Recruitment and Selection of Staff
An important element in promoting the welfare and protection of children is an appropriate human resource management policy relating to the recruitment and selection of staff and volunteers in an organisation providing services to children.
It is essential that childcare providers take all reasonable steps to ensure that only suitable persons are recruited to work within their service.
A proper selection process is one of the most effective means of evaluating an applicant’s suitability and may, in itself, act as a deterrent to potential abusers.
Garda Vetting as a Requirement
A protection measure that must be availed of by a childcare provider under the 2006 Revised Pre-school Regulations is Garda Vetting. These regulations state the following under Part II, Section 8 (2):
“A person carrying on a pre-school service shall ensure appropriate vetting of all staff, students and volunteers who have access to a child:
(a) by reference to past employer references in particular the most recent employer reference, in respect of all staff, and
(b) by reference from reputable sources, in respect of all students and volunteers, and
(c) by acquiring Garda vetting from An Garda Siochana when An Garda Siochana have set down procedures to make such vetting available, and
(d) in circumstances where Garda vetting is not available for staff, students and volunteers who have lived outside the jurisdiction, by ensuring that these persons provide necessary police vetting from other police authorities.
Section 8(3) Such vetting procedures shall be carried out prior to any person being appointed or assigned or being allowed access to a child in the pre-school service.”
It is important to remember that Garda Vetting is only one part of good recruitment practice.
Employers should continue to check at least two references prior to the final recruitment stage.