Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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Garda Vetting FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Garda Vetting with the IACP

Is vetting conducted on an individual basis?

No. Vetting is conducted only on behalf of relevant organisations that are registered with the National Vetting Bureau and is not conducted for individual persons on a personal basis.


Why is Garda Vetting being introduced by the IACP?

IACP believe that Garda vetting is a necessary and positive step in the protection of clients and the development of the profession. It provides the public with confidence in a safe and secure service.


What is the procedure for making an application for a vetting disclosure?

The procedure is as follows:-

1. The applicant must manually complete and forward the Vetting Invitation Form (NVB1) to the IACP and provide proof of identity as outlined in the Verification of Identity Form.

2. The IACP confirms proof of identity and enters the applicant’s details into the eVetting System.

3. Following this the Gardaí send the applicant an email with a link attached inviting him/her to complete the vetting application online. The link will expire after 30 days.

4. When checks are complete the vetting disclosure is issued to the IACP. The IACP will, as soon as practicable, inform the applicant of the outcome.


What will I have to do? (Existing members)
  • Once contacted by the IACP, applicants’ should make payment via the link in the email. The Garda Vetting Policy and Application Pack should be downloaded from the e-mail. The Garda Vetting Form and Verification of Identity documents should be completed as instructed and returned to the IACP.

    Please Note: No action is required by IACP members at this time. IACP will contact members over the coming months.


What are the main changes with the commencement of the Children and Vulnerable Act 2012?

Mandatory: the main change is in relation to Vetting becoming mandatory. If a person intends to undertake relevant work, the relevant organisation must get a vetting disclosure from the National Vetting Bureau.

Identity: the identity of the applicant must be validated by the IACP.

Vetting Forms and eVetting: a new vetting form will be required to be completed, with additional information required.Once submitted to the IACP, this information will be entered into the Gardaí’s eVetting database. Following this the applicant will receive a link to complete the remainder of the form online.


How do I verify my identity?

Guidelines for Applicant
1. The applicant to present with ID documents to the minimum value of 100 points as can be seen in this below
a. The Documents must display all the following: 1. Photo ID 2. Date of Birth 3. Current Address 4. Full Name
2. Applicants must present in person, with the original documents and photocopies of these documents to one of the listed designated persons (IACP Head Office, Dun Laoghaire (by appointment only), IACP Accredited Supervisor, BACP or IAHIP Accredited Supervisor, Gardaí, Solicitor, Commissioner of Oaths, Notary or Peace Commissioner
3. The designated person will certify that the copies of ID are true photocopies of the original
4. The applicant should return the Verification of Identity Form, signed copies of ID & the Garda Vetting Form to the IACP

Identification

Score

Tick

Primary Items

 

 

Irish driving license or learner permit (new credit card format)

80

 

Irish Public Services Card

80

 

Passport  (from country of citizenship)

70

 

Irish certificate of naturalisation

50

 

Birth certificate

50

 

Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card

50

 

National Identity Card for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens

50

 

Irish driving license or learner permit (old paper format)

40

 

 

 

 

Secondary Items

 

 

Employment ID

 

 

  • ID card issued by employer (with name, address and Photo)
 

35

 

  • ID card issued by employer (name only)

25

 

Letter from employer (within last two years)

 

 

  • Confirming name and address

35

 

P60, P45 or Payslip (with home address)

35

 

Utility bill e.g. gas, electricity, television, broadband (must not be less than 6 months old. Printed online bills are acceptable. Mobile phone bills are not acceptable)

35

 

Public services card/social services card/medical card

25

 

  • With photograph

40

 

Bank/Building Society/Credit Union statement

35

 

Credit/debit cards/passbooks (only one per institution)

25

 

National age card (issued by An Garda Siochana)

25

 

Membership card

 

 

  • Club, union or trade, professional bodies

25

 

  • Educational institution

25

 

Correspondence

 

 

  • From an educational institution/SUSI/CAO

20

 

  • From an insurance company regarding an active policy

20

 

  • From a bank/credit union or government body or state agency

20

 

Children under 16 years (any one of the following)

 

 

  • Birth certificate

100

 

  • Passport

100

 

  • Written statement by a principal officer confirming attendance at educational institution on a letter head of that institution

100

 

Recent arrival in Ireland (less than 6 weeks)

 

 

  • Passport

100

 

Vetting Subject is unable to achieve 100 points**

 

 

  • Affidavit witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths

100

 


Who can verify my identity?

The following designated Persons may verify applicant’s identification and sign this form:

  • IACP Head Office, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin (by appointment only)
  • BACP or IAHIP Accredited Supervisor
  • IACP Accredited Supervisor
  • Gardaí
  • Solicitor
  • Commissioner of Oaths
  • Notary or Peace Commissioner

How much will vetting cost?

Garda Vetting will cost €30 and will be valid for a period of three years.

The €30 charge is in place to process the application. The IACP will incur extra IT, staffing, administration and training costs associated with Garda Vetting. 


How is the payment made?

For existing members, an email will be sent to all relevant personnel. It will include a link, which will direct the applicant to a secure payment site to make an online payment. 


How long is vetting valid for?

IACP require re-vetting every three years. 


Is it confidential?

Yes absolutely. All applications and correspondence are treated with the utmost confidentiality and in accordance with Data Protection Acts.


Who will be required to be vetted?

All IACP Student (first year students exempt), Pre-Accredited and Accredited Members. 


Are first year students required to be vetted?

No. First year student members are exempt from Garda Vetting.


When will it happen?

Vetting in the IACP will have a phased introduction with approximately 300 members being vetted each month. Members will be contacted in due course and provided with further information regarding the application procedure.

No action is required from individuals until contacted by IACP. 


Can I apply directly to the Garda for vetting?

No, individuals cannot request Garda Vetting. All applications must go through an organisation that is registered with the National Vetting Bureau. Vetting is not freely available.


I already have Garda Vetting. Do I need another one?

Yes. Some individuals may already have completed Garda vetting through bodies other than the IACP. Garda Vetting cannot be transferred between organisations. IACP is responsible for its own vetting regardless if you have recently been vetted for by another organisation.

The information disclosed during vetting is the “property” of the organisation that seeks it in the first instance and therefore (under data protection) shouldn’t be passed from organisation to organisation.

Therefore, the individual will need to complete another Garda Vetting Application Form that will be processed through IACP.


What is a Liaison Person?

The Liaison Peron is a person who has completed the training supplied by the National Vetting Bureau and is authorised to act as the liaison between the organisation requesting vetting and the National Vetting Bureau.

The Liaison Peron in the IACP is Grace Duffy (Vetting Compliance Officer).


Who is responsible within IACP?

The Vetting Compliance Officer acts as the Liaison Person in the IACP. The Vetting Compliance Officer will manage all Garda Vetting forms submitted to the IACP and information received from the Garda. 

 


What is a criminal record?
  • A criminal record in relation to a person means a record of the person’s convictions whether within or outside the state for any criminal offence together with any ancillary or consequential orders made pursuant to the convictions concerned or a record of any prosecutions pending against the person whether within or outside the state for any criminal offences or both.

    A person shall not be obliged to provide details of any convictions to which Section 14A of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 applies.


What if I have a criminal record?

This may or may not affect your application / membership / position.

 Disclosures however minor or serious must be dealt with on a case by case basis by the Garda Vetting Decision Maker.

Please see the Garda Vetting Policy for further details. 


If I have a case pending should I indicate this on my vetting form?

Yes. The definition of criminal record includes a record of any prosecutions pending against a person, whether within or outside the State, for any criminal offence.


Will all convictions prohibit membership with the IACP?

No. The Administrative Filter is a procedure applied by the Garda, which allows certain minor convictions over 7 years old not to be disclosed. The purpose of this filter is to allow a more balanced, relevant and proportionate approach to Garda Vetting.

Convictions that are disclosed by the NVB will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the Garda Vetting Decision Maker.


What convictions will not be disclosed by the Gardaí?

This section applies to District Court convictions only.

  • Convictions over 7 years for motoring offences other than Section 53(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1961.
  • Convictions over 7 years for the following offences under the Public Order Act 1994:

                        Section 4 (Intoxication),

                        Section 5 (Disorderly conduct),

                        Section 6 (Threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour),

                        Section 7 (Distribution or display of material which is offensive),

                        Section 8 (Failure to comply with direction of Garda),

                        Section 9 (Wilful obstruction).

District Court convictions for any other minor offence will not be disclosed after 7 years where the person has one such offence only (excluding motoring or public order offences over 7 years old). 


What is the procedure where an Applicant disputes the detail contained in a vetting disclosure?

The Applicant should outline in writing to the Vetting Compliance Officer in the IACP the exact basis of their dispute.

The Vetting Compliance Officer will submit the Applicant’s report to the National Vetting Bureau.

Further checks will be carried out by the National Vetting Bureau who will correspond with the Vetting Compliance Officer in course. Please see the IACP Garda Vetting Policy for further details.

 


What is specified information?

Specified information in relation to a person who is the subject of an application for a vetting disclosure means information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person received by the Bureau from An Garda Síochána or a scheduled organisation pursuant to section 19 of the Act.

It is information that is considered to give rise to a bona fide concern that the vetting subject may harm, attempt to harm or put at risk a child or vulnerable person or both. If such information is going to be disclosed to a relevant organisation relating to one of their applicants, the Chief Bureau Officer must, in advance, notify the vetting subject of the intention to disclose the information.


What if I dispute the detail contained in a vetting disclosure?
  1. Outline in writing to the Liaison Person in the IACP the basis of their dispute.
  2. The Liaison Person will submit the Applicant’s report to the National Vetting Bureau.
  3. Further checks will be carried out by the National Vetting Bureau who will correspond with the Vetting Compliance Officer in course. Please see the IACP Garda Vetting Policy for further details.

What if I have a Prosecution Pending?

In the case whereby an applicant has a prosecution pending, this information will be transmitted to the IACP by the NVB.

For existing personnel the applicant will remain in their position while awaiting the outcome of the prosecution.

Although, there are automatic exclusions under which an individual’s position with IACP will be suspended. These include:

  • Murder, attempted murder, manslaughter
  • Rape, attempted rape
  • Any conviction leading to inclusion in the Sex Offenders Register
  • Ownership, production, possession or distribution of child pornography
  • Ill treatment, abuse or neglect of children / minors / vulnerable people

In the case of new applicants with a prosecution pending, their application will be put on hold pending the outcome pf the prosecution. 


How do I appeal to the IACP Garda Vetting Appeal Panel?

If an applicant wishes to appeal a decision in relation to Garda Vetting, they should follow the process of appeal which is outlined below.

The applicant should submit a written comment on the recorded convictions to the Vetting Compliance Officer (VCO) in the IACP. This must be done within 21 days of the notification date on the letter stating that Garda Vetting has been unsuccessful

The submitted written comment should be up to 500 words, of comments or information pertinent to the reasons stated for rejection

The appeal must be accompanied by the fee of €38.

The Garda Vetting Appeals Panel will hear this appeal and issue their findings to the VCO, who will notify the appellant by letter. The decision of the appeal panel is final.


What if I have lived abroad?

International Police Vetting

If you have resided in countries outside of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for a period of 6 months or more, you may be required to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from those countries stating that you have no convictions recorded against you while residing there.

Seeking security clearances from other countries (e.g. UK, USA etc.) are the responsibility of the applicant.

The following websites may be of assistance to you if you are required to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate:

United Kingdom: www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx www.disclosurescotland.co.uk

Australia www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/police-checks/national-police-checks

New Zealand www.justice.govt.nz/services/criminal-records

United States of America http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/abroad/legal-matters/criminal-record-check.html

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks

Other Countries

For other countries not listed above you may find it helpful to contact the relevant embassies who could provide you with information on seeking Police Clearance.

Note: Only Original Police Clearance Certificates should be submitted (copies not accepted).

In the case whereby the applicant is requested to submit additional documentation, time will be allocated to facilitate this.

Any costs incurred in this process will be borne by the applicant.


What is a Police Clearance Certificate?

A Police Certificate is an official document issued by police or government agency of a country to enumerate any criminal records that the applicant may or may not have. Applicants have to submit personal information to request such a record check, the police or government agency may charge a fee. If no record is found, the certificate will indicate such. 


I cannot remember some of my addresses. What should I do?

Please submit as much of the address as possible, for example the street/road, town, county and postcode. You will be required to enter a note on the form stating that you cannot remember the full address. 


I was travelling for a year and did not have one fixed address. What should I do?

For that particular timeframe, you must enter a note on the form stating that you were travelling and did not have one fixed address. Please name the countries through which you travelled.


I am an inactive member, when do I have to get vetted?

An inactive member will not require vetting for the period they are they are inactive. When the member chooses to become active again, they will require vetting. 


Data Protection

All data is kept in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988/2003 by the Vetting Compliance Officer on behalf of IACP. All information is kept in a secure cabinet in IACP Head Office. 


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Timeframe for statutory registration

 

Draft regulations to designate the professions of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and to establish a registration board will be ready for submission to the Houses of the Oireachtas for their approval during the present session, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has told the Dail.

 

The Minister recently concluded a public consultation on  his proposal to regulate counsellors generally under the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005.

 

On foot of the consultation process, He has decided to proceed with the designation of two distinct professions under the Act, that of counsellor and psychotherapist. Each will have its own register under one registration board. This decision has been communicated to the Health and Social Care Professionals Council, the relevant professional bodies and all the respondents to the public consultation process.

 

Subject to the approval of the Houses, the next step will be the appointment of the 13 members of the registration board, following the submission of suitable candidates for the Minister's consideration, by the Public Appointments Service. The aim is that the registration board will be in a position early in the New Year to begin the task of drafting the various bye-laws to allow it to establish its registers.

 

 


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