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Individuals' offences

The Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act') and the Working with Children Regulations 2016 (the Regulations) aim to protect children from physical and sexual harm.

If you do paid or voluntary child-related work, you must have a Check.

There are substantial penalties if you breach your obligations under the Act or Regulations.

The table below lists the offences and the maximum penalties for each.

 

When the offence can occur Your obligations Max penalty* Section reference in the Act or Regulations
You are applying for or already doing child-related work and do not have a valid Working with Children Check card.

Unless you qualify for an exemption from a Check under the Act, you cannot do child-related work. 

You can do child-related work while your application is processed unless:

  • you have been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a serious sexual, violent or drug offence specified in clause 2 of Schedule 3 of the Act
  • you have been issued with a Negative Notice
  • you are subject to reporting obligations or orders under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004, the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005, or the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.
Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. 33 (1)
You must not use a false card or use another person’s card when you are applying for or doing child-related work. Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. 38
You must not do child-related work for profit or gain using a Volunteer card. A fine of five penalty units*. 37 (1)
You are applying for a Check or being reassessed. You must not provide false or misleading information to the Department of Justice and Regulation in your application for a Check or when the department is reassessing your eligibility to hold a card. Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. 39 (1)

You must not apply for a Check if you are subject to reporting obligations or orders under the:

  • Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
  • Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
  • Serious Sex Offenders (Supervision and Detention) Act 2009.
Two years imprisonment or a fine of 240 penalty units*. 39A
Your circumstances or details change.

You must notify your organisation/s and the department in writing within seven days if:

  • you are charged with an offence listed in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Act
  • you are convicted or found guilty of an offence listed in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Act, or the charge has been finally dealt with
  • you are subject to reporting obligations or orders under the:
    • Sex Offenders Registrations Act 2004
    • Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
    • Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • a relevant professional conduct report is made against you by one of the bodies listed under regulation 8.
A fine of 60 penalty units*. 20
If you are a cardholder and have been issued with an Interim Negative Notice or a Negative Notice, you must notify your organisation in writing within seven days of that Notice being issued. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 22
If you are a teacher registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) and your registration is suspended or cancelled, you must within seven days of receiving notice of the suspension or cancellation, notify in writing any organisation that engages you in child-related work. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 30 (2)
If you are a Victorian police officer and are suspended or terminated, you must within seven days of receiving notice of the suspension or dismissal, notify in writing any organisation that engages you in child-related work. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 31 (2)
If you are a member of the Australian Federal Police and are suspended or terminated, you must within seven days of receiving notice of the suspension or termination, notify in writing any organisation that engages you in child-related work. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 31A (2)
If you start work with a new organisation, or the details of your organisation change, you must notify the department within 21 days of becoming aware of the change. A fine of one penalty unit*. 20A
You have applied for or hold a Check.

You must notify the department within 21 days of any changes to your:

  • full name, and any other names you are currently or have been known by
  • residential address
  • phone numbers
  • details of the organisations where you are doing child-related work.

 

A fine of one penalty unit*.

20A

Reg 11

You have been given a Negative Notice. You must not do child-related work even if that work is supervised or you qualify for an exemption from a Check Under the Act. Two years imprisonment, a fine of 240 penalty units* or both. 34 (1)
You must notify in writing within seven days of the Negative Notice being issued any organisations that engage you in child-related work. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 22
You are directed to surrender your card. If the department revokes your card, you must surrender it as directed by the department, or have a reasonable excuse for refusing to do so. A fine of 60 penalty units*. 21C (4)
If you apply for and are given another card, you must surrender the first card to the department within seven days of being directed to do so or have a reasonable excuse for refusing or failing to do so. A fine of one penalty unit*. 24 (3)

 

* To view the monetary value of penalty units go to Fees.