GAA Safeguarding

Fáilte Romhat – Welcome to Armagh Safeguarding site where you can access the resources and information you need to ensure that your club creates and maintains the safest possible environment in which our children and young people can participate in our Gaelic Games and Activities.

The Association and its sister organisations launched (April 2018) an online version of Code of Behaviour (Underage), the joint Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport. This Code has been agreed between the GAA, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association, the Camogie Association, GAA Handball Ireland and the Rounders Council of Ireland.

The Code of Behaviour replaces all previous Codes and is a mandatory Code of Best Practice for all Gaelic Games Associations in our work with underage players. It is a comprehensive good practice guidance publication and we are anxious that as many players, coaches, parents and other Club personnel have immediate access to its contents.

The Gaelic Athletic Association is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all young people who wish to participate in our Gaelic Games and activities. We will take all practicable steps to protect them from discernable forms of abuse – from harm, discrimination or degrading treatment and shall respect their rights, wishes and feelings.

In order to comply with legislation in the 6 Counties and the rules of the Association, all persons working with children or young people in a voluntary or paid capacity, must be vetted prior to commencing their role. Those who are involved in the management of individuals appointed to work with children or young people in your club must also be vetted.

AccessNI carries out vetting for individuals in clubs in Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone, where they return criminal history information on the applicant. This enables Ulster GAA to make more informed recruitment decisions in relation to the suitability of the applicant for the role. Ulster GAA process applications for vetting checks free of charge, for our Volunteers at a clubs request.

We remind all clubs that they should not permit anyone to work with their children or young people in the Club until they have been suitably vetted and approved for their role. The simple process is as follows:

  1. Applicant fills out the Online Application Form
  2. Club Officers signs ID Document Copies and forwards same to Ulster GAA
  3. Ulster GAA approve the form and the ID and send to Access NI
  4. Access NI Process the form and issue the Disclosure Certificate directly to the applicant
  5. Ulster GAA write to the applicant to confirm their vetting acceptance
  6. If there is information on your Certificate, Ulster GAA will write out to you requesting sight of the certificate in hard copy in its original form, it is vital that you send this on as soon as possible.
  7. Ulster GAA risk assess all Enhanced Disclosure Certificates that contain information, where there are areas of concern, we will contact the applicant directly and meet with them to discuss before any decision with regard to their suitability for the position applied is made.
  8. Where required, Ulster GAA will meet with club officers to discuss any areas of concern.

Applicants have the right to appeal any decision made by Ulster GAA in relation to their suitability for the position applied.

Please read the information below to assist you in filling out the Access NI Application Form:

Ulster Council Terms and Conditions 

All clubs must agree to abide by these terms and conditions before checks can be carried out on their behalf.  The club chairperson and secretary sign these along with the nominated officer. NB When there has been a change in personnel in any one of these three positions a new form must be submitted asap.

Applicant Cover Form and 6 digit PIN number 

All applicants must forward the completed cover form along with their signed copies of ID to Ulster GAA.

The template for clubs/counties returning applications for checks

The nominated officer/chairperson/secretary is required to sign off on the original identity documents and then attach photocopies to the ID cover form and send to us. NB we do not require the original ID documents.

Acceptable forms of identity documents can be found (HERE***)

E-Application Applicant Instructions 

Applicant instructions are outlined on the attached cover form with further information available in the Ulster GAA AccessNI E-Vetting Guidance Document.  Nominated Officers should ask applicants to go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/apply-for-an-enhanced-check-through-a-registered-body  to register and complete their vetting application. Once the applicant has been completed and submitted their application, please ask them to record their 10 digit case tracking reference number onto their cover form and attach copies of ID and return it to the nominated officer.  This cover form must then be forwarded to Ulster GAA via the Club Nominated Officer.

AccessNI E-Application Process Guidance 

This is a step by step guidance document with screen examples to help applicants complete the online application.  This document outlines the process on setting up a new account via the NIDirect website for new account users; how to complete the online application and; how to track their application once it has been submitted for processing.

Please note, Club Nominated Officers should also be aware that Ulster GAA cannot process any online applications without the appropriate copies of ID documents and individual cover forms.  Therefore it is vital that these are submitted to Ulster GAA within one month to allow the online application to be processed accordingly.

The GAA Social Media Policy & Guidelines were updated at the beginning of 2019. They contain some significant additions and changes; many due to the introduction of GDPR and how it impacts our use of digital and social channels. We would like to remind our Members of this updated document. It is crucial that anyone who has access to a social media channel representing a GAA Unit, or who communicates with members via digital channels or messaging apps is familiar with this document and abides by its direction.

Download: GAA Social Media Guidelines 2019

The GAA Tackling Bullying Programme is a resource developed in response to a growing awareness of the Impact of bullying on young people in society and in particular, in sport. The GAA became the country’s first sporting organisation to launch a national anti-bullying campaign with the unveiling of the GAA Tackling Bullying Programme in March 2013, and there are many clubs throughout the Association who have now benefited greatly from this initiative.

Our Games – Our Code, the Joint Code of Best Practice in Youth Sport for the GAA includes the GAA Anti- Bullying Policy Statement, which aims to adopt a whole organisational approach to addressing bullying. We are committed to implementing structures and relevant training to deal with allegations of bullying and Incidents of bullying which are regarded as serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour and shall be dealt with accordingly.

The programme consists of a two-hour training workshop suitable for Coaches, Parents, Players and other Club personnel and also includes a range of publicity materials for Clubs. This course is a fantastic resource available to all clubs, and during the Two hour workshop, participants will be equipped with tools that will enable them to identify, prevent and resolve incidents of Bullying that may occur in their clubs, including those that may occur online. This is an issue that causes many problems within our clubs and communities, and we encourage all units within the Association to be proactive in tackling bullying. This two-hour programme may be run in tandem and complimentary to any other educational and or community anti-bullying initiatives and is suitable for delivery at both adult and under age levels.

Through the adoption of a whole organisational approach to tackling incidents of Bullying within the GAA, it is hoped that we can create a culture wherein it is ‘ok to tell’ when bullying is taking place, and wherein issues that are reported are dealt with accordingly.

Ulster GAA is encouraging all clubs with youth members to formally adopt the GAA Anti-Bullying policy at the Club Executive, and make use of GAA Tackling Bullying posters and resources to promote anti-bullying messages amongst their participants, and avail of our GAA Tackling Bullying Workshop.

For more information or to organise a workshop in your area or club, please contact bernie.fox.ulster@gaa.ie Tackling Bullying Posters are also available to download from our website: www.ulster.gaa.ie

Resources:
GAA Anti-bullying policy statement
Ag dul i ngleic le bulaíocht – Gaeilge
Tackling Bullying

Armagh GAA Contacts

Safeguarding Officer: childrensofficer.armagh@gaa.ie
Designated Liaison Officer: chairperson.armagh@gaa.ie

Ulster GAA Contacts

Safeguarding Officer: bernie.fox.ulster@gaa.ie
Designated Liaison Officer: brian.mcavoy.ulster@gaa.ie

National Contacts

National Children’s Officer: nationalchildrensofficer@gaa.ie
Gearóid Ó Maoilmhichíl 00353 1 8363222


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