Police vetting for school property contractors
Find out when and how to get a Police vet for contractors and sub-contractors engaged on school property projects.
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
It is a statutory requirement that every contractor who is likely to have unsupervised access to students at a school during normal school hours must be Police vetted. The school board is responsible for determining the conditions of access for contractors.
Boards are required to obtain a Police vet of every contractor and sub-contractor, including their employees, who "has, or is likely to have, unsupervised access to students at the school during normal school hours".
Where workers are engaged to work directly with students (e.g. teachers), see the Police vetting for schools and kura Māori webpage for the requirements.
What is Police vetting for contractors?
Under Schedule 4 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link), a Police vet must be obtained and a risk assessment completed before the person has, or is likely to have, unsupervised access to students at the school during normal school hours. It is therefore important to note the processing times below. If a person will not have unsupervised access to students at the school during normal school hours, they do not need to be Police vetted.
The information returned in a Police vet is not limited to charges or convictions. The Police Vetting Service(external link) review all information about an applicant held by the Police, and will release any information that has been deemed relevant to the role being vetted, with a level of substantiation based on to the level of risk that the role may pose.
School boards must consider the information contained in the Police vet to assess whether the person would pose a risk to the safety of children if the person were to carry out work at the school. In carrying out a risk assessment, school boards must take into account any guidelines on risk assessments issued by the Ministry. Information about risk assessments, and the new guidelines for schools, can be found on Risk assessments for Police vets under the Education and Training Act 2020.
How it applies to schools
(external link)Police vetting of contractors and their employees who work at schools.
|‘Contractor, sub-contractor, their employee’||Covers all property project workers including project managers, architects, planners, surveyors, other consultants providing professional services, as well as all construction workers and supervisors.|
|‘Likely’||Means more than a 50% chance of unsupervised access to one or more students.|
|‘Unsupervised access’||Means access to any student at the school during normal school hours when the worker is not directly supervised by a school employee or the student’s parent.|
This applies to every school-managed or Ministry-managed construction project, and any contractors that require access to the school during school hours, such as those carrying out Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF) inspections.
It is strongly recommended that the board develops a School Access Plan (SAP) in conjunction with construction project contractors before any Police vets are sought. The SAP will explain how worker access to the school will be managed and therefore which workers (if any) need a Police vet.
Important to note
- A Police vet is valid for up to 3 years.
- A Ministry of Justice vet is not an acceptable substitute for a Police vet. It is less thorough and does not meet the requirements of the Education and Training Act 2020.
- Because property-related projects do not involve working directly with children, Police vetting requirements of the Education and Training Act 2020 apply, not the Children’s Act 2014.(external link)
- Vets should not be shared between employers or other organisations.
The purpose of the SAP is to:
- set out how contractor access to the school will be managed
- avoid or minimise the likelihood of them having unsupervised access to students at the school during normal school hours.
As a result of preparing a SAP, the board will know with some confidence which workers will require a Police vet and which workers might not. Additionally, the supplier and contractors will know how to conduct themselves in a manner to minimise the likelihood of unsupervised access to students.
The SAP process
Upon awarding a contract, the board and the supplier (and the Ministry for Ministry-managed projects and Ministry engaged consultants) liaise to develop and agree the SAP.
The board should download and complete the SAP template [DOC, 62 KB] as follows:
|1.||Complete the parties and contract details.|
|2.||List the actions to be taken to minimise the likelihood of workers having unsupervised access to students during normal school hours. Possible actions may include:
|3.||Where Police vetting is required, name the workers requiring a Police vet.|
|4.||Set out each party’s responsibilities and document their agreement to the SAP.|
|5.||The board should implement the SAP by:
Where a Police vet may be required, the board may delegate the task of obtaining a Police vet to a suitable staff member. The board will still remain accountable for the decisions taken in terms of access and supervision.
Your suppliers/contractors facilitate the police vet by providing any required information (e.g. names and details of people to be vetted).
Police vetting applications normally take 7 to 10 business days to be processed but may take up to 20 business days.
The board, or their delegated staff member, must follow the following steps:
Obtain Police vets directly from the NZ Police Vetting Service.
|2.||Ensure each contractor requiring a Police vet provides a signed consent on a NZ Police vetting service request and consent form(external link) (VSRC form).|
|3.||Submit the VSRC form to the NZ Police Vetting Service.|
|5.||After the final decision is made, advise the vetting subject that access has been approved or declined, and on what conditions.|
|6.||Verify the worker’s identity before allowing them unsupervised access in order to ensure that they are the person who was vetted and approved.|
|7.||Keep Police vet information confidential and store the documentation securely with the contract.|
If you have to decline access
Before declining access, give the person being vetted the opportunity to validate or otherwise contest the Police vet (and follow up with NZ Police Vetting Service if appropriate) –see Schedule 4 of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link)
The arrangement for monitoring and auditing this system, includes:
on-site monitoring and reporting of any breaches by the Construction Observer for Ministry led construction projects
on-site monitoring and reporting of any breaches by the project manager for board led construction projects
periodic audit by the Ministry of Education, Education Infrastructure Service.
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