The protection of children and vulnerable adults in our sport has been and remains a priority of the highest order. TTU is committed to putting appropriate structures in place to ensure compliance is achieved with the terms of the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport. The formulation of a national vetting policy is a significant step in this regard.
TTU has put in place a process where members of the TTU and its affiliated clubs, who work as volunteer staff members or as professional staff members on a regular basis with Children or Vulnerable Adults would be vetted. TTU have divided this project with three distinct phases:
- Members of the Executive to be vetted where necessary
- Full-time and part-time staff of the TTU to be vetted
- TTU coaches to be vetted
- Members of committees of TTU to be vetted where necessary
- Umpires to be vetted
Club and Coaches
- Members and coaches of table tennis clubs within Ulster who have regular dealings with Children or Vulnerable adults to be vetted. This will be the responsibility of the clubs who may use the services of TTU.
- TTU is committed to equal opportunity for all applicants including those with criminal convictions. Information about criminal convictions is requested to assist the selection process and will be taken into account only when the conviction is considered relevant to the position being sought. Any disclosure will be seen in the context of the criteria for the role/ position, the nature of the offence and the responsibilities for the care of existing members and employees.
- TTU is registered with Access NI, and will be responsible for members registered there.
- In the Republic of Ireland, the ITTA is registered with the Garda Vetting Unit, and will be responsible for members registered there.
- Checks with both Access NI and the Garda Vetting Unit are only used as part of overall recruitment policy and should never be relied upon to screen out all abusers. They are not a foolproof guarantee of suitability.
- It is the responsibility of TTU to ensure that those who are working and/or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults are appropriately vetted. TTU will set up a Case Management Panel comprising of the President, Chairman and Secretary which will approve appointments and act as a support to the Child Protection Officer.
- Vetting procedures are somewhat different in both jurisdictions, but the procedures will be co-ordinated. See Appendix A for Access NI and Appendix B for Garda Vetting Procedures.
- All individuals in the Republic of Ireland may undergo re-vetting at regular intervals when requested. NI individuals will automatically come under the AccessNI scheme (see N.I. vetting procedures) where new information will be passed to TTU, and TTU will pass information back.
N.I Vetting Procedures for Club Coaches/Volunteers
Further to a meeting with the NSPCC, the following method for Clubs to have their coaches and volunteers vetted by Access NI (via Table Tennis Ulster) is recommended.
It is the responsibility of the Chairperson of each club to ensure that those “working” and/or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults are recruited appropriately and part of this process includes having them vetted. As TTU is registered as a voluntary organisation there is no cost to coaches/volunteers for having this vetting check carried out.
For the following procedures, all required documents are attached.
- Club Chair requests/advertise for coaches and/or volunteers
- Coach/volunteer completes attached forms allowing a criminal record check to be completed and offers 2 persons willing to act as referees
- Chair requests references and keeps all documentation
- Coach/volunteer completes Access NI Enhanced Check vetting form on line.
- AccessNI will then forward the completed form on line to TTU Lead Signatory to check and sign.
- TTU Lead Signatory submits form to Access NI for progressing.
- Individual applicant will receive a disclosure certificate directly from Access NI
- TTU Lead Signatory / Child Protection Officer no longer receive a copy of the disclosure certificate from Access NI. They must check the status / result of the application on line via their registered body homepage. Once the CPO confirms that a disclosure certificate has been issued they will respond in the following ways:
- If the check has no information returned or non-relevant information returned – CPO will inform Club Chair
- If the check reveals a relevant conviction – CPO will ensure that the information is anonymous and will discuss with the case management group what suitable action to take.
9. It is recommended that all AccessNI enhanced checks are renewed every three years.
Garda Vetting Procedures
The ITTA has one Authorised Signatory ( AS ) — Derek Hanley ( NCO )
Appointed and registered with Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU).
Acts as liaison between Garda Central Vetting Unit and the ITTA.
Is responsible for the distribution of all Vetting Application Forms, submissions to and information received from the Unit.
Responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the information received from both the individual and the Unit.
2. Members who require to be vetted are those who work on a regular basis with children and vulnerable adults and those members who are on committees where decisions are made that impact on children and vulnerable adults.
3. The individual completes Garda Vetting Application Form and returns it to the relevant Chair.
4. The Garda Vetting Application Form is required to be fully completed; where a section does not apply, the applicant should indicate as such. No time gaps can be left in the dates of residency at the declared addresses. The form must be signed and dated by the applicant.
5. Confirmation of an individual’s identity must be verified by the relevant Chair. Identity can be confirmed by a driving licence (with photograph), a passport or a recent utility bill showing the applicant’s correct name and address.
6. Chair returns Garda Vetting application form to the ITTA Authorised Signatory (AS).
7. AS forwards form to Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU).
8. AS receives confidential disclosures report from Garda Central Vetting Unit (GCVU).
9. AS will respond to the disclosures report in the following ways:
If the check has no information returned the AS will inform the relevant Chair or the individual directly, if appropriate.
If a check reveals a relevant conviction or other relevant data then the AS will inform the applicant in person, and in private, about the nature of the disclosure and the applicant is given an opportunity – 14 days – to respond.
Where the applicant disputes the nature of the data disclosed then the applicant must put the reasons for this in writing to the AS. The matter is then referred back for re-checking to the Garda Central Vetting Unit.
Where the disclosure is accepted by the applicant or deemed valid on re-checking by the GCVU, then the data, presented anonymously, is referred to the Vetting Disclosure Decision-Making Committee for decision on the most suitable course of action to be taken.
The AS then informs the applicant and the relevant Chair of the decision made with regard to the data disclosed on the Vetting Application Form.
10. The ITTA will not accept Vetting Forms obtained from other bodies and the individual will need to complete a Vetting Application Form and this will be processed through the ITTA.
11. All the vetting forms will be held safely and confidentially and will be kept for a period of 7 years after the person has left the ITTA. All information will be kept in a secure cabinet.
12. All communications will keep confidentiality uppermost in mind and non-secure email will not be used with any identifying information.
13. Any unauthorized dissemination of information will be a severe breach of this policy and will be subject to the disciplinary procedures of the ITTA.
14. Vetting of persons between the age of 16 years and 18 years will be considered for positions in which they will have substantial unsupervised access to children and/or vulnerable adults. Also where vetting is being sought the written consent of a parent or guardian of the said person must be obtained.