Why garda vetting is a necessary procedure
Applicants to some CAO courses are surprised to discover that they may be vetted by the gardaí before taking a place on the course.
Garda vetting is a necessary reality for some courses, although applicants to the majority of CAO's courses are not affected by the procedure.
Anyone who is offered a place on a course in the areas of medicine, health care, nursing, social work teaching or sports management and coaching will require clearance from the Garda Vetting Unit when they register.
Students on all of these courses will undertake placements that will bring them into contact in positions of trust with children and vulnerable adults. The Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) are committed to ensuring that only suitable adults are allowed to undertake these programmes.
A list of about 230 course codes can be found on CAO's website, by clicking "Garda vetting" in the left hand menu.
Q Is garda clearance necessary for all individuals being offered places on the relevant courses or is it sought for mature applicants only?
A Clearance is sought for all who are being made an offer, whether they are standard school leavers, or mature or other non-standard individuals.
The normal procedure is that when a HEI makes an offer on a relevant course, it will send that applicant a form to complete, where they must give their name, date of birth and all addresses they have lived in since their birth.
They will also be asked to disclose any convictions they may have. Failure to disclose a conviction could do them more harm than the conviction itself might have done, depending on the conviction.
Each HEI submits all the forms to the Garda Vetting Unit for clearance, and the Garda Vetting Unit returns the forms to the college when it has processed them.
CAO's website states that in some cases the HEIs may require applicants to provide more information by way of an affidavit, so an offer of a place on a course would be conditional and might be withdrawn if applicants did not meet the garda vetting requirements.