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Application assessment

What information does the Department of Justice and Regulation assess?

The Working with Children Check screens police records across Australia for relevant offences including 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 determinations and findings by the following bodies:

If the screening does not reveal any relevant offences or professional conduct determinations or findings, you will pass the Check.

If the screening reveals relevant offences or professional conduct determinations or findings, 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 a relevant criminal history or professional conduct determinations or findings 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. The department may also request information from you regarding these findings or criminal history. You will need to respond to the department’s request within a set time. If you fail to respond within the required time, your application will be withdrawn. 

For further information, go to Requests for information.

Types of Applications

Once you have made your application and the department has conducted a criminal history check, your application will be categorised. Your application will either be a category A, B or C application.

Category A Applications – 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
  • rape with aggravating circumstances or attempted rape with aggravating circumstances
  • 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.

and at the time of committing the offence, the person was aged 18 years or over.

  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.

 

 

Category B Applications – Section 13 and Schedule 2 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:
    • a carnal knowledge offence (as defined by the Act)
    • stalking a child
    • loitering near schools
    • distributing an intimate image of a child
    • threatening to distribute an intimate image of a person
    • similar offences committed outside Victoria

and at the time of committing the offence, the person was aged 18 years or over.

  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
    • certain drug offences
    • certain offences against the Victorian sex offender legislation
    • trafficking in children
    • certain offences against the Working with Children Act 2005
    • recklessly or intentionally causing serious injury
    • recklessly or intentionally causing injury
    • wilful and obscene exposure
    • child stealing
    • armed robbery
    • ‘upskirting’ offences
    • leave child unattended and fail to protect child from harm
    • failure to protect a child from sexual assault
    • failure to disclose a sexual offence committed against a child
    • certain offences relating to surveillance devices
    • 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 against a child other than rape, attempted rape, or a carnal knowledge offence (as defined by the Act)
    • a child pornography offence

and at the time of committing the offence, the person was under the age of 18.

For more information go to the List of  offences.

 

 

Category C Applications – Section 14 of the Working with Children Act 2005
  1. When a person has a relevant professional conduct determination or finding 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
  • the Commission for Children and Young People through the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
  1. When a person, as a child, is charged with, or has at any time been convicted or found guilty of:
  • a carnal knowledge offence (as defined by the Act)
  • stalking a child
  • loitering near schools
  • distributing an intimate image of a child
  • threatening to distribute an intimate image of a person
  • similar offences committed outside Victoria

and at the time of the offence the person was under the age of 18.

  1. When a person has at any time, been charged with an offence listed in clause 2 of Schedule 3 to the Working Children Act 2005 (serious sexual, violent and drug offences), that has been dealt with other than by way of conviction or a finding of guilt. This includes circumstances where:
  • a charge has been withdrawn
  • a charge has been dismissed by the court
  • a person is discharged by a court following a committal hearing
  • a charge has been dismissed after the completion of a diversion program
  • a conviction has been quashed on appeal
  • a charge has led to an acquittal.

4. 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, which is not considered a category A or B offence.

For more information go to the List of offences.

How your application will be assessed

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, and the department must issue them with a Negative Notice.

Category B application

On a category B application, 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.

Category C application

On a category C application, the department must give a Check unless after a rigorous assessment, it is satisfied that the applicant would pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children if granted a Check.

Assessment of unjustifiable risk

In relation to a category B or C application, the Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation must be satisfied that giving an applicant a Check would not pose an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children. To determine if an applicant is an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children, the department considers the following factors:

  • 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.
  • whether a reasonable person would allow their child to have direct contact with the applicant
  • whether the applicant’s involvement in any kind 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 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.

 

Working during an assessment
It may be an offence to work whilst your application is being assessed. For further information go to List of offences.

 

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 you qualify for an exemption. Go to Failing the Check

 

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.