Who cannot work with children?
You must not do child-related work if you have:
- not applied for a Working with Children Check (Check), although you do not need to apply if you qualify for an exemption under the Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act')
- failed the Check and been served with a Negative Notice. If you hold a Negative Notice you cannot do child-related work, even if you are supervised or qualify for an exemption under the Act.
Can I do child-related work without a Check?
No, unless you qualify for an exemption under the Act.
Can I work while my application is processed?
Most people can work with children while their application is processed. However, by law you must not if you:
- have been charged with, convicted, or found guilty of a sexual, violent or drug offence listed in clause 2 of Schedule 3 of the Act
- have been given a Negative Notice in the past
- intend to supervise a child under the age of 15 in employment under the Child Employment Act 2003
- intend to work in a service regulated by the Children’s Services Act 1996 or in an education and care service under the Education and Care National Services Law (Victoria) Act 2010
- are subject to orders or reporting obligations under the:
- Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004
- Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005
- Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.
Do I need a Check if, as an adult, I participate in an activity along with children?
No. This activity is not child-related work as you are participating in an activity on equal footing with children in a group.
Example: Dom is 25 years old. He participates in the local astronomy club that has members of all ages, including children. He does not need a Check.
How can I check the progress of my application?
Go to Check Status to check this.
What is the difference between an Employee and a Volunteer Check?
Both Checks are the same. However, by law, people doing paid child-related work must apply for an Employee Check and pay the Fee. Volunteer Checks are free.
If you have a Volunteer Check and intend to do paid child-related work, by law you must not use the Volunteer Check for that work. Penalties apply. You must apply for the Employee Check before you start paid work.
How do I withdraw my application?
Write to the Department of Justice and Regulation and request that your application be withdrawn. Please note that if you applied for an Employee Check, the fee you paid is non-refundable. For more information, go to Withdraw my application.
Does the application fee include GST?
No, the fee is GST exempt.
Do I need to apply for a new Check if I change jobs?
You only need to apply for a new Working with Children Check (the Check) if you are moving from volunteer work to paid child-related work, otherwise your Check is transferable. However, by law, you must notify the Department of Justice and Regulation of your new employer’s details within 21 days of commencing work with them.
How do I request a replacement card?
You can replace a stolen, lost or damaged card online. Log in to MyCheck and:
- update your personal, contact and work details
- complete the online replacement card request form
- pay the card replacement fee with a credit card if you have an Employee Check.
How do I update my details?
By law, you must notify the department within 21 days of any changes to personal, contact details or organisation/s details. Go to MyCheck to make these changes.
As you need to provide supporting documents to update your name or sex, you will not be able to do this online.
If you want to update a change to your title, you need to write to the department and request for this change to be made. For more information go to Update your details.
How is my information protected?
The Working with Children Act 2005 ('the Act'), Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, and Health Records Act 2001 regulate how the Department of Justice and Regulation collects and uses personal information.
How does the department use my information?
The department uses your information to:
- identify you
- examine your criminal records and any professional conduct decisions made against you by the professional bodies listed in What is checked
- reassess your eligibility to hold a Working with Children Check (the Check) if the department is notified of relevant offences or adverse professional conduct decisions
- contact you about your application or Check.
Will the department pass my information onto my organisation?
The department is bound by privacy and confidentiality laws. The department notifies your organisation/s of the outcome of your application, but not the details of your criminal or professional conduct records. The department also advises your organisation/s if your Check is suspended or revoked or you withdraw an application.
If you remove any organisation/s from your records, the department has the power to notify these organisations that you have removed them.
How is the information in my submission used?
Information in your submission cannot be used as evidence against you in a criminal proceeding or a proceeding to impose a penalty. However, the information can be used against you in proceedings for a breach of the Act or a proceeding in respect of false or misleading information in your application or submission.
What happens if I do not provide my personal information?
If you refuse or fail to provide the information the department requires:
- your application can be withdrawn by the department
- your Check may be revoked
- the reminder to renew your Check may not reach you.
By law, you must keep the department informed of all changes to your personal and organisation’s details as penalties apply. You must notify the department within 21 days of any changes to your name, residential address, phone numbers and organisation/s' details.
Can I access the information held about me?
You can make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. You need to describe the documents you would like released and, if required, pay a fee to access this information.
For more information go to the Freedom of Information website.
What happens to my information when it is no longer used?
The information gathered during your Check will be stored and disposed as required by the Public Records Act 1973.
What if I have a criminal record?
The Working with Children Check screens your criminal records across your lifetime, held by Victoria Police, other Australian state and territory police forces and the Australian Federal Police.
The Check may also examine reports from Corrections Victoria, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Protection Unit, other courts and information provided by other organisations and sources.
The Check reveals information about:
- convictions and findings of guilt across your life, including when you were a child
- findings of guilt with or without a conviction
- guilty pleas
- acquittals because of mental impairment
- spent convictions
- pending charges
- the circumstances of these charges or court findings.
The offences the Check screens for are:
- sexual, violent or drug offences
- any offence that represents an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children
- offences against the Working with Children Act 2005.
What offences are checked and assessed?
The Department of Justice and Regulation assesses sexual, violent and drug offences and offences that may represent an unjustifiable risk to the safety of children. For more information, go to List of offences and Application assessment.
What happens after I provide the information the department requests?
The department assesses the information to determine if you will pass or fail the Check. When assessing applications, the department considers a range of factors, defined in legislation, before making a decision. For details, go to Application assessment.
Will a copy of my criminal record be sent to the organisations I work for?
No. The department will not disclose any details about your criminal record to your organisation/s. If the department issues you with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice, it will send a copy of the Notice to these organisations, but not the details of the matters that led to the Notice being issued.
If you remove any organisation from your records, the department has the power to notify this organisation that you have removed them. It is unlawful not to provide details of all organisations that engage you in child-related work.
Do I need a Check if I already have a Police Check?
The Working with Children Check (Check) is not the same as the Police Check.
The Check screens your criminal and professional conduct records for sexual, violent and drug offences going back over your lifetime. The Police Check does not disclose all offences and does not go back over your lifetime.
Your criminal and professional conduct records are monitored for the life of your Check, but not with the Police Check.
Organisations require these Checks for different purposes. If you are doing child-related work, you will need to pass the Check, even if you have a Police Check.