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Purpose

Holding hands

The Working with Children Check assists in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them are subject to a screening process.

Passing a Check is a legal requirement for everyone in Victoria doing paid or voluntary child-related work who doesn’t qualify for an exemption.  

 

The Check is just a starting point. The Check does not assess a person’s suitability to work with or care for children in a particular role. It is the responsibility of organisations to assess paid and voluntary workers’ suitability to work with children and to establish sound, ongoing supervision practices so that children are safe from harm. 

 

Organisations must comply with the Child Safe Standards that have been introduced as part of the Victorian Government's response to the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry. These are compulsory minimum standards under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 that apply to organisations that provide services for children. The standards help ensure the safety of children. Organisations must also comply with the Reportable conduct scheme requirements that came into effect on 1 July 2017.  For more information go to Commission for Children and Young People.

 

The  Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act) exempts a range of people from the Check who are already subject to rigorous screening processes as part of their professions. This includes Victoria Police officers, Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers and teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT). These exemptions are designed to reduce administrative burden, particularly on voluntary organisations using the Check.

For further details and full list of the exemptions, go to Exemptions.

 

Benefits of the Check

For individuals:

  • Your Check is valid for five years, unless it is suspended or revoked.
  • You do not need to apply for a new Check when you work for another organisation. However, you must notify the Department of Justice and Regulation of any change within 21 days.

For organisations:

  • The Check is a rigorous assessment of an applicant’s criminal records and any professional conduct determinations or findings, preventing those who pose an unjustifiable risk to children from working with or caring for them.
  • Workers are obliged to inform you and the department if, during the life of their Check, they are charged with or commit any Category A offence or a Category B offence listed in the Act. These records are also automatically monitored for the life of the Check by the department.
  • Workers are legally obliged to inform you of any new adverse professional conduct determination or finding made against them by the bodies listed in What is checked. These bodies also notify the department directly of any relevant findings so the department can determine whether the person’s Check should be revoked.
  • A range of exemptions help reduce the administrative burden of the scheme.
  • The validity of a person’s card can be verified at any time using the website’s online service Check status.