Improving the Garda Vetting Process For Dojo Volunteers in Ireland

untitled-design-35I’ve been quite the busy bee lately streamlining the CoderDojo Garda Vetting Process 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:

  1. 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.
  2. There is no requirement to vet by-standing parents, once off speakers, or anyone else who attends a Dojo infrequently/unpredictably.
  3. “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.  
  4. 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.

Other Questions?

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


Comments

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Sean Foley says

We are hoping to start a Dojo in Blarney. In the initial form to be submitted to The CoderDojo Foundation it asks for identification which must be original documents. What other identity docs could be sent other than driving licence or passport which people wouldn't want to send, I think, I wouldn't anyway.
We haven't set up yet so should we call our organisation Blarney CoderDojo or does it matter at this stage? Also do we put something in the Ref no. box?

Rachel Schoene says

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your comment & you have raised very good points. If you look to Step.2 of the process it says ​"Scan and send your signed Vetting Invitation Form (NVB1) and your proof of ID (Photo ID & Proof of Address dated within the last 3months) to [email protected] with the descriptive subject in the title
(e.g Joe Bloggs Vetting Application 01/02/2017).​"

By that I mean the applicant scans the ID's and attached them along with the scanned NVB1 form to the email they send me. I don't need original's. Scanned copies will do.

Regarding the Ref box, if you want to put a number in there for your own reference do, but most applicants leave it blank.

I hope this helps,

Warmest,

Rachel

Barbara Hegarty says

Hi I am just curious as to why transgender mentors need a separate vetting form and why they need to be legally recognized as the gender they wish to apply as mentor as?
The legal process is quite difficult and would exclude many people from the get go?
Do you have any feedback from the Garda vetting bureau why there is this required extra level of vetting for transgender mentors and not any others?

Thanks
Babs

Rachel Schoene says

Hi Babs,

Thanks for your comment, you have raised some really good questions. I contacted the National Vetting Bureau yesterday requesting clarity on same. I'm waiting to hear back but I will post a response here when they get back to me. I understand the need to apply via a separate form may discourage some people from applying for vetting, but we, as a registered organisation have to comply with the requirements set out by the Vetting Bureau.

Regarding feedback from the Garda vetting bureau as to why there is this required extra level of vetting for transgender mentors and not for others. It is my understanding that there is no extra level of background checking required, just a separate form. But again, I will furnish you with clarity on this as soon as the Vetting Bureau respond.

Thank you for highlighting this,

Warmest,

Rachel

Joe Molloy says

What is the position with mentors and volunteers who already have a current verifiable vetting certificate? Do they need to apply for each Dojo they support?

I my case I just forward the the online verification link and all my details including the certificate can be viewed and stored by the Dojo Champion.

Dublin City Council are singular in their insistence upon handling their own vetting applications. Other sporting and recreational organisations accept a current certificate once its time frame covers the proposed Dojo schedule of events.

It may be worth liaising with their HR department in Dublin City Council on this matter.

bob flynn says

Hi,

Is the evetting form ( http://coderdojodl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/100-point-eVetting-process.pdf) a thing of the past ? Why ? If this is the current process, I want to simply link to

https://coderdojo.com/news/2017/02/07/improving-the-garda-vetting-process-for-dojo-volunteers-in-ireland/

Marie Byrne says

Just wondering how the champion of a Dojo confirms a potential mentor is vetted and a disclosure has been received by CDF? Do we contact you directly Rachel? Some of the mentors may assume we get this info directly?
Many Thanks

Maeve Corr says

Hi

I am looking to establish a dojo in my childs school.

Can you please advise:
1. Who processes the vetting & what organisation is responsible?
2. If someone is vetted for another organisation should they be revetted?

Thanks
Maeve

Brian Browne says

The revised application process seems to be much easier, at least up the point of sending the initial email. There's much less work for the Dojo champion, other than chasing the rest of the local team to get their applications in! :-)

But I sent scans of my own NVB1, ID and proof of address in 3 days ago and have heard nothing since? I'm waiting for a link to the second part of the application. Sorry if I seem impatient, I'm just keen to get this done and it would be useful to be able to talk other people through the process having experienced it myself.

Thanks!