The Working with Children Check is established by the Working with Children Act 2005, also known as ‘the Act’.

The Act is one of the key pieces of legislation governing how we protect and promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in Victoria.

Over time, changes to the Working with Children Act 2005 and Working with Children Regulations 2016 are made to keep up with community expectations and to further strengthen the Working with Children Check. 

There are a number of separate but related pieces of legislation relevant to the Check or people doing child-related work in Victoria, categorised below.

You can find the Victorian legislation referred below on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (External link)  website. You can find Commonwealth legislation on the Federal Register of Legislation (External link) website.

Criminal legislation relevant to the Act

Working with Children Check Act – Relevant offences
Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Enforcement) Act 1995
Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997
Crimes Act 1958
Criminal Code Act 1995 (Commonwealth)
Criminal Procedure Act 2009
Sentencing Act 1991
Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
Summary Offences Act 1966
Surveillance Device Act 1999

Privacy legislation relevant to the Act

Freedom of Information Act 1982
Health Records Act 2001
Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014


Administrative legislation relevant to the Act

Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998


Occupational fields, definitions & exemptions

Child Employment Act 2003
Children's Services Act 1996
Children’s Services Regulations 2009
Children, Youth and Families Act 2005


Recent changes to legislation

As part of the Children Legislation Amendment Act 2019, amendments to the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act) came into effect on 10 December 2019.

The reforms strengthen protections under the Act by limiting the appeal rights of adults charged with, or found guilty of, the most serious offences. 

The amendments limit the right of appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for persons whose Working with Children Check application is rejected if they, as an adult, have been charged with, convicted or found guilty of a Category A offence. Category A offences are the most serious offences for the purpose of the WWC Act and include murder, rape and sexual offences committed against a child. 

The important reforms respond to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission), in which the Royal Commission found that a person convicted of certain serious offences will always pose an unacceptable risk to children. 

In addition, minor technical amendments were also made to the Act to improve its operation and administration. For details on these, see list of offences



Full versions of the WWC Act and Regulations are available online as PDF documents.

 Access the Act (External link)

Related pages