Garda Vetting Policy

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Legal Obligation

Moate Business College offers a number of educational and training programmes that require students to undertake placements, with external agencies, which will bring them into contact with children and vulnerable adults and in which they will assume positions of trust.

To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust and confidence, Moate Business College is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes.

Moate Business College uses the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) vetting service with the aid of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools Organisation ( ACCS) to assess the suitability of such applicants, and may also require applicants to provide an enhanced disclosure by the completion of an affidavit at the time of registration.

Aims of the Policy

  • To ensure that the Moate Business College is a safe and secure environment for the staff and students.
  • That Garda Vetting is part of the wider process ensuring the protection and safety of  all members of the wider community.
  • To ensure that suitable individuals participate in work placement programmes.
  • To develop trust and confidence between Moate Business College and the main businesses and organisations in the community from which our students seek work placements.

 

Programmes requiring vetting

Moate Business College requires all applicants for the programmes listed below to be Garda Vetted before they fully complete their registration as students of the Institute.

  • Certificate in Childcare (Level 5)
  • Advanced Certificate in Supervision in Childcare (Level 6)
  • Certificate in Social Studies (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Nursing Studies (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Community Development (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Health and Social Studies (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Sport and Leisure (Level 5)

 

Students from the courses listed below may opt to be Garda Vetted if required for work placements.

  • Certificate in Business Studies/Secretarial (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Art and Design (Level 5)
  • Certificate in Computer Studies (Level 5)
  • Higher Diploma in Administration (Level 5) 

Any student that acquires a relevant conviction during any of the above programmes will be subject to consideration in accordance with this policy.

Management of Vetting Process

To manage the vetting process, Moate Business College has created an administration structure as follows to handle the various stages of the process:

  • Students to complete the Garda Vetting form during registration. These forms will be scrutinised by Designated Staff Member ( Garda Vetting Officer) in the College
  • All forms will be forwarded to the ACCS (Authorised Signatory for GCVU)
  • GCVU Information Evaluation Team in Moate Business College: Comprising of Director, Garda Vetting Officer, relevant Course Co – Ordinator and  Placement Coordinator.
  • College Appeal Committee on Vetting Process: Comprising of Director, Garda Vetting Officer, relevant Course Co - Ordinator and  Placement Coordinator.

 

Convictions Classification

For review purposes feedback can be classified and defined as follows:

  • No previous convictions recorded
  • Convictions that appear on Garda Records
  • Prosecutions that are pending

When deciding on the material of the offence or pending charge, the College will take into account failure to disclose by the applicant prior to the vetting process.

The Garda Vetting Process

The following sections outline the details of the various stages that are involved in the Garda
Vetting process:

Stage 1: Completion of student section of form

Applicants who have been provisionally offered and accepted a place on the programme are sent a Garda Vetting Form and the instructions for completion of the form. This documentation highlights for students the importance of full disclosure. This document will be collected during Registration Day in the college.

Stage 2: Provisional registration

Students complete provisional registration during first year registration process. They sign a form at registration accepting that their registration process is not complete until they have satisfied Garda Vetting requirements for the programme.

Stage 3: Completion of Authorised Signatory’s section of form

The completed confidential forms are collated and then forwarded to the Authorised Signatory (ACCS) for the GCVU. The ACCS complete a batch summary form and the forms are forwarded to the GCVU in Thurles.

Stage 4: Completion of Garda Central Vetting Unit section of the form

The GCVU responds to the vetting request by ticking and signing one of the following three
sections of the form:

To be completed by the Garda Central Vetting Unit

According to Garda records there are no previous convictions recorded against the above named applicant:
OR the attached convictions appear on Garda Records:
AND/OR the attached prosecutions are pending:

The form and any attached documentation are returned in confidence to the Authorised Signatory. The following is an example of the type of information that could be attached to the returned form.

Garda Vetting, Policy and Procedures
With reference to the above our records indicate previous convictions recorded against the above named person when checked against the details supplied

Date Offence Court Result
25/06/2009 Larceny Galway City Fine €50.00

Stage 5: Confirmation of GCVU response by Authorised Signatory
Where the information supplied by the GCVU is inconsistent with the response from the student the Authorised Signatory will meet with the student to clarify whether:

(a) The student information supplied by the GCVU is correct;
(b) The student does not agree that the information supplied by the GCVU is correct in which case the Authorised Signatory will request the GCVU to review their information and confirm or review their initial response.

Stage 6: Evaluation of information

Once the information has been confirmed it is then reviewed by the relevant Garda Vetting Officer and if applicable the Director and the Course Coordinator Head of Department, Programme Chairperson and Authorised Signatory and classified as follows:

a) No previous convictions recorded
b) Minor Offence
c) Serious Offence
d) Very Serious Offence

Thereafter, the College will deal with the information as outlined in Stage 7.

Stage 7: Moate Business College response to information provided by GCVU

  • No previous convictions recorded

 

The names of all students where no previous convictions have been recorded are forwarded to the relevant Course Coordinators. Then the information is provided to student so that it can be forwarded to the placement agency.

 

  • Minor Offence and Convictions

With regard to minor offences, and convictions which, within the absolute discretion of the College, are not considered to pose any risk to children or vulnerable adults, the College response is different depending on whether or not the student openly disclosed the offence:

  • If the offence has not been disclosed, the Garda Vetting Officer will meet with the student to seek an explanation for the non-disclosure.
  • If a satisfactory explanation is received the information will be provided to the student and then the placement agency
  • If a satisfactory explanation is not received, the offence will be deemed to be a serious offence and be dealt with as outlined in section c (ii) below.
  • If the offence has been disclosed the information will be provided to the student and then the placement agency.

 

  • Serious Offence

With regard to serious offences and convictions, i.e. offences, the nature of which could potentially indicate a risk to children or vulnerable adults, the College response will be different depending on whether or not the student openly disclosed the offence

  • If the offence has not been disclosed the Garda Vetting Officer will meet with the student. Other than in very exceptional circumstances, the student will be advised that their offence is being treated as a very serious offence

 and the procedure outlined in section (d) below will be followed.

  • If the offence has been disclosed the Garda Vetting Officer will meet with the student to discuss the circumstances of the offence:
  • If there has been evidence of significant rehabilitation and/or evidence of appropriate behaviour modification by the student since the event took place, then the student will be advised that he/she will be allowed to continue in the programme but that all placement agencies, whether or not they request the information, will be advised of the offence.
  • If there is no evidence of significant rehabilitation and/or evidence of appropriate behaviour modification by the student, the student will be advised that their offence is being treated as a very serious offence and the procedure outlined in section (d) below will be followed.
  • Very Serious Offence

 

With regard to very serious offences, i.e. offences, the nature of which could potentially indicate a serious risk to children and vulnerable adults or other members of the public, the student will be required to meet with the Director, the Garda Vetting Officer and the relevant Course Coordinator and advised that owing to the nature of their conviction(s) they cannot continue in that programme of study.

Following the meeting the student will be advised in writing of the College’s decision. The student may, within two weeks of the date of the letter, make an appeal to the Board of Management of the College to have their case reviewed by an Appeal Committee on Garda Vetting comprising of the Director, The Garda Vetting Officer and the Course Coordinator.

Stage 8:

Students who have satisfactorily completed Garda Vetting (and any other requirements of the registration process) will be deemed to be fully registered as students of Moate Business College. However students should be aware, that given the duration of programmes, the College reserves the right, at its discretion, to require certain groups of students to undergo a further Garda Vetting process or alternatively to provide an enhanced disclosure by the completion of an affidavit during the course of their studies.

Acknowledgement:

This document is modelled on others agreed in the Irish Education context.

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