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UCD Office of Research Ethics

An Oifig Eitic Thaighde UCD

New Garda Vetting Requirements

The new National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016, came into effect on 29 April 2016 and make it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be Garda – vetted.

Section 2 of the act defines 'child' as:

"a person under the age of 18 years."

and ‘vulnerable person' as:

“ [...] a person, other than a child, who— 

(a) is suffering from a disorder of the mind, whether as a result of mental illness or dementia, 

(b) has an intellectual disability,

(c) is suffering from a physical impairment, whether as a result of injury, illness or age, or 

(d) has a physical disability,

which is of such a nature or degree— 

(i) as to restrict the capacity of the person to guard himself or herself against harm by another person, or

(ii) that results in the person requiring assistance with the activities of daily living including dressing, eating, walking, washing and bathing.”

Schedule 1, Part 1 of the Act stipulates that the law covers "any research work or activities (howsoever described) carried out in a university, institute of technology or other establishment at which third level education is provided where a necessary and regular part of the research work or activity involves contact with or access to children".

Researchers who as part of their research project may or will come in to direct contact with children or vulnerable groups covered by this legislation should make the necessary arrangements to be legally compliant.

The full text of the Act can be access here: