Improving the Garda Vetting Process For Dojo Volunteers in Ireland
As some of you may know, pre 2017 CoderDojo vetting applications were processed via the National Youth Council of Ireland. Based on the information we had at the time, a process was distributed, that our community found very time consuming and complicated. As a result applicants experienced significant delays.
Improving the Process
Following feedback from the community I sought to improve the vetting process. I applied to register CoderDojo as a “relevant organisation” with the National Vetting Bureau, on January the 24th, having satisfied a strict set of criteria, The CoderDojo Foundation was granted this status operating under the Garda Vetting Bureau Department. In the same week I qualified as a Garda Vetting Liaison Officer for CoderDojo!
Having achieved these milestones I set to work streamlining the CoderDojo vetting process.
Please see the CoderDojo Garda Vetting Process Outline For Champions here.
Please see the CoderDojo Garda Vetting Process For Volunteers, which can downloaded, printed and shared at your Dojo here.
*If you have applied in 2016/2017 and have not received a vetting disclosure yet please re-apply via the process above. The turnaround time for correct applications is 3-5 days.
*Delays can be expected around peak times such as August, September (when Dojo’s normally resume in Ireland).
4 things I learned:
- ONLY submit applications for Champions and volunteers/mentors who commit to helping out at a Dojo frequently. The Champion should have a list of regular committed volunteers & mentors at their Dojo. Anyone who signs up to regularly work with children/young people must be garda vetted.
- There is no requirement to vet by-standing parents, once off speakers, or anyone else who attends a Dojo infrequently/unpredictably.
- “Relevant Work” as pertaining to CoderDojo volunteers means: Any work or activity which is carried out by a person, a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the person having access to, or contact with children or vulnerable persons. UNLESS the person is in a position where they will be frequently engaging with a child/children at a Dojo & forming some kind of relationship via “relevant work” they do not need to be vetted.
- Champions/Dojos should not blanket vet/over vet. Those that do could be liable by way of asking for personal information from someone for no good reason.
The most important thing that I received clarity on while attending Liaison Person Training was to encourage Champions to use common sense, and their own intuition when vetting. Ie The volunteer offering to carry hardware, set up the room, pour teas & coffee’s for parents or do any other “work” that is not classed as “relevant work” involving children does not need to be vetted.
Answers to any other FAQ’s can be found here: https://vetting.garda.ie/Help/FAQ
- If a person has come from another county & wants to help out at a Dojo regularly with the intention of helping children & engaging in regular “relevant” work a Champion must ask for their Vetting Documentation from their previous county. If the volunteer does not have any records, the Champion can request an international search and delay vetting them for 6 months on the basis that they have no previous vetting in Ireland.
- If you wish to vet a volunteer over 16 but less than 18 years of age please email [email protected]
- If you wish to vet a volunteer who is transgender please contact the Garda Vetting Bureau for relevant forms ([email protected]) NB: Volunteers who are transgender must be legally recognised as the gender they wish to apply as.
For more on background checking volunteers in Ireland see here