A Police Check is not a Working with Children Check

The Working with Children Check and a Police Check are different checks. Depending on what your organisation requires, you might need both.

What is a Police Check?

A Police Check is not an assessment, like the Check, but a list of findings. You might need a Police Check when you start a new job, volunteer or do work experience. Your employer might use a Police Check to assess your suitability for other kinds of work.

For example, Emily is applying for a job in a clothing store. The retailer might want to check for fraud offences because they’re recruiting for a role with access to cash.

Victoria Police

If you need to obtain a Police Check for paid or unpaid work, licences or registration in Victoria, contact Victoria Police (External link).

Australian Federal Police

If you need a Police Check for immigration and visa applications, working overseas, adoption, a Federal Government job, or for any other reason under Commonwealth legislation, contact the Australian Federal Police (External link).

You can get a Police Check online via their website or download an application form to complete.

How is a Working with Children Check different?

Under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act) if you’re doing child-related work and are not otherwise exempt under the Act, you must have a Check even if you already have a Police Check.

The main differences between a Working with Children Check and a Police Check are:

  • A Police Check won’t allow you to do child-related work in Victoria
  • You can’t pass or fail a Police Check, but you will pass or fail a Working with Children Check
  • A Working with Children Check card is valid for 5 years (unless suspended, surrendered or revoked), but a Police Check only provides results as at the date of issue
  • When you apply for a Check, we review professional conduct determinations and findings from prescribed bodies listed in the Act. A Police Check doesn’t.
  • We are notified by other regulators and prescribed bodies about changes to your circumstances while your Working with Children Check card is valid. A Police Check only provides a snapshot as at the date of the check, with no future information provided.

If you’re not sure whether or not you need a Check, try our interactive tool.

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