Gardaí prepared for extra vetting applications ahead of schools reopening

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An Garda Siochana bage

The Garda National Vetting Bureau (GNVB) has said it has “no concerns” about managing to process any extra demand ahead of Limerick schools reopening in September.

Extra teachers will be needed to meet increased teacher student ratios under Coronavirus reopening regulations, however Gardaí told the Limerick Post it expects it will rise to the challenge of processing any new additional vetting applications.

A Garda spokesman said, “The Garda National Vetting Bureau (GNVB) has no concerns about our capacity to meet any expected extra demand in vetting for the schools sector within our turnaround times capacity.”

There are 163 personnel working at the GNVB, “which satisfies current and medium term op projected requirements”, the spokesman said.

E-Vetting has all but replaced the Garda’s old paper vetting system.

“The average processing times for vetting of e-applications has been five working days for 85% of applications received. Our current turnaround time is approximately three to four working days with most applications being returned in the same working day on numerous occasions to date in 2020,” Gardaí said.

“Currently, 97% of relevant organisations use the e-Vetting system. The remaining 3% are a myriad of small organisations who submit low numbers of vetting applications. Paper applications accounted for only .1% of the total number of applications processed by the GNVB in 2019,” a spokesman added.

The online system, which “can be accessed from 209 countries worldwide” will be particularly beneficial to teachers returning to Limerick from abroad, or foreign teachers to the mid west region, who wish to offer their services.

“The feedback from users of the e-Vetting system is excellent. It has enabled relevant organisations to electronically submit, check and securely retrieve Vetting Disclosures, and has also enabled individuals who are undergoing vetting to complete, submit and track the status of their personal vetting request.“

Gardai said the e-Vetting system has “simplified the process” while “increasing efficiency in the vetting process”.

Gardai confirmed there was “no backlog for Paper or E-Vetting Applications” and that the GNVB had received just “12 paper Vetting Applications to date in 2020”.

“The average turnaround time for paper applications is four weeks”.