer.

If any disclosure raises doubts about the applicant’s suitability, it will be considered by the Safeguarding Membership Ad-hoc Group. They will be provided with all available details about the relevant applicant and the disclosure; however the applicant’s identity will not be disclosed.

The applicant will be informed that the Group is to be convened. This does not mean automatic rejection – only that the Group is trying to achieve the best outcome for all concerned.

At all stages confidentiality will be adhered to.

The decision on making or rejecting an appointment following a negative disclosure will be made by the Group taking into account the nature of the disclosure and the history surrounding it. The Group will decide if the appointment may be made with or without restrictions.

More details on the screening process can be found in Irish Girl Guides Garda Vetting Policy and Procedures which is available on request from the Safeguarding Membership Officer.

Flowcharts of IGG Screening Procedures

For your convenience please find below flowcharts that explain IGG’s screening procedures for various scenarios. Please click on the accordion below.

Leader Packs are available, free of charge from the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office at safeguarding@irishgirlguides.ie; all IGG Distribution Centres; Regional Development Officers; District and Area Commissioners.

Purple Senior Branch Packs are available, free of charge from the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office at safeguarding@irishgirlguides.ie; all IGG Distribution Centres; Regional Development Officers; District and Area Commissioners.

Unit Helpers assisting occasionally i.e. “now and then”, “from time to time”, “irregularly”, “once in a while* do not require vetting unless attending a residential. However they must sign an Agreement Form for Unit Helpers. This form is available, from the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office at safeguarding@irishgirlguides.ie

Unit Helpers attending residential events must complete the full Unit Helper screening process including Garda Vetting. While this process is underway applicants may help with a Unit strictly under the supervision of a warranted Irish Girl Guide Leader. Unit Helpers must never have unsupervised access to children.

*The exception to this is an assistant for a member with special needs who helps on a regular basis, but is still regarded as a Unit Helper. In this situation Garda Vetting is required.

Unit Helper packs are available, free of charge from the Safeguarding Membership Officer, IGG National Office at safeguarding@irishgirlguides.ie; all IGG Distribution Centres; Regional Development Officers; District and Area Commissioners.