Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting


Garda Vetting (vetting) is now available through the ISA. The aim is to assist in the recruitment of suitable candidates to positions within the ISA and our affiliated Clubs, Class Associations and Training Centres.  The system has been structured in order to;

      • Protect children and vulnerable adults.
      • Identify if candidates for a position or role have convictions or have been prosecuted for crimes which may mean that
        they are unsuitable for the position.
      • Protect the rights of the candidates.
      • Protect ISA affiliated organisations.

What is vetting?

Vetting identifies if a candidate has any convictions or prosecutions.  This information may then be used in deciding if they are suitable to take up position or role within an organisation. Vetting checks are made on the Garda Central Database by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (G.C.V.U.) based in Thurles.

ISA organisations may access Garda Vetting through the ISA.  THE G.C.V.U. will not process applications made directly to them from individuals or organisations not registered with them.

Changes to Garda Vetting Requirements & Procedures

In January 2013 the Government passed the “National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012”.  This legislation will make it an offence under the act to knowingly employ / deploy someone to work with children or vulnerable adults who has not been Garda vetted.

The act has yet to be “commenced” by the Minister and so the regulations have not yet come into force.  We do not know when the act will be commenced; though understand that this will happen sometime during 2013. This may be during or before the main summer water sports season. 

In view of current delays in processing vetting applications and in order that ISA affiliated organisations are provided with a reasonable opportunity to comply with likely regulation, the ISA is issuing revised procedures now.

ISA Training Centres need to be fully aware of the implications of employing new staff or volunteers who will have more than occasional contact with children or vulnerable adults.

In order to provide a more streamlined vetting process the ISA will now make the decision as to whether any of the information provided by the Gardaí should preclude a person from working with children or vulnerable adults.  This will remove the need for your organisation to make this decision and to manage the associated personal information.

Volunteers & Staff who are not ISA Instructors or Coaches

Where a person applies for Garda vetting as part of a recruitment process for an ISA affiliated organisation the ISA will inform the applicant and the organisation of the results of the decision.

ISA Instructors & Coaches

From the 1st October 2013 all new or revalidating instructors will have been vetted by the ISA prior to their qualification being issued / re-issued and will be able to produce evidence of this.  This may lead to some delays in issuing qualifications where vetting is outstanding.

Until 1st January 2014, instructors and coaches with qualifications issued before 1st October should be vetted by the organisation for whom they will be working.

From 1st January 2014 all ISA qualified instructors and coaches will have been given the opportunity to be vetted by the ISA and will be able to produce evidence of this.  This practice should continue until their next revalidation at which time they will have been vetted by the ISA.


The current turnaround time for vetting applications is around 3 months.  While we have been assured that this will be reduced; we have seen no evidence to support this.  This timeframe needs to be borne in mind when planning a recruitment process.


It is important to remember that Garda Vetting should form only one part of the recruitment process.  Guidelines on good recruitment practices are available from the ISA.

There is also a Q&A forum on the ISA website here where you can submit any questions (and expect answers) which may also be of use to others.

Who can access vetting?

ISA vetting may be accessed by any organisation affiliated to the ISA or ISA accredited Training Centres which have met the minimum criteria laid down by the Association.  These include;

     • Acceptance of the conditions and processes laid down by the ISA.
     • The appointment of a Vetting Liaison Officer (VLO).
     • Submission of policies & procedures to be used when recruiting.

Applications may only be submitted through the Vetting Liaison Officer in an ISA affiliated / accredited organisation. Individuals may not apply for vetting for themselves or anyone else. 

Who should be vetted?

The ISA organisation needs to have a policy stating who should be vetted and when. 

As a guide, people in the following positions within ISA affiliated organisations should be vetted by the organisation as part of their recruitment process.

      • Designated Officers
      • Club / Organisation’s Children’s Officers
      • Junior Organisers
      • Senior / Chief Instructors
      • Youth Team Managers
      • Instructors / Coaches leading or working on activities or sessions where they will have substantial unsupervised
        access to children or vulnerable adults.
      • Full time “Shore Mums”.

The ISA does not consider it necessary to vet all instructors or coaches employed.

The ISA will, on its own instigation, vet;
     • Centre Principals
     • Instructor Trainers
     • Vetting Liaison Officers
     • ISA employed / appointed Youth Coaches
     • ISA staff & volunteers leading or working on activities or sessions where they will have substantial unsupervised
        access to children or vulnerable adults.
     • ISA Staff & volunteers involved in the processing of Garda Vetting Applications and associated procedures.

How is vetting carried out?

     1. The candidate fills in the Garda Vetting Form. (Forms available from the ISA).
     2. The organisations Vetting Liaison Officer checks the forms and sends them to ISA.
     3. The ISA checks and logs the forms and sends them onto Garda Vetting Unit (GVU).
     4. The GVU send ISA results of vet.
     5. The ISA send candidate the results.
     6. The ISA informs organisations submitting vetting request that the candidate has been sent the results.

What is done with the information received?

The Garda Vetting Unit informs the ISA by post of the results of each vet.  The ISA retains the original disclosure. This information is kept in a secure store within the ISA Office to which only authorised members of ISA staff have access.

The ISA will not send the results of a vetting application to anyone except the candidate.

Each application is logged on the ISA database. However no information relating to the application or disclosure is recorded other than the date it was sent onto the GCVU, the date it was received back into the ISA office and whether there were “No disclosure found” or “Disclosures found”.

Can under 18s be vetted?

Yes.  The ISA can process vetting applications over the age of 17 provided that the written consent of a parent or guardian is provided on the appropriate form.

Where can I get the relevant forms?

All of the relevant forms are available for download here.

The Sample Vetting Policy document for use in ISA affiliated organisations is also available as a Word Document from the ISA office. If required please contact

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