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The application process

After you lodge your application your application your details are checked for relevant offences, charges and convictions 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 reports about professional conduct, 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
  • professional conduct reports by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) or the Suitability panel
  • relevant determinations by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) under current and historical health practitioner legislation.

2. A rigorous assessment of relevant offences and professional conduct reports.

3. Preparation of the department's assessment and determination. For details go to Application assessment.

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

The protection of children 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 will 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 if 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 your contact with children is supervised or 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 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 can notify them that you removed their details.

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