Please note: the current processing time for applications at the Garda Central Vetting Unit is 3-4 weeks. For up to date information on garda vetting legislation, click here.

Since 2007, Create has facilitated literally hundreds of employers in the arts and cultural sector by providing access to garda vetting for activities that involve contact with children and vulnerable adults. These include venues, resource organisations, local authority arts offices, commissioning bodies, producers, local community groups, education and tuition providers, as well as individual artists and freelance professionals.

Under a Code of Practice for the service, issued by the Garda Central Vetting Unit and signed by Create, applications are processed via the specially trained Authorised Signatories at Create who manage correspondence and certify the results. Create encourages employers to develop appropriate policies and procedures and maintains a strong relationship with the Garda Central Vetting Unit to keep up to date on important issues.

Employers should refer to the outline of Create’s vetting service, which explains how it works and includes a Code of Practice for the operation of vetting (click here)

To access Garda vetting through Create, you must be a paid-up member.

To join, click here.



New legislation + procedures

Currently, garda vetting is made available in Ireland on a voluntary basis and is not mandatory. The National Vetting Bureau (Children & Vulnerable Persons) Act, 2012 introduces compulsory vetting. However, the Act has not yet been commenced.

The Act forms part of a suite of laws to strengthen protection policies and practices. A 2013 UK Court of Appeal judgment necessitated a review of both the Vetting Act and the Spent Convictions Bill 2014 and a number of amendments are currently being drafted. It is expected these will be brought before the Dáil in the autumn session and, following enactment, the Act will be commenced reasonably quickly, possibly in 2015. Given that the Act is being amended, and these amendments have not yet been published or enacted, it is not possible to be precise on the finalised requirements.

Garda vetting applications allow the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU) to disclose details of all prosecutions and/or convictions or alternatively to state that there are no prosecutions or convictions recorded, at the time of issue. Until recently all convictions were disclosed by the process. Pending the amendment of the Act, an administrative filter for disclosures was introduced in 2014, which provides that certain minor offences that are over 7 years old are no longer disclosed. The purpose of the filter is to allow a more balanced, relevant and proportionate approach to disclosures. In line with this change, a revised vetting application form was issued and applications received on the old forms are no longer accepted.

Under the 2012 Act, the National Vetting Bureau will replace the Garda Central Vetting Unit. In addition to the existing check for criminal offences, the Bureau will also check for relevant ‘soft information’ ("specified information") that leads to a bona-fide belief that a person poses a threat to children or vulnerable persons).

Under the 2012 Act, organisations which ‘permit or arrange work or activities a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to or contact with children or vulnerable persons will not be permitted to do so without vetting’. This applies to any work, organisation, facility or activities … cultural, recreational, leisure, social or physical …. paid or unpaid … except in very limited circumstances. Under Section 12(1), employers will have to obtain a vetting disclosure before starting a new employee. Employees in place on the date of commencement will not be required to undergo retrospective vetting. Failure to comply with the Act will be a criminal offence.

The Act provides that a vetting disclosure may be obtained via a registered organisation (“relevant organisation”). Create will continue to act as a relevant organisation for arts and cultural purposes ‘represent a group or body of persons that undertakes relevant work or activities’ for the purpose of garda vetting. The Vetting Unit has invited Create to be among the first to introduce an e-Vetting system which will automate the process, speed up processing times and eliminate much of the paperwork.

To support e-Vetting, Create will be introducing a new agreement for service users in 2015. If you already use our service, we will contact you about the changes. If you want to know more about our garda vetting service, click here.