What is a Working with Children Check?
A Working with Children Check is a screening procedure for assessing or re-evaluating people who work with or care for children. Under this, an applicant's detailed criminal history and relevant professional conduct are checked to protect children against sexual or physical harm.
How is it Different from a Criminal History Check?
Working with Children Checks and Police Checks are different forms of pre-employment screening checks in Australia that ensure child-safe work environments. For most Australian states and territories, pre-employment screening of employees and volunteers who come into contact with children is compulsory and supervised.
Being said, there is no national framework set out for the requirement to obtain a Working with Children Check, and each state and territory follow their own guideline and measurement tools.
When Do You Need a WWCC?
Generally, you may be needed to obtain a Working with Children Check for the following reasons:
- Working as a nanny, childhood teacher or work in any other child-related field
- Work voluntarily in children schools, like in the classroom or cafeteria
- Volunteering in any organisation that has direct or indirect contact with children
There can be other situations or other work profiles where a candidate is required to obtain a WWCC, or the situation can vary depending on the state or territory. At the time of applying for a particular job, the candidate must check the requirements with the relevant body of that state/territory. You can find more information about this here.
In Which Industries Is a WWCC Mostly Required?
As of June 2013, all jurisdictions in Australia have some form of pre-screening legislation relating to employment involving contact with children. Such laws make it compulsory to meet screening criteria for those persons engaged in professions such as education and child care, child safety, child and family welfare, wellness, entertainment and recreation, and religious instruction.
Working with Children Check in ACT
The Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 (ACT) requires individuals involved in regulated activities and services, including where these are provided to vulnerable people, to register through Access Canberra. An online test has also been designed by the government to determine whether a resident of ACT needs to register for the Working with Vulnerable People Check (WWVP Check).
Working with Children Check in NSW
According to the Child Protection Act 2012 (NSW), all employees and volunteers over 18 years of age working in child-related roles need a WWCC clearance. The Children's Guardian Office website provides comprehensive information and guidance regarding the WWCC program for individual applicants, employers and self-employed people.
Working with Children Check in NT
In Northern Territory, an Ochre Card is evidence that the WWCC screening procedure has been completed by individuals and a clearance certificate is issued. The person wishing to work or volunteer with children is responsible for applying for an Ochre Card. As of July 2011, anyone employed in child-related work or volunteering is required by law to hold a WWCC, also known as Ochre Card.
Working with Children Check in QLD
The WWCC program in Queensland, also known as the Blue Card scheme, provides a National Police Check, allowing individuals and volunteers to engage in child-related occupations and businesses. For enquiries about working with children in Queensland, one should check the Blue Card Services Website.
Working with Children Check in SA
Under the Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA) and the Children's Protection Regulation 2010, individuals and volunteers are expected to comply with compulsory job screening criteria if they work in specified roles with different organisations. The website of the Department of Human Services’ Screening Process webpage provides further information on WWCC in SA.
Working with Children Check in TAS
The Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website by the Tasmanian government provides all the relevant information of the WWVP check that includes Working with Children.
Working with Children Check in VIC
All individuals and volunteers aged 18 years or above must undergo the screening process to work with children. The Department of Justice and Regulation provides related information about WWCC.
Working with Children Check in WA
A Working with Children Check contains a mandatory Criminal History Check. Successful applicants will be approved for three years to participate in activities relating to children in Western Australia. Working With Children Checks differ from police checks because they offer ongoing monitoring and may be updated if the criminal record changes while the check is valid.
How long is a WWCC Valid?
- ACT: (General registration) Valid for 3 years
- NSW: Valid for 5 years
- NT: (Ochre Card) Valid for 2 years
- QLD: (Blue Card) Valid for 3 years
- SA: Valid for 3 years
- TAS: Valid for 3 years
- VIC: Valid for 5 years
- WA: Valid for 3 years
Is a WWCC Transferable Between States?
The requirement varies with every state and territory, hence the Working with Children Check and Working with Vulnerable People Check is not transferable between states.
Applicants can apply for a WWCC in the respective state/territory they wish to work in. Applicants can apply for a National Criminal History Check with KONCHECK, an accredited body of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), which is accepted all over Australia.