Screening Terminology


A volunteer is an individual: who chooses to undertake a service or activity, without being coerced or compelled, in service to an individual or an organisation, or to assist the community-at-large, who does not receive a salary or wage for this service or activity.

Vulnerable Person

This term is used to denote individuals who have difficulty protecting themselves and are therefore at greater risk of harm. People may be vulnerable because of age, disability , or circumstances. Vulnerability may be a temporary or a permanent condition. This is purposely a broad definition, one that can include children, youth, senior citizens, people with physical, developmental, social, emotional, or other disabilities, as well as people who are victims of crime or harm. Vulnerable person will also include people who have been victims of crime or accident, or are otherwise left with little defence against those who would harm them.

Duty of Care

The concept of duty of care identifies the relationship that exists between two persons (e.g. two individuals, an individual and an organisation) and establishes the obligation to exercise reasonable care with respect to the interests of the other, including protection from harm. The duty of care arises from the common law, as well as municipal, provincial, federal and international statutes.


Liability refers to the duties, obligations or responsibilities imposed on a person by law. As it is commonly used, we speak of a person or organisation being held legally liable for something, i.e., through a legal action, the individual or organization has been found legally responsible for an action or inaction in a particular set of circumstances and is required to pay damages to someone harmed as a result.

Occupiers Liability: requires that the person (an individual, an organisation) in possession of premises owes a duty of care to those who come on the premises and must take reasonable care to protect them from harm that might come through their programs, on their premises or at the hands of a third party on the premises.
Direct Liability: deals specifically with the issue of fault. Vicarious Liability: is the liability an organization takes on for the actions of those who function on its behalf.

Garda Vetting

Garda Vetting is the process by which the Central Garda Vetting Unit discloses details regarding prosecutions and/or convictions in respect of an individual. While Garda Vetting is not necessary for every organisation or role, it is generally regarded as an important step for organisations whose volunteers are involved with children or vulnerable adults.

Position of Trust

A position of trust identifies a setting in which someone is placed in a position of authority over another person in an ongoing relationship. A position of trust implies that someone has some degree of power over another, that the relationship is unequal. Individuals in positions of trust may be family members, friends, caregivers, volunteers, or employees. The question of whether a position of trust exists depends on the relationship and on the degree of authority, reliance and dependence in it, and not on the question of payment or salary. People may also assume positions of trust with respect to finances, rather than individuals.

Standard of Care

The standard of care refers to the degree or level of service, attention, care, and protection that one person owes another according to the law, usually the law of negligence. The required standard varies according to the circumstances of each situation, and determining the appropriate standard is often not a simple matter.