With the advent of the new vetting regime (for checking a person's criminal background when working with children or vulnerable persons), there are now two ways in which an application for a vetting disclosure can be processed.
The first is the same way as before, with completion by a person applying for a vetting disclosure (the "applicant") of a paper form. The second is the completion of an online application (known as e-vetting, which is being rolled out on a phased basis). It is anticipated that at some point in the future the majority, if not all, vetting applications will be carried out online.
In this essay, the next in our series on the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 To 2016 - the new Irish vetting legislation, known until now as garda vetting we are going to have a look at the new paper form and you look at it on a section by section basis. The purpose of this essay is to provide a person completing the form with some helpful guidance, highlighting potential traps to avoid.
GENERAL ADVICE FOR COMPLETING THE FORM
- Do not leave blank any fields that are not applicable to you. Instead, put 'N/A'.
- You must complete the form in full using BLOCK CAPITALS.
- You must complete the form in ball point pen (lead pencil is not acceptable).
- Your writing must be clear.
- Your writing must be legible (which means 'readable').
- Photocopies of your vetting form will not be accepted, only your original form completed by you will be accepted.
- All applicants are required to provide documents to validate their identity.
- For applicants under 18 years of age, a Parents/Guardian Consent Form must be completed (Form NVB 3).
- Bullet Point 2
INTRODUCTORY SECTION TO VETTING FORM NVB 2
SECTION 1: PERSONAL INFORMATION
Section one is about capturing the personal information of the person applying for a veting disclosure from the Natural Vetting Bureau. Remember, the National Vetting Bureau used to be known as the Garda Central Vetting Unit. Let’s have a look at this section.
This is where you put your first name or names. Forename is slightly archaic terminology. So, if an applicant is called John Joseph Patrick Smith, The applicant would put JOHN in this section.
All other middle names should appear here. For an applicant called John Joseph Patrick Smith, the applicant would insert the names JOSEPH PATRICK here.
This is another word for a person’s last name. For an applicant called John Joseph Patrick Smith, the applicant would insert the name SMITH in this section.
The applicant should tick the appropriate box.
IS YOUR NAME AT BIRTH THE SAME AS ABOVE?
If you have the same name as you had at birth, tick ‘yes’ and move to the next section which is called ‘Date of Birth’.
If your name at birth was different, then you should tick the box next to the word ‘no’.
Next, you will need to provide details of what your Forename, Middle Name(s) and Surname were at birth.
Please provide change of names, if any, from birth i.e. name change due to marriage, deed poll, adoption.
This section is especially relevant to any person who has changed their name due to marriage, deed poll, adoption, by way of examples.
DATE OF BIRTH
Allow one digit per box on the form. Insert your date of birth (DD/MM/YYYY). So if you were born on 1st March 1971, you would put 01/03/1971
PLACE OF BIRTH
Please state county/state of birth (e.g. Dublin).
COUNTRY OF BIRTH
Insert the name of the country that you were born in.
Insert the number of your passport here. You will usually find this number on the page in your passport that shows your photograph.
MOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME:
Insert your mother’s maiden name here as stated on your birth certificate.
(A woman’s maiden name is the surname that a married woman used before she was married, and which she may still use when married, especially in her employment).
YEAR FROM / YEAR TO
Please enter your current address in full, including your postcode / Eircode (you can check your Eircode here: https://finder.eircode.ie)
If you have lived in Northern Ireland then you need to make sure that you include the relevant Postal Code for the address you lived at. If you fail to include the Postal Code it is likely that your application form will be returned unprocessed. You can find Northern Ireland or UK Postal Codes through the following websites: www.royalmail.com/find-a-postcode and www.postoffice.co.uk/postcode-finder
ALSO KNOWN AS
If you are known by any name other than that/those on your birth certificate please insert here e.g. Anthony but now known as Tony. Or if your name is John, but you’re also known as Sean, or Eoin.
SECTION 2: ADDRESSES
Please enter all your previous addresses in chronological order, which means starting with the address from when you were born, up to the last address you lived at before your current address (which you have put in Section 1 already).
It is very important that your previous addresses, including all addresses abroad, are provided.
You must also insert the years that you resided at these addresses, ‘Year From’ and ‘Year To’. Please specify the year only e.g. 1968.
If you lived in multiple addresses in one year, include all such addresses.
These will be checked and if there is any time unaccounted for, the form will be returned to you.
A common mistake is to state e.g. ‘1970-1971’ then list the next address as 1972-1978, then 1979-1980.
This is likely to be rejected as you will have inadvertently left a gap of a year for 1971-1972, and 1978-1979.
The correct listing of addresses by year should read e.g. ‘1970-1971’, then ‘1971-1978’ then ‘1978-1980’, so there should be a complete chronological sequence of years of residence.
If you run out of space on Section 2 – Addresses, turn to Section 6 – Additional Addresses, and continue there. If you do this, make sure you tick the box at the foot of Section 2 that says “For additional addresses, refer to Section 6. If used, please tick here [ ]”. This is to let the National Vetting Bureau know that they need to check Section 6 as well.
SECTION 3: SELF-DISCLOSED CRIMINAL RECORD
If no, tick 'no', box.
If yes, tick 'yes' box and then please provide details.
WHAT IS A CRIMINAL RECORD?
Criminal record 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.
WHAT MUST I DECLARE?
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.
You must declare all convictions/pending prosecutions (except “spent convictions” as defined by section 14A of National Vetting Bureau Acts).
WHAT IS A "SPENT CONVICTION" THAT I WON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE?
A spent conviction means all:
- Convictions that are more than 7 years old for motoring offences and where the offence was dealt with in the District Court, on the condition that spent convictions for dangerous driving are limited to a single conviction.
- Convictions which are more than 7 years old for minor public order offences and where the offence was dealt with in the District Court.
- Where a person has one, and only one, conviction (other than a motoring or public order offence) which resulted in a term of imprisonment of less than 12 months (or a fine) that conviction will also be spent after 7 years. This provision will apply to either a District Court or Circuit Court conviction.
- Note: You must disclose all sexual offences or convictions in the central Criminal Court as these are not eligible to become spent convictions.
- You must disclose all convictions and pending prosecutions that have occurred within the last 7 years. This is because they not qualify as being “spent”, regardless of what type of offence they are.
If you’re unsure as to whether to disclose something, it’s better to err on the side of caution and disclose something. Failure to disclose on a vetting application, which it is later judged you should have disclosed, can have serious implications.
If in doubt, read this link here from the National Vetting Bureau sets out the information that it will disclose to the Liaison Person in the organisation processing your application for vetting disclosure. If you're still not sure you can ask your Liaison Person. Alternatively, you may prefer to consult your professional legal adviser.
SECTION 4: LIAISON PERSON
Do NOT write anything in this section. This section is to be completed by the FAI’s Liaison Person.
SECTION 5: DECLARATION OF CONSENT
Carefully read the sentence that confirms you understand and accept this statement, in which you consent to the making of the vetting application and to the disclosure of information by the National Vetting Bureau to the Liaison Person in the FAI for the purposes of the vetting legislation.
If your name on the first page is John Smith, then do not sign the form John E. Smith as the National Vetting Bureau will look for information on what “E” stands for.
Date the form. So if you signed it on 5th July 2016, you would put 05/07/2016 (following the format dd/mm/yy).
WHAT A PERSON IS CONSENTING TO
Under s.13(4)(e), by making this declaration an applicant is:
- consenting to their application for a vetting disclosure to be processed, and
- consenting to the disclosure of information by the National Vetting Bureau to the Liaison Person in the relevant organisation to which the applicant is applying to volunteer with or work at).
SECTION 6: ADDITIONAL ADDRESSES
This is a continuation sheet for any addresses you did not have space to complete in the Section 2 Addresses section. Follow the same guidelines for Section 2. If you use this section, remember to tick the box at the bottom of Section 2 indicating that you providing additional addresses on this sheet (Section 6).
CRIMINAL OFFENCE FOR FALSE STATEMENTS
PENALTIES FOR PERSONS GUILTY OF S.26 OFFENCE
KEEP A COPY
As with any form that you submit to any organisation, a good tip is to make a photocopy of it before you hand it over, and file it away in a safe place in case you need it for future reference. This is of particular relevance if you think you will ever need to make another application for a vetting disclosure in the future, and will save you time in collating the relevant information to fill in the form accurately.
The new vetting form must be completed with the utmost care and attention.
There are four mandatory sections to be completed by the applicant with a fifth optional section (Section 6 - Additional Addresses) only to be completed by the applicant if space is required.
One section on the form is to be intentionally left blank by the applicant, as it’s to be completed by the person responsible for liaising between the organisation processing the application for vetting disclosure, and the National Vetting Bureau - that person is known as the Liaison Person.
Under the new vetting legislation, criminal offences have been created for making a false statement for the purpose of obtaining, or enabling another person to obtain, a vetting disclosure. This is of particular relevance for any person filling in an application for a vetting disclosure.
This essay is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice.
Specific legal advice from a firm of solicitors should always be sought on the application of the law in any particular situation.
Whilst all reasonable endeavours have been made to ensure the accuracy of the content, no liability whatsoever is accepted for any omissions or errors or for any action taken in reliance of the information in this essay.