These definitions explain common terms used by the Working with Children Check (Check) scheme and their general meanings under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act). For legal definitions, see the Act.
A person or organisation that recruits workers for child-related services.
Evidence, in the form of a card, that you have passed the Check and can undertake child-related work. For details, go to Passing the Check.
A person under 18 years of age.
Work within one or more of the occupational fields defined in the Act where the contact with a child is unsupervised, direct, and part of a person’s duties.
For details, go to Who needs a Check?
Child-related work for ministers of religion
All ministers of religion are required to get a Check unless the contact they have with children is only occasional and always incidental to their work.
Child-related work for ministers is defined more broadly than for everyone else. For ministers, child-related work is not limited to work involving unsupervised, direct contact with children. By law, any contact with children, unless it is only occasional and incidental, is enough to require the minister to get a Check. This includes ministers, regardless of whether their contact with children is supervised or not, who visit schools, children's camps or have children present in their congregations.
For details, go to Who needs a Check?
The Department of Justice & Regulation.
A court order made under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 which provides for the continued detention of serious sex offenders.
A person having face-to-face or physical contact with a child.
Supervising another person’s contact with children must be personal and immediate but can include a brief absence, such as taking a phone call in another room.
Providers of study or training for people under the age of 18 years, specifically:
- state schools, including primary, secondary, technical and special state schools
- non-government schools including primary, secondary and special non-government schools
- TAFE colleges and universities with a TAFE division providing subjects for the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
- adult education providers offering VCE and VCAL subjects
- other institutions providing children’s study or training.
A situation listed in the Act where people doing child-related work do not need a Check. For details, go to Exemptions.
Extended supervision order
A court order made under the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 which requires extended supervision of serious sex offenders.
Accommodation services specifically provided for students as part of a student exchange program under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in the person’s home.
Interim Negative Notice
If the department determines an applicant or a cardholder should not be allowed to work with children, it issues them with an Interim Negative Notice indicating the intention to issue a Negative Notice. An Interim Negative Notice allows the person to respond to the information the department intends to use in its final decision.
The Check is the first step organisations need to take to create child-safe environments. The Check screens criminal history and professional conduct records, but does not assess a person’s suitability to work with children.
Minister of religion
A minister of religion is:
- A person ordained or appointed as a recognised religious leader in an organised religious institution; or
- The appointed leader of a local religious congregation in an organised religious institution who has general authority over the operations of that congregation within the institution.
If a person fails the Check, the department issues them with a Negative Notice, which prohibits them from doing child-related work, even if they are supervised or qualify for an exemption. For details, go to Failing the Check.
A service, body, place, or activity where child-related work can occur.
For the full list, see Occupational fields.
An officer is a person who makes decisions that significantly affect the business or finances of a corporation, including a director, secretary, receiver, administrator, liquidator and trustee.
An officer in a body corporate is any person who is involved in the management of the body corporate.
Private or domestic arrangement
An agreement between family and friends that involves no payment. These arrangements are not regarded as child-related work. The Check does not regulate private or domestic arrangements.
Bodies that regulate certain professions, like the Victorian Institute of Teaching. When assessing an applicant or a cardholder, the department can consider professional conduct reports by the bodies named in the Act in addition to criminal records. For details, see What is checked.
See 'Professional bodies' above.
A relevant finding is a decision, report or determination made about a person’s professional conduct by the following professional bodies:
- Victorian Institute of Teaching
- Suitability Panel
- Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal under the current and historical health practitioner legislation.
Example: the cancellation of a teacher’s registration.
The Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 imposes obligations on serious sex offenders living in the community to regularly report various personal details to Victoria Police.
Student exchange services
Accommodation services specifically provided for students as part of a student exchange program under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in the person’s home such as a homestay arrangement.
When the department issues an applicant or cardholder with an Interim Negative Notice, they have the opportunity to explain why they should pass the Check. A written submission to the department is usually required.
Under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009, courts can issue an order for a serious sex offender to be supervised.
Working with Children Check
The Check screens an applicant or cardholder’s criminal records and the professional conduct reports made by the bodies listed in the Act. If the Check finds serious sexual, violent or drug offences, or adverse professional reports, the department assesses these to determine if the person will pass the Check.
Organisations that care or provide services for children must provide safe environments. The Check permits successful applicants to work with children, but organisations must decide if a worker is suitable for a particular role and continue to monitor their behaviour around children.