A PAL is a President’s Award Leader, and can be any adult (other than a family member) who is involved in supporting the personal development of young people. In addition to providing you with a complete PAL toolkit, this section also informs you what a PAL’s responsibilities are, what it takes to become a PAL and much more.
If you are a youth or community worker, a leader, or a teacher who is adventurous and loves to work with young people, this could be the perfect role for you.
Why become a PAL?
Through being a PAL, you will gain leadership skills through helping to mentor and encourage the personal development of young people, and contributing to their exciting and challenging transition from teenager to young adult.
You don’t have to be an award holder yourself. We are looking for those with interesting skills, hobbies, or amazing life-experiences who are energised by working with young people. If this sounds like you, then we would love to hear from you.
How to become a PAL
To volunteer as a Gaisce PAL, you will need to attend a one day training workshop. You will also be required to be Garda-vetted and reference checked, both of which will be coordinated by Gaisce. This must be completed before you begin working with any participants.
- Complete the online PAL application form.
- Book into a Gaisce training workshop. These are run regularly around the country between September and May.
- Once your vetting, reference checking, and training has completed we will confirm to you that you can begin taking on Award Participants.
Screening & Training
The purpose of screening all new PALs is to:
- Verify the details provided by PAL applicant with known referees;
- Identify, as far as is practically possible, if there is any factor that would indicate that the applicant is not suited to working with young people in the age groups 14-25 as required under law.
- 1. Reference CheckingPAL applicants should provide the contact detail of two referees during the application process. Gaisce will contact both by phone to confirm that they have been nominated as a referee and will send a form to complete and return. Applicants should make sure to let referees know they have been nominated so that they can expect to hear from Gaisce when we contact them.
- 2. Garda VettingThe National Vetting Bureau Act 2012 is part of a suite of complementary legislative proposals to strengthen child protection.The legislation was enacted in December 2012 with the purpose of providing a legislative basis for the vetting of persons who seek or are in positions of employment relating to children or vulnerable persons. Previously, persons applying for such positions were vetted on a non-statutory basis. This Act makes vetting mandatory. Gaisce in accordance with the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 1999 and 2011 has been Garda Vetting PALs since 2007.
- 3. PAL TrainingGaisce provides in-service training workshops for all our PALs to help them manage the Award effectively and provide leadership for their participants. Training must be completed before taking on participants.