Police vetting for school property projects

Every worker who is likely to have unsupervised access to students at a school during normal school hours must be police vetted. It is the board of trustee’s responsibility to obtain a police vet.

Before you get any Police vetting, you should develop a School Access Plan for every school property-related project/contract to manage worker access to the school. This applies to both boards of trustees and Ministry-managed projects.

The School Access Plan will determine what Police vetting is needed, if any.

Where workers are engaged to work directly with students (ie non-property related workers), see the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 for the Police vetting requirements.

On this page:

  • Overview
  • Requirement for police vetting for property-related workers
  • Develop a School Access Plan (SAP)
  • Obtain police vetting
  • Further information

Overview

Before you get any police vetting, you should develop a School Access Plan for every school property-related project/contract to manage worker access to the school (this applies to boards of trustees and Ministry-managed projects).

The School Access Plan will determine what police vetting is needed, if any.

Where workers are engaged to work directly with students (ie non-property related workers), see the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 for the police vetting requirements.

Requirement for police vetting for property-related workers

Boards of trustees are responsible for controlling worker access at a school. The Education Act 1989 requires you 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". See 78CA Police vetting of contractors and their employees who work at schools (external link) .

‘Unsupervised access’ means access to any student at the school during normal school hours when the worker is not supervised or observed by, or under the direction of:

  • a registered teacher
  • a school employee that has been acceptably police vetted within the last 3 years, or
  • a student’s parent.

‘Likely’ means more than a 50% chance (of unsupervised access to one or more students).

You must get the police vet done no later than 2 weeks before the contractor and workers have unsupervised access to students - see 78CB Police vet must be obtained before person has unsupervised access to students (external link) .

However before you get any police vetting done we strongly encourage you to develop a School Access Plan.

Developing a School Access Plan (SAP)

The reason you should develop a SAP first is to set out how worker access to students at the school will be managed, including deciding if you need any police vetting done. Police vetting should be limited to only that required for student safety and to meet the requirements of the Education Act 1989. (Non-essential police vetting requests may contribute to delays in receiving Police vetting results.)

This applies to all board-managed projects and all Ministry-managed projects involving school property-related supply contracts with worker access to the school.

The SAP process

Upon awarding of a contract, the board and the supplier (and the Ministry for Ministry-managed projects) liaise to develop and agree (sign) the SAP.

Download and complete the SAP template [DOC, 56 KB]:

  1. Complete the parties and contract details.
  2. List the actions be taken to minimise the likelihood of workers having unsupervised access to students during normal school hours (thereby limiting the need for police vetting). Possible minimising actions may include:
    • workers only accessing the site outside normal school hours
    • isolating the work site and worksite access from students (eg using fencing)
    • chaperoning workers.
  1. Where police vetting is the most appropriate course of action, name the workers requiring a police vet.
  2. Set out each party’s responsibilities and document their agreement to the SAP.
  3. Implement the SAP which includes:
    • the supplier briefing/instructing workers on access requirements and obtaining completed VSRC forms from workers requiring vetting
    • the school briefing staff/students, obtaining police vets and approving/not approving access
    • the school/Ministry monitoring compliance with the SAP
    • all parties updating the SAP as required.

Obtain police vetting

As a result of the SAP, you may identify situations where you think you need to obtain a police vet of workers.

Police vetting reviews a worker’s information held by the New Zealand Police Service Centre. You will use police vetting as part of background checking to help decide whether to grant a worker access. However, a police vet is not a complete background check and should only be used as part of a robust screening process.

The police vet process

  1. Your school must be registered with the NZ Police vetting service (external link) .
  2. The supplier gets the worker’s signed consent on a NZ Police vetting service request and consent form (external link) (VSRC form).
  3. You submit the VSRC form to the NZ Police Vetting Service.
  4. When you receive the police vetting results, review them and decide whether to approve or decline access. Note any ‘flags’ in the information ie relevant non-conviction information held on the police database such as investigations, acquittal information in relation to sexual offending, dishonesty or assault.
  5. Before declining access, contact the worker directly and give them the opportunity to validate or otherwise the police vetting result information (and following up with NZ Police Vetting Service if appropriate) – see 78CD Procedures relating to Police vets (external link) .
  6. Advise the supplier that access has been approved/declined. A worker’s confidential police vet information should only be disclosed to the minimum number of people necessary. Police vet results must not be disclosed to the supplier (other than confirming that unsupervised access has been approved/declined).
  7. Verify the worker’s identity before allowing them unsupervised access in order to ensure that they are the worker who has been vetted and approved.
  8. Keep police vet information confidential and store the documentation securely with the contract.

Police vetting applications normally take 7 to 10 business days to be processed but may take up to 20 business days.

A police vet is valid for up to 3 years – after 3 years a new police vet must be obtained and access approved/declined.

Notes about police vetting

  • You must obtain the police vet for the worker in question - you cannot use police vetting obtained by:
    • a previous employer for the worker in question
    • the worker themselves
    • one buyer (school/Ministry) for a contract with another buyer.
  • A Ministry of Justice vet is not an acceptable substitute for a police vet as it is less thorough and does not meet the requirements of the Education Act.
  • Because property-related projects do not involve working with children, police vetting requirements of the Education Act 1989 apply. For workers engaged to work with children, the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (external link) applies.

Further information

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