The Working with Children Check (the Check) is just one part of creating and maintaining a child-safe environment.
Organisations need to ensure that only people in roles that have direct, unsupervised contact with children have a Check. For details, go to Do my workers need a Check?
In addition to your obligations under the Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act'), it is your duty to assess the suitability of the people you engage, to make sure children are safe with them. To do this, you need to at least have sound practices in place to check their references and monitor their behaviour around the children in your care.
For details, go to Commission for Children and Young People.
To keep the children in your care safe from harm, you must know:
- that everyone with direct and unsupervised contact with children has a Check
- if applicants are legally permitted to work while their application is processed. People with serious sexual, violent or drug offences, or subject to orders listed under Schedule 3 of the Act cannot work with children while their applications are assessed. Go to Offences and penalties and Failing the Check
- when workers’ Checks expire
- what to do if one of your workers:
What does the department mean by ‘an organisation’?
The term ‘organisation’ has a broad meaning; it includes employers, volunteer organisations, agencies and self-employed people involved in child-related work.
- not engage in child-related work anyone who does not have a valid Check, unless they are exempt under the Act
- not engage in child-related work any person who is subject to obligations or orders under Schedule 3 of the Act
- not allow people who are charged with, convicted or found guilty of sexual, violent or drug offences specified in clause 2 of Schedule 3 of the Act to work with or care for children while their application is processed or their Check reassessed
- check if a person is allowed to work with children on Check status
- check that any self-employed person, such as a coach or tutor, has a valid Check and is not prohibited from working with children. Go to Check status
- ensure supervisors of other workers' contact with children have a Check, unless the supervisor is exempt under the Act
- ensure that a person who has a Negative Notice does not work with or care for children, even if they are exempt or you can arrange supervision of their contact with children
- ensure paid workers doing child-related work have an Employee Check, not a Volunteer Check
- respect and protect workers’ privacy.
If you are a religious organisation you must ensure that all ministers of religion pass the Check unless their contact with children is only occasional and always incidental to their work.
Child-related work for ministers is defined more broadly than for everyone else. For ministers, child-related work is not limited to work involving unsupervised, direct contact with children. By law, any contact with children, unless it is only occasional and incidental, is enough to require the minister to get a Check. This includes ministers, regardless of whether their contact with children is supervised or not, who visit schools, children's camps or have children present in their congregation.
For details, go to Who needs a Check.
In addition to your legal obligations listed above, you must:
- keep a record of the application receipt or card number of all workers doing child-related work in your organisation
- carefully look at workers’ cards and record the number, expiry date and card type (‘E’ for paid employees or ‘V’ for volunteers)
- retain and secure all correspondence the department sends you about your workers
- ensure workers notify the department within 21 days of commencing child-related work with your organisation and whenever their personal and contact details change.