Please note that the Medical Council office will close at 3pm today to facilitate a staff event. The office will reopen at 9am on Monday 27th November.

Garda Vetting Requirement

The National Vetting Bureau Acts, 2012 to 2016, commenced on 25 April 2016.

An employer may be guilty of an offence if they decide to employ a medical practitioner and do not obtain a vetting disclosure regarding that practitioner from the National Vetting Bureau. It is not just employers who may be guilty of an offence. The obligation extends to the following situations:

  • where a contract for services with a medical practitioner exists; 
  • to those who permit medical practitioners to carry out work or activities on their behalf; and
  • providers of any course of education, training or scheme (including an internship scheme) which involves a placement.

The offence arises where the medical practitioner is carrying out “relevant work or activities”. This means carrying out work or activities; a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of the practitioner having access to or contact with children or vulnerable persons.

It would be expected that many medical practitioners would be carrying out “relevant work or activities” and so applications must be made for a vetting disclosure.

What do you need to do if you are carrying out relevant work or activities?

  • If you are employed, contact your employer and inform them that they must submit an application for a vetting disclosure – further information below at “Can you approach the Bureau yourself and ask to be vetted?”. NOTE: Your employer needs to be registered with the National Vetting Bureau as a “relevant organisation”. 
  • If you are self-employed – see below at “What if you are self-employed and carrying out relevant work or activities?”.
  • If you do not fall into either of these categories, but do carry out work or activities a necessary and regular part of which consists mainly of you having access to or contact with children or vulnerable persons, there may be other relevant organisations that are required to submit applications for you. This includes any party that has entered into a contract for services with you or anyone who permits you to carry out relevant work or activities on their behalf.

Can you approach the Bureau yourself and ask to be vetted?

No. The vetting legislation does not provide for individuals such as medical practitioners approaching the National Vetting Bureau directly to seek a vetting disclosure for themselves. The application has to be submitted by what is referred to as a “relevant organisation” under the NVB Acts. This will assist in ensuring that the relevant organisation, such as the person’s employer, receives the vetting disclosure and can consider and take into account the information on it when assessing the suitability of the person to undertake relevant work or activities.

What if you are self-employed and carrying out relevant work or activities?

In relation to self-employed medical practitioners, a vetting disclosure is still required. In this instance, should a medical practitioner be unable to obtain a vetting disclosure through any other means, the Medical Council can facilitate self-employed medical practitioners by submitting applications on their behalf. If you are self-employed and are seeking a vetting disclosure, please contact the Medical Council by completing this form. Under Category, please select ‘Other Query’.

What if you commenced employment prior to the commencement of the National Vetting Bureau Acts on 25 April 2016?

The vetting legislation also has retrospective effect. It provides that applications for vetting disclosures for all medical practitioners who were employed before 25 April 2016 and are carrying out relevant work or activities must be submitted by 31 December 2017. If an application is not submitted by that date, an employer is guilty of an offence.

In addition, this obligation extends to parties for contracts for services with medical practitioners, and to those who permit medical practitioners to carry out relevant work or activities on their behalf.


Please note that this is guidance only. You may wish to take your own advice in relation to the National Vetting Bureau Acts, 2012 to 2016.