Police Vetting of Contractors

Police Vetting of Contractors

Although the Catholic Education Office undertakes the management of construction projects at Diocesan Catholic Schools, on behalf of the Proprietor, police vetting of persons entering school sites is a responsibility of Boards of Trustees and cannot be delegated under the legislation.

The Education Standards Act 2001 (www.minedu.govt.nz) states that every new and existing non-teaching member of staff must be vetted through the New Zealand Teachers Council (www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz). In this context it is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to apply to the New Zealand Teachers Council for a police vet of all contractors and their employees who regularly work at the school during school hours. This requirement extends to construction contractors, who will be there for a reasonable period of time, rather than the odd tradesperson that visits the school irregularly during the year.

The names of individual contractors, contractor's employees and subcontractors who will be engaged on site, must be submitted to the Teachers' Council for a police vet before on-site construction commences. Any information received from a negative police vet is confidential to the Board and the contractor. Clearance will not be given if the offence is a serious one, which would pose a risk to student safety.

Although this process might raise barriers for some contractors seeking work on school sites, it is a legal requirement and must be implemented.

The Catholic Education Office has instructed WSP (as project managers for diocesan capital works projects) of the requirement to vet contractors and a copy of the NZ Teachers Council non-teaching police vet application form and guidance notes will be included in tender documents so that all contractors are aware of this requirement at time of tendering. The project manager will provide to the Board of Trustees the list of contracting staff (once tenders have been awarded) and then the Board of Trustees is to arrange for the vetting of those staff, and advise WSPof the result. Clearances of personnel are to be received prior to commencement of the work.

For all capital works in the diocesan five-year capital works programme the charge of $10 per vet by the NZ Teachers Council will be met by the Catholic Education Office, on behalf of the Proprietor.

Other contractors that the school employs for regular maintenance such as grass mowing contractors also need to be vetted - the police vetting of such contractors is the responsibility of each individual Board of Trustees.