Child Protection Awareness

Child Protection Awareness

As part of the basic GAA Approved Foundation/Award 1 course each person must complete a “Child Protection Awareness Workshop” before they receive certification and its up to the club to provide this workshop for participants.

Code of Ethics Basic Awareness/Child Protection Workshop (3 hrs)

This workshop is for the benefit of everyone involved in children’s sport (children, parents/guardians, sports leaders’, etc). It provides introductory information on codes of conduct, bullying, recruitment, etc. as well as child protection guidelines.

By following the principles, policy and practical guidelines contained in the Code, sports leaders are playing their part in providing a safe and enjoyable environment in which children can learn and thrive.

A person appointed to the Club Children’s Officer position in a club must have completed the Child Welfare & Protection Basic Awareness workshop. This course will help the Club Children’s Officer to carry out the function of their role in the club and support the implementation of best practice in the club.

G.A.A. Garda Vetting

The Introduction of Garda Vetting at National and Local level by An Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (GAA). Cumann Lúthchleas Gael is pleased to confirm the commencement of Garda Vetting in the Association as we promote best practice in the recruitment and selection of persons to work with children in the GAA.

Garda Vetting, is but one part of the overall recommended GAA recruitment and selection procedures for those who on our behalf work in areas of responsibility with children/young people and vulnerable adults, or who may do at a later stage. Garda vetting, which is the pre-checking of an applicant’s background for criminal convictions or prosecutions is recommended by the Irish Sports Council, by Sports NI in Northern Ireland and as part of Children First – the National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.  Vetting and Police checks are utilised by many sports organisations and by others for a number of years

The GAA and Vetting

It is no longer possible or permissible for an individual to have a vetting application processed for themselves.  Vetting applications will only be accepted from organisations that have been so recognised by the Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU).  The GAA is an organisation recognised by the GCVU to carry out vetting on behalf of our members and a number of Authorised Signatories have been selected by the GAA to fulfill this role.

The GAA has agreed to the implementation of vetting for all persons who on behalf of the Association work in any capacity with children and young people in the delivery of our games or activites.  In effect this means that any person working on behalf of the Association or on behalf of any of our clubs with people under the age of 18 years of age will be required to be vetted.

How can you avail of vetting in the GAA?

Step 1: A vetting applicant, i.e. an under age coach, mentor, manager etc. will receive a GAA Vetting Application Form from the Club’s Children’s Officer or from a nominated person in their club. This form has to be completed in full by the applicant and collected locally (in the club) or forwarded directly to a nominated person who will collate these forms at County level.

Step 2:Forms are forwarded to a County Board nominated person who will only check forms for accuracy and will return incorrectly completed forms to applicants. The County Board nominated person will also record the name and address of each applicant on a ‘batch form’ and send this electronically to the National Children’s Officer in Croke Park.

Step 3:  All forms are then sent by secure post to the National Children’s Officer, GAA, Croke Park, Dublin 3.  All forms must be sent to the National Children’s Officer (NCO) in Croke Park for processing and not to An Garda Síochána.

The NCO will then process all correctly completed forms with the GCVU. Processed forms will on their return contain a statement that there are no convictions recorded against the individual in the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere, or a statement of all convictions and/or prosecutions, successful or not, pending or completed, in the State or elsewhere as the case may be.  In most instances it is only convictions and/or prosecutions of a most serious nature and particularly against children/minors that MAY deem a person unsuitable to work with children in the GAA.

Please note that a stated conviction or unsuccessful prosecution MAY have NO bearing whatsoever on the acceptance of an individual in the Association and it is recommend that all cases be treated individually and confidentially and that they be assessed as per the requirements of the post/role and the work that it entails.

Step 4: Following the processing of the vetting form it is the GAA National Children’s Officer who will inform each applicant individually by letter if their application is or is not being recommended for acceptance.

Step 5: If the recommendation is positive the applicant will receive a letter confirming this and requesting them to furnish their club with the letter of acceptance.

Step 6: If the recommendation is negative and if the applicant is not being recommended for acceptance a letter informing them of this decision will be sent to them by the GAA National Children’s Officer.  The applicant will be afforded an opportunity to appeal this decision within 14 days and the process of appeal will be outlined to the applicant.  A specially appointed Appeals Group will hear this appeal and will issue their findings directly to the applicant.

Step 7: If the Appeals Committee recommends acceptance of the vetting application Step 5 comes into operation.

Step 8: If the Appeals Committee upholds the recommendation of rejection the applicant and their club will be duly informed. Over a period of time all persons who on behalf of the GAA work in any capacity with children/young people and vulnerable adults will have furnished their club with a Garda Vetting letter of acceptance.  The absence of such a letter will deem a person ineligible to work in such a capacity.

The GAA central data base will retain the vetting application details. Clubs will be issued with a list of persons who receive the Garda Vetting ‘letter of acceptance’ from the National Childrens Officer.

For more information on Child Protection Awareness Workshops and Garda Vetting please Contact
Oifigeach Leanaí (Children’s Officer)
Noel O’Callaghan
086 2594421


Useful Downloads

NEW GAA Garda Vetting Form

GAA Code of Behaviour

Download Child Welfare Guidelines