Not everyone who has contact with children needs a Working with Children Check.
Under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act), only people who are doing child-related work and who are not exempt need a Check. This applies to both paid and volunteer workers.
Some organisations have their own policies regarding who needs a Check. Confirm this with your organisation.
Do I need a Check?
To find out if you need a Check, or if you are exempt, click the button ‘Do I need a Check?’ and answer the questions.
Do my workers need a Check?
To determine if a worker in your organisation needs a Check, click the button ‘Do my workers need a Check?’ and answer the questions.
The Act defines children as anyone under the age of 18.
Child-related work involves contact with a child that is direct and a part of the person’s duties.
Child-related work is an activity undertaken in any of the occupational fields referred to as 'services, bodies or places or activities' in the Act.
You do not need a Check if you:
- qualify for an exemption
- work in an unpaid private/domestic arrangement for family and friends (except if you are a kinship carer)
- supervise a student in practical training organised by their educational institution
- take part in an activity with a child in the same way that a child participates. e.g. as other players in a chess team.
You do need a Check if you meet ALL 5 criteria listed below:
- You engage, or intend to engage, in child-related work as an employee or volunteer.
- You are an adult working with under 18 year olds.
- You are working in any of the occupational fields listed in the Act. Go to Occupational fields for the full list.
- Your work involves direct contact with children. Direct contact means physical, face-to-face, written, oral or electronic contact.
- Your contact with children is part of your duties and not incidental to your work.
Supervising children in employment
Under the Child Employment Act 2003, you are doing child-related work if you are supervising a child under the age of 15 in employment, so you need a Check. For more information go to Business Victoria.
Who is exempt from the Check?
The Act lists the circumstances in which a person does not need a Check, even if they are doing child-related work. For more information, go to Exemptions.
Child-related work for ministers of religion is defined more broadly than for everyone else. For ministers, child-related work is not limited to work involving direct contact with children; any contact with children is enough to trigger the requirement to get checked. For example, ministers who have children present in their congregation, or attend schools or children’s camps are required to hold a Check.
The only time a minister does not require a Check is when any contact with children is occasional, and never a part of their normal duties. This might occur, for example, for ministers with purely administrative roles within a church’s bureaucracy.
By law, you cannot apply for a Check if you:
- have previously been given a Negative Notice, unless:
- you have subsequently passed the Check
- there is a relevant change in your circumstances in the past five years. For details, go to Failing the Check, or
- you subsequently obtained an Assessment Notice from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
- are subject to orders or reporting obligations under the:
- Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
- Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
- Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.