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Waterford Sports Partnership, Ireland.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Garda Vetting for Sports Clubs

What clubs and volunteers need to know and do now! In 2013, new legislation regarding Garda Vetting will come into force (National Vetting Bureau Act 2012). Anyone who has on-going regular contact with children, in the field of leisure or sport (paid or voluntary), other than those who assist occasionally or in the event of a family or personal relationship, must be vetted. 
Please Note: * Child means a person under the age of 18 years. It is up to clubs to assess whether a person’s contact is ‘occasional’ or not.  *Occasional Contact is “now and then” or a once off event, such as a sports day (Dept. of  Justice)

What this means for clubs? (commencement date to be announced)
Volunteers/Coaches must be vetted before volunteering or becoming involved with your organisation
Except where an individual (not a volunteer) assists on an occasional (once off) basis e.g. Parent/sibling assists in an emergency Or “activities undertaken in the course of a personal relationship” e.g. Parents arrange lifts to training between themselves for their children. The club cannot ask parents to collect other children unless they are Garda Vetted. 

When the legislation is introduced:
  • It will be illegal for an individual to start working with children or vulnerable adults before successfully completing the Garda Vetting process. Organisation/club is liable to prosecution and a fine if found guilty
  • The individual ‘coach’ or ‘volunteer’ is liable to prosecution and a fine if they knowingly avoid vetting and continue to coach children (up to 18yrs)
  • Individuals who are registered with a Club and have been vetted successfully prior to the commencement of the legislation are eligible to continue work within the club.
  • Start the Garda Vetting process now with your National Governing Body (NGB) for all current and new volunteers.
  • Don’t wait until the legislation commencement date is announced.  Get ready.
  • Clubs should look at their current recruitment policies and procedures to ensure that they are properly managed, enforced and comply with the new legislation.
  • Club members involved in club teams should attend Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport workshops with their NGB or Waterford Sports Partnership.
  • Clubs should have a properly trained Children’s Officer. Training is available through your NGB or Waterford Sports Partnership.
  • Current staff and volunteers can continue their role within the club while their application is being processed however on commencement of legislation new staff and volunteers must successfully complete the Garda Vetting process before having any involvement with children or vulnerable adults within a club.
  • Once legislation is introduced, volunteers may face a lengthy period before their application is fully processed. During this period they cannot have access to vulnerable adults and children as it will be illegal to do so.
  • Clubs not affiliated to a National Governing Body can apply to be Garda Vetted through the Federation of Irish Sports. Contact Conn/Sarah on 01 6251155.
If you have any queries in relation to the above please contact
Peter Jones on (058) 21191 or Pauline Cunningham on (051) 849855.
Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.  Tel: 058 21190
Regional Sports Centre, Cork Road, Waterford.  Tel: 051 849855
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