As part of the registration process, the Teaching Council considers evidence of character. Each applicant for registration must:
1. Have their Character Reference form certified by an appropriately qualified person
2. Undergo a process of Garda vetting
In the case of applicants who have lived outside of Ireland or Northern Ireland for three years or more, after the age of 18, an original Police Clearance Certificate from the jurisdiction(s) in which s/he lived, is also required.
Character Reference form
The person certifying the applicant’s Character Reference form will typically be one of the following: a school principal or chairperson of a Board of Management of a school; a course leader or Head of Education or Faculty of the teacher education programme completed by the applicant; or a teacher currently registered with the Teaching Council. The person signing the form should know the applicant for at least one academic year within the past five years. The signature must be witnessed by a third party.
The Teaching Council requires that the applicant be vetted by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU). This means that the Council:
1. Receives and checks the completed Garda vetting application forms.
2. Forwards the application form to the GCVU.
3. Receives Garda vetting results from the GCVU.
4. Prepares a vetting letter for each applicant giving the result of the vetting process.
This eliminates the need for schools to approach the GCVU directly to request the vetting of teachers.
The Role of School Authorities
The relevant school authority (Board of Management or VEC as appropriate) must ensure that any proposed new appointee who may have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults is vetted. This should be sought only if the person is being offered a job. Schools must request prospective teachers to present the vetting letter from the Teaching Council, before making a formal offer of appointment.
Disclosure of Convictions
Where a conviction is disclosed, the Council must decide on its relevance to the teacher’s suitability for registration. The Council's Evidence of Character Panel can assess disclosures of convictions and has approved guidelines to assist it in its consideration of convictions and prosecutions pending.
The Garda Central Vetting Unit's vetting process currently takes between 4 to 6 weeks.
Read the guidelines on the Garda vetting application process here.
It is important that the Garda Vetting Application Form is completed fully and accurately. Forms showing errors or omissions will be returned to the applicant for clarification, resulting in a delay in the Garda vetting procedure. See a sample of a correctly completed Garda vetting application form here.
For security reasons the Garda vetting application form cannot be downloaded. To obtain a copy, please contact the Vetting section of the Teaching Council.