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The application process

After you lodge your application, the Department of Justice and Community Safety will conduct a National Criminal History Check. Your details will be checked for relevant offences across your lifetime, including all offences you have previously been charged with (regardless of the outcome of these charges) by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).


How long will it take?

It generally takes three weeks for applications to be screened and the information to come back to the department. If you pass the Check you will receive an email. Your card will take about two weeks to arrive by post.

If you have a common name or the screening check reveals relevant criminal activity or professional conduct determinations or findings, it can take up to 12 weeks to process your application.


What does the Check involve?
  1. A screening check of:
  • criminal records in all Australian states and territories across your lifetime, including all offences you have previously been charged with, regardless of the outcome of these charges
  • professional conduct determinations and findings by:
    • the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT)
    • the Suitability panel
    • the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) under current and historical health practitioner legislation
    • the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) through the Reportable Conduct Scheme.

2. A rigorous assessment of relevant offences, including conviction and non-conviction charges and professional conduct determinations and findings.

3. Ongoing monitoring of the criminal records of applicants who pass the Check and receive a card. 

The protection of children from sexual and physical harm is the paramount consideration for any decision made under the Act.


What happens next?

If you pass the Check your organisation is responsible for assessing your suitability to work with or care for children.

If the department's assessment indicates you should fail the Check, you will be given an Interim Negative Notice and the opportunity to explain why you believe you should pass the Check.

The department reviews your submission and determines whether you will pass the Check or be given a Negative Notice. A Negative Notice means you must not work with or care for children, even if you qualify for an exemption under the Act.

If you receive a Negative Notice, you may apply to VCAT to review the department's decision. For details go to Failing the Check.


What does the department tell my organisations?

The department must inform organisations engaging you in child-related work of the outcome of the screening and assessment processes such as passing the Check and issuing Interim Negative Notices and Negative Notices.

By law you must advise the department of every organisation that engages you in child-related work. If you remove organisations from your records, the department has the power to notify these organisations that you have removed them.

The department does not disclose any details about your criminal record or professional conduct to these organisations.