11. I am applying for registration and I have lived overseas for more than three years (36 months) after the age of 18. Does vetting cover overseas addresses?

The National Vetting Bureau currently undertakes vetting on addresses in Ireland and Northern Ireland only. As you are applying for registration and have lived overseas after the age of 18 for a cumulative period of three years (36 months) you must provide a certified copy of police clearance for each country in which you have resided. Certificates must cover the entire period of residence in each country.

Overseas documentation requirements

Registered teachers are not required to provide overseas police clearance certificates as part of the vetting process.

12. What does specified (soft) information mean?

Specified information means information concerning a finding or allegation of harm to another person, which has been recorded by the National Vetting Bureau following an investigation by An Garda Síochána, TUSLA (the Child and Family Agency), the HSE or another specified organisation. The process for the disclosure of specified information by the National Vetting Bureau to the Teaching Council for registration purposes and the school employer for employment purposes is set out in the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016. The Chief Bureau Officer must be satisfied that the disclosure is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances in order to protect children and vulnerable adults.

The vetting applicant is informed by the National Vetting Bureau of the intention to disclose specified information and has the right to appeal the disclosure to the National Vetting Bureau in accordance with legislative procedures.  

13. What is the Teaching Council's secure online vetting facility (Digitary)?

 The Teaching Council will issue your vetting disclosure (vetting result) through a secure online portal provided by a company called Digitary. Digitary is a web-based solution that enables institutions to securely issue official documents online.

Teachers can access their vetting result via a secure web portal. From there, they can share the vetting result online with third parties in a controlled and audited manner. The third parties (e.g., the employer), can authenticate shared documents with the permission of the document owner, i.e., the teacher. This facility enables the Teaching Council to:-

  • issue secure, authentic electronic documents
  • provide a secure electronic platform to allow you to share your vetting result with third parties and
  • have 24/7 access to your vetting result.

The online solution is a highly secure, interoperable and extensible electronic document solution. It uses XML Advanced Electronic Signatures (XAdES) and FIPS 140-3 level 3 certified cryptographic tokens to produce Qualified Electronic Signatures under the EU Digital Signature Directive 1999/EC/93.

Further information on the online solution is available here

14. Can I refuse to be vetted?

At present you must be vetted in the following circumstances:-

When applying for registration with the Teaching Council or;

taking up employment in a school in which you have not previously been employed.

Registered teachers who have never previously been vetted through the Teaching Council must apply for vetting as part of their registration renewal process when requested to do so by the Council. Only teachers who have a current registration status with the Teaching Council are eligible to receive a salary paid by the State. Further information on Retrospective Vetting is available here.

15. Is there a fee for vetting?

There is no fee for vetting.

16. Do I have to disclose all convictions?

Where an application for a vetting disclosure is being submitted to the Bureau you are required to provide details of all convictions as pat of the application, except for convictions to which section 14A of the NVB Acts applies. More information can be found here. If you are unsure of your standing in relation to a particular offence please seek the appropriate legal advice.

17. On whose behalf does the Teaching Council apply for vetting?

When an individual is seeking vetting for the purposes of registration, the Council applies for vetting on its own behalf with the consent of the teacher/applicant.

If an individual is seeking vetting for employment purposes the Teaching Council applies for vetting in its role as a ‘relevant organisation’ on behalf of a recognised school/employer with the consent of the teacher for the purposes of the vetting procedures under the National Vetting Bureau Act. This means that the Council must make the vetting disclosure available to the school/employer on request.

18. What are the steps involved in the evidence of character process?

If a Trace Disclosure is received by the Teaching Council from the National Vetting Bureau, then the registered teacher concerned may be subject to the Council's Evidence of Character Process under Section 33 of the Teaching Council Act 2001-2015.

1. The teacher is informed by letter that their case is being put forward for consideration by the Evidence of Character Panel and further information in the form of a personal account of the circumstances pertaining to the disclosure as well as character and employment references are requested from the teacher by the Panel. The Panel may seek additional information at their discretion.

2. When the Panel is satisfied that it has sufficient information, the Panel makes a decision on the teacher's case. The Panel can decide to grant registration, grant registration subject to a condition or refuse to grant registration. The teacher is advised of the Panel’s decision in writing within 21 days of the decision.

3. If the Panel refuses to grant registration or grants registration subject to a condition, the teacher can appeal and request a Review of Decision and Oral hearing. On receipt of the Panel’s decision, the Registration Committee Review Group considers the report of the Panel, any further submissions from the teacher and the case presented at the Oral hearing.

4. If the Registration Committee Group refuses registration or allows registration with conditions, the teacher may appeal to the High Court within 21 days of the date of service of a notice of the Council’s decision. The High Court can confirm/vary/annul the Council’s decision.

5. The Council may, having regard to the information contained in the vetting disclosure of a registered teacher where it is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, apply to the High Court under section 47 for an order that during the period specified in the order, his/her registration shall be suspended.