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’re back having another peek into the legislation.
In 12 Things You Should Know about Organisation Registration with the National Vetting Bureau, we discussed the Register of Relevant Organisations, held by the new National Vetting Bureau.
In this essay we look another register held by the National Vetting Bureau, namely the Register of Vetted Persons (set out in section 11 of The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016).
WHAT IS THE REGISTER OF VETTED PERSONS?
The Register of Vetted Persons is another of the Registers held by the National Vetting Bureau. Only people who’ve actually had or are making an application for vetting disclosure will appear on this register. So if a person has never previously made a vetting application, they’re not going to feature to date on the Register of Vetted Persons.
INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THE REGISTER OF VETTED PERSONS
The Register of Vetted persons essentially pulls together into one place (in the National Vetting Bureau) the information completed by the applicant on vetting Form NVB 2, as well as the subsequent outcome of the enquiries made by the National Vetting Bureau after they’ve received the person’s application for a vetting disclosure.
WHY DO I HAVE TO BE REVETTED?
One of the most common complaints about the vetting process is the fact that a fresh application for a vetting disclosure needs to be made each time someone joins a new organization that has the vetting requirement for new volunteers.
Understandably, people want to know why their vetting letter that they got from their last club, charity or job (for example) can’t be accepted by the new club or charity, and why they have to go through the whole process from scratch again.
The reason why comes down to an understanding of what the outcome of the vetting process actually produces. Ultimately, it’s a point-in-time snapshot of a person’s criminal record check as at the date of the outcome being finally processed.
The outcome of the vetting process can, of course, only ever be retrospective – i.e. looking backwards.
So for every day that passes from the date of the issuance of the vetting disclosure (outcome letter), the point-in-time snapshot becomes automatically out of date.
For an organisation recruiting a new volunteer into a club, it is this gap – the time period between the date of the issuance of the last vetting disclosure, and today – which is why the previous vetting disclosure can’t be relied upon by another organisation.
VETTING AS JUST ONE CONTRIBUTOR IN YOUR DECISION MAKING FRAMEWORK
Remember here that the purpose of the vetting disclosure is to feed into your club or organisation’s assessment of the suitability of a person looking to work with children or vulnerable adults.
The ability to make an objective assessment on the suitability of an applicant is dramatically impaired if a time gap emerges between an historic vetting disclosure outcome letter (e.g. from an old club) and that same person applying to volunteer in a new organisation.
That gap – between the old vetting disclosure outcome letter, and the application to the new club or organization – is not covered by the last criminal record check. The previous letter is necessarily silent on the time gap, as it was retrospective up to the point of the old vetting application.
This time gap become the period of ‘risk’ for the new organisation to which the person is applying to help out.
By relying on an historic vetting outcome, the organization would be putting itself on ‘risk’ for that time gap, as it would have no insight into this period of time.
It’s for this reason – in my words – that a new vetting application is required, and that as such vetting disclosure outcomes at present aren’t portable between organisations.
However, a common sense approach has emerged whereby for second and subsequent vetting applications, the period of a person’s history which is checked is no longer the entirety of their life history.
With the Register of Vetted Persons, the National Vetting Bureau’s able to check when (and if) the previous disclosure outcome was issued, and only have to check from that point in time, up until the date of the current application process into the new club. The benefits of this? A reduction in the amount of time required for the purpose of the vetting process, as only say the last 18 months (e.g. which is when a person was last vetted) has to be checked from new, and not the last say 34 years.
PASSPORTING OF INFORMATION HELD BY THE OLD G.C.V.U.
This provision allows for the transfer of information held by the predecessor to the National Vetting Bureau i.e. the Garda Central Vetting Unit.
The Register of Vetted Persons brings together the information completed by someone completing the vetting form.
The Register of Vetted Persons will take on increasing significance as the size of the National Vetting Bureau database of vetted persons builds up up over time, enabling a quicker turn-around times for people who’ve already gone through the vetting process once.
Understanding the role of the Register of Vetted Persons helps administrators at grassroots level to understand better the process for on which vetting is built, which in turn helps such administrators to better communicate with their own applicants.
All of this is important in helping to build up trust and confidence both at the grassroots level in the vetting process and, more broadly, in the National Vetting Bureau itself as it carries out its statutory functions.
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.