There are several situations listed in the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act) where people doing child-related work are exempt and do not need a Working with Children Check (Check).
The exemptions in the Act are described below.
You may find that you are exempt for the purposes of one type of work but not another, so you may still need a Check.
The following exemptions do not apply to people who have failed the Check and been served a Negative Notice. For more details go to Failing the Check.
If you are under 18 years of age, you are exempt from the Check.
Example: David is 17 years old and a member of his local scout group. David leads a younger group of scouts but because he is under 18 years of age, he does not need a Check.
Under the Child Employment Act 2003 this exemption does not apply to under 18-year-olds supervising children under the age of 15 in employment.
Some student volunteers
If you are a student who is 18 or 19 years of age, you are exempt from the Check for volunteer work organised by or held at your educational institution.
Example: Khalil is an 18-year-old student at Smithtown Secondary College. He leads a peer support group of Year 7 students. As Khalil is doing his volunteer work at his school, he does not need a Check.
Parents volunteering in an activity with their child
If you are a parent volunteering in an activity in which your child participates, or normally participates, you are exempt and do not need a Check.
Example: Emily has volunteered to make and fit costumes for other children in her daughter’s school play. As Emily’s daughter usually participates in the school play, Emily does not need a Check, even if her daughter does not attend all of the play rehearsals or performances.
Family members and people who are closely related to the child (with the exception of kinship carers)
If you are closely related to each child in your child-related work you are exempt from the Check. ‘Closely related’ to a child means :
- spouse or domestic partner
- parent, step-parent, mother-in-law or father-in-law
- uncle or aunt
- brother or sister, including half sibling, step sibling, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.
- in the case of domestic partners, a person who would be closely related to the child if the domestic partners were married to each other.
Example: Thuy is paid to teach her niece piano. As Thuy is closely related to the child, she does not need a Check.
This exemption does not apply if you are a kinship carer. A person who engages in kinship care work must hold a Check. A person is engaged in kinship care if:
- the person is a family member or other person of significance to a child; and
- the child is or has been placed in the out of home care of that person under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
Example: Child Protection has placed nine year old Lucy in the care of her uncle, John. This arrangement is called kinship care. Even though John is closely related to his niece, he is still required to obtain a Check because he is a kinship carer in accordance with the above definition.
If you are a teacher who is currently registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), you are exempt from the Check.
However, if your VIT registration is suspended or cancelled, you are no longer exempt and must apply for a Check. You must, in writing, notify every organisation that engages you in child-related work within seven days of the suspension or cancellation of your registration.
Example: Claire is a secondary school teacher currently registered with VIT. She volunteers to coach children at a local chess club and does not need a Check to do this work.
If you are a Victoria Police officer or an Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer, you are exempt from the Check.
However, if you are suspended or dismissed from Victoria Police or the AFP, you are no longer exempt and must apply for a Check. You must, in writing, notify every organisation that engages you in child-related work within seven days of being suspended or dismissed.
Example: Roger is an AFP officer who volunteers at an under-15s hockey club. He does not need a Check.
Interstate visitors can do child-related work in Victoria without a Victorian Check for a period of up to 30 days in the same calendar year for:
- several events or occasions with a Check from their state or territory, or
- only one event or occasion without a Check from their state or territory.
Example: Anne lives in New South Wales (NSW) and wants to bring a group of teenagers to Victoria to see an exhibition at the State Library. As Anne does not usually live in Victoria and will only be in Victoria for one event, she does not need to get a Victorian Check or have one from NSW.