Adjudicators

The Concern Debates would not happen without our amazing team of volunteers across the country. Registration for the 2022-2023 competition is open now - please click here to register your interest. 

Getting started

Adjudicators are responsible for marking student debates as part of the Concern Debates programme.

Generally, adjudicators will mark one or two debates per school year, but they are free to adjudicate at as few or as many debates as they wish. From September - March the programme will be online and adjudicators can mark debates remotely. From March to May 2023 the debates will be in person and adjudicators will need to attend in person debates. 

No expertise is required to become an adjudicator but an open mind is essential. You must be able to see both sides of an argument and be able to give constructive, positive feedback.

Full online training is provided for each volunteer adjudicator and the Concern Debates team are on hand to talk you through our support materials. We ask that all adjudicators, both new and returning, attend our online training each year before the Concern Debates programme commences.

Will I need to undergo Garda Vetting?

As of 2019, all Concern Debates Adjudicators must be Garda Vetted in line with Concern’s new safeguarding guidelines. Your Garda Vetting will last for three years with Concern. When you complete the volunteer sign up form, Concern will add your basic details to the An Garda Síochána’s online e-Vetting portal. You will receive an email communication inviting you to log on and enter additional information required by the National Vetting Bureau to complete the vetting process.

You can also request a manual form from Concern to complete and Concern can enter this information into the e-Vetting system on your behalf.

When you do this, Concern will submit the application to the National Vetting Bureau. The Bureau will conduct the check and Concern will receive a report of criminal conviction histories of those relevant volunteers (or not as the case may be).

For more information on the process, please contact claire.marshall@concern.net

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Concern Debates Volunteer Adjudicator. 

Adjudicators at the 2018 Concern Debates Final. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Adjudicators at the 2018 Concern Debates Final. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates 2017-2018 Semi Final Adjudicators (L-R Emmanuel George, Sandra Marie Donohoe, Marie Griffin. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates 2017-2018 Semi Final Adjudicators. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Adjudicators watch on as a debate takes place. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
Adjudicators watch on as a debate takes place. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

This is also an excellent opportunity to hear the views of young people on serious issues and to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world.

Geraldine Carroll - Concern’s Schools and Youth Programme Administrator

Why sign up as an adjudicator? 

Here are the top three reasons to get involved with the Concern Debates.

Knowledge

Interested in politics, current affairs, and international development? Concern carefully chooses motions to encourage critical thinking on complex issues relating to development, poverty, justice, and human rights. Through adjudicating you will get the chance to listen to fascinating viewpoints from a youth point of view on some of the most contentious issues facing our world today.

Skills

Empower young people

Our adjudicators have their say

If you need any more convincing, our wonderful past and present adjudicators got together to say why they got involved in the Concern Debates and how it has left an impact on them.

Downloadable Marking Sheets and Information for Concern Debates Adjudicators

To download marking sheets or our newest Concern Debates Adjudicator Handbook, check out our Concern Debates Materials hub here.

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