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Application assessment

What information does the Department of Justice and Regulation assess?

The Working with Children Check (Check) screens police records across Australia for sexual, violent or drug offences across a person’s lifetime. For the full list of offences go to List of  offences.

The Check also screens for professional conduct reports by the following bodies:

If the national criminal history check does not reveal any relevant offences or professional conduct reports, you will pass the Check.

If the screening reveals relevant offences or professional conduct decisions, the department commences a rigorous assessment and can seek additional personal information about you from other sources, including:

 

How does the Department of Justice and Regulation assess my information?
When relevant criminal activity or professional conduct decisions are revealed, the department assesses your application using the categories listed in the Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act'). The protection of children is the paramount consideration for any decision made under the Act.

 

Category A – Section 12 and Schedule 1 to the Working with Children Act 2005
  1. When a person is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • murder or attempted murder
  • rape or attempted rape
  • similar offences committed outside Victoria.
  1. When a person, as an adult, is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • a sexual offence against a child, other than rape, attempted rape or a carnal knowledge offence, as defined by the Act
  • a child pornography offence
  • similar offences committed outside Victoria.
  1. When a person is subject to orders or reporting obligations under:
  • Part 3 of the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
  • the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
  • the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.

For more information go to the List of offences.

 

Outcome of Category A application

Under the Working with Children Act 2005 all Category A applicants are regarded as posing a risk to the safety of children. The department must issue them with a Negative Notice.

By law, these applicants must not do any child-related work even if they are supervised or qualify for an exemption. See Failing the Check.

 

Category B – Section 13 and Schedule 2 to the Working with Children Act 2005
  1. When a person, as an adult, is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • a carnal knowledge offence
  • stalking offences where the victim is a child
  • loitering near schools
  • similar offences committed outside Victoria.
  1. When a person is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • a sexual offence committed against an adult, other than rape or attempted rape or carnal knowledge, or a child pornography offence as defined by the Working with Children Act 2005
  • a violent offence other than murder or attempted murder
  • a drug offence
  • certain offences against the Victorian sex offender legislation
  • trafficking in children
  • certain offences against the Working with Children Act 2005
  • recklessly or intentionally causing injury
  • wilful and obscene exposure
  • child stealing
  • armed robbery
  • ‘upskirting’
  • leave child unattended and fail to protect child from harm
  • certain offences relating to optical surveillance devices
  • similar offences committed outside Victoria.
  1. When a person, as a child, is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • a sexual offence against a child other than rape, attempted rape, or a carnal knowledge offence as defined by the Working with Children Act 2005
  • a child pornography offence.

For more information go to the List of  offences.

 

Outcome of Category B application

The Working with Children Act 2005 requires the department to presume that a Category B applicant poses a risk to the safety of children. the department must refuse to give these applicants a Check unless, after a rigorous assessment, it is satisfied that the applicant does not pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children.

Before issuing a Check, the department must be satisfied that:

  • a reasonable person would allow their child to have direct, unsupervised contact with the applicant
  • the applicant’s involvement in any kind of child-related work does not pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children.

When making its decision, the department must consider:

  • the nature and gravity of the offence and its relevance to child-related work
  • the period of time since the offence was committed
  • whether a conviction or finding of guilt was recorded or if a charge is still pending
  • the sentence given for the offence
  • the ages of the applicant and victim at the time of the offence
  • whether the conduct has been decriminalised since the applicant committed the offence
  • the applicant’s behaviour since committing the offence
  • the likelihood of the applicant posing a future threat to a child
  • any information the applicant provides in relation to their application
  • any other information the department considers relevant.

For more information go to the List of offences.

 

Category C – Section 14 of the Working with Children Act 2005
  1. When a person has a relevant professional conduct report made against them by:
  • the Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • the Suitability Panel
  • the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) under current and historical health practitioner legislation.
  1. When a person, as a child, is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • carnal knowledge, loitering  near schools or stalking a child
  • a similar offence committed outside of Victoria.
  1. When a person is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of, any offence the department considers may pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children.

For more information go to the List of offences.

 

Outcome of a Category C application

The department must issue a Check unless one of the three tests below is met:

  1. Issuing a Check would pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children having regard to:
  • the nature and gravity of the offence and its relevance to child-related work
  • the period of time since the offence was committed
  • whether a conviction or finding of guilt was recorded or if a charge is still pending
  • the sentence given for the offence
  • the ages of the applicant and victim at the time of the offence
  • whether the conduct has been decriminalised since the applicant committed the offence
  • the applicant’s behaviour since committing the offence
  • the likelihood of the applicant posing a future threat to a child
  • any information the applicant provides in relation to their application
  • any other information the department considers relevant, or 
  1. If a reasonable person would not allow their child to have direct, unsupervised contact with the applicant, or
  1. The applicant’s involvement in any type of child-related work would pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children.

 

What is meant by the term ‘reasonable person’?

For the purposes of the Working with Children Act, a reasonable person is someone who has the same information about an applicant as the department and the ability to form a view fairly and without bias or discrimination.

 

Disclaimer

The information about offences is for general assistance. The department does not guarantee that the information is exhaustive or appropriate for legal purposes. You should read this information in conjunction with the Working with Children Act 2005 and seek professional advice when appropriate.

 

What happens next?

If you pass the Check, you can do child-related work for five years. During this time, the department continues to monitor your criminal record. Go to Passing the Check

If you fail the Check, by law you must not do any child-related work even if the work is supervised or you qualify for an exemption. Go to Failing the Check