Volunteers and Safeguarding

Mountaineering Ireland's programs and initiatives are facilitated by an amazing group of experienced, qualified and committed volunteers. 
From belaying a beginner climber at a youth climbing club to mentoring an alpine novice on a rocky ridge, volunteers can help develop the next generation of climbers and mountaineers.
If you would like to become a volunteer or are in a club with youth members please read through the information below.
Mountaineering Ireland follows safe recruitment procedures in the case of all volunteers working with youth. 

Child Safeguarding Statement

Mountaineering Ireland provides a range of mountaineering activities and opportunities for young people through participation in clubs, events and squads.

Mountaineering Ireland is committed to safeguarding children. In line with our Safeguarding Policies and Procedures (2015) our staff and volunteers, who are working with our young people, throughout the organisation, seek to create a safe environment for young people to grow and develop. 

Our clubs will also support and undertake a written Risk Assessment document that indicates the areas of potential risk of harm, the likelihood of the risk occurring, and gives the required policy, guidance or process documents require to alleviate these risks.  

The list of risks identified are contained in the following categories: Club and Coaching Practices; Complaints & Discipline; Reporting Procedures; Use of Facilities; Recruitment; Communications; and General Risk of Harm.

The Risk Assessment was undertaken on 5th March 2018. By the National Children’s Officer and the Chief Executive Officer. 

Our Child Safeguarding Statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015, the Children First: National Guidance, and Tusla’s Child Safeguarding: A Guide for Policy, Procedure and Practice and the Children (NI) Order 1995 and subsequent Guidance.

In addition to our Risk Assessment document described above, there are further procedures that support our intention to safeguard children while they are availing of our activities.

Mountaineering Ireland has the following procedures in place as part of our Safeguarding Policies:

  • Procedures for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct by staff or volunteers against a child availing of our activities.
  • Procedures for the safe recruitment of staff and volunteers to work with children in our activities.
  • Procedures for access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
  • Procedure for reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities. 

The Mandated/Relevant Person for Mountaineering Ireland is Murrough McDonagh, our CEO. 

We recognise that implementation is an ongoing process. Mountaineering Ireland is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm while availing of our activities.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed on 10th January 2020 

Safeguarding Process

Mountaineering Ireland follows safe recruitment procedures in the case of all volunteers working with children and vulnerable adults.

To view the Mountaineering Ireland Safeguarding Policy, please click hereYou can also view the Summary Sheet for the updated Safeguarding Policy here.

The process ensure that all volunteers provide referees to vouch for their character and credentials, and undergo a background check. 

1. Complete the Mountaineering Ireland Volunteer/Provider Application Form and return to Mountaineering Ireland at the relevant address below:

2. Complete a code of conduct form for Adults/Leaders/Volunteers or Parents/Guardians

3 Complete the Garda Vetting process or those living in Northern Ireland, the Access NI process - please see Access NI Guidance Notes below.

Garda Vetting

In the Republic of Ireland background checks are carried out by the National Vetting Bureau of which Mountaineering Ireland is an authorised organisation.

Mountaineering Ireland administers all Garda Vetting applications on behalf of Mountaineering Ireland volunteers who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.

The Garda Vetting forms and process were updated in April 2016 so please disregard any previous application forms you may have and use the links below instead.

Step 1: Garda Vetting ID Validation - please complete the Garda Vetting ID Validation Form using the accompanying guidelines.

Step 2: Once we have received your validated ID and completed form, we will invite you to go through the online Garda vetting system via email. Please ensure that your email is written clearly on the validation form. 

Please return the completed form to the below address:

Garda Vetting Designated Liaison Person

Mountaineering Ireland
Irish Sport HQ
National Sports Campus
Dublin 15
D15 DY62

Completion of this process permits An Garda Síochána and Access NI to disclose the applicant's personal data regarding convictions and / or prosecutions pending or completed, successful or not in the state or elsewhere to the Authorised Signatory.

Once the process has been completed, a letter will be sent from Mountaineering Ireland to the individual applicant confirming whether the application has been approved or rejected.

Please be aware that the Garda Vetting and Access NI process may take a couple of weeks to complete.

Access NI

In Northern Ireland Access NI background checks are carried out by NI Sports Forum on behalf of Mountaineering Ireland.

Mountaineering Ireland administers all Access NI applications on behalf of Mountaineering Ireland volunteers who are resident in Northern Ireland.

Step1: Please click on the 'Access NI Guidnace notes.pdf' link below and download a copy of this form.

Step 2: Follow the steps in the form and submit a signed copy with 10 digit code along with copies of your ID documents by email to ricky@mountaineering.ie once your ID has been validated by an MI volunteer or staff member.

Step 3: Mountaineering Ireland will submit your application to NI Sports Forum.

Step 4: Mountaineering Ireland will contact you once your Access NI application has been complete.

Related Docs:

Return Address: (please mark 'Private and Confidential')

Access NI Designated Liaison Person
Mountaineering Ireland
Tollymore National Outdoor Centre
32 Hilltown Road
BT33 0PZ

Mountaineering Ireland National Children's Officer

For any matters relating to safeguarding please contact Mountaineering Ireland National Children's Officer - Gerry Gorman.
Gerry can be contacted by emailing: safeguarding@mountaineering.ie. Alternatively contact the Mountaineering Ireland office to request to make an appointment to meet.

Training for Volunteers

There are a variety of training options available for volunteers. Mountaineering Ireland would like all volunteers to be up to date with current best practice.
Training for volunteers is available in three main areas; safeguarding, leadership awards and coaching awards. 
If you are a prospective volunteer or a current volunteer who would like to receive some training in the areas set out below please contact Mountaineering Ireland to see how we can help.
You can also check out the Mountain Training Course Calendar to find a training course. 

Safeguarding Training


Leadership Awards

Below is a brief selection of supervisory awards which may be relevant to Mountaineering Ireland volunteers.
For a full listing of supervisory awards please go to the Mountain Training section of the Mountaineering Ireland website: Mountain Training 

Single Pitch Award

The Single Pitch Award is relevant for volunteers who assist young people climbing at single pitch crags. The remit of the Single Pitch Award also includes climbing walls.
For more information on the Single Pitch Award please click here: Single Pitch Award

Climbing Wall Award

The Climbing Wall Award is relevant for volunteers who assist young people at indoor climbing walls and outdoor artificial climbing structures.
For more information on the Climbing Wall Award please click here: Climbing Wall Award

Mountain Leader Award

The Mountain Leader Award is relevant for volunteers who lead young people in the mountains and hills, in summer conditions.
For more information on the Mountain Leader Award please click here: Mountain Leader Award

Coaching Awards

FUNdamentals of Climbing workshops are relevant for volunteers who supervise, instruct and coach young people in any aspect of climbing movement.
There are three FUNdaments of Climbing workshops, with each workshop building on the themes and content of the previous.
For more information on the FUNdamentals of Climbing workshops please click here: FUNdamentals of Climbing
The Level 1 Climbing Coach Award is relevant for volunteers who coach young climbers to improve their climbing performance. 
The Level 1 Climbing Coach Award is applicable to all styles of climbing.
For more information on the Level 1 Climbing Coach Award please click here: Level 1 Climbing Coach Award

Training Grants

Training grants are available to help with the cost of training undertaken by volunteers.
Training grants are available for clubs and individuals undertaking certain eligible formal training schemes. 
For more information on training grants please click on the following link: Training Grants

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