Not everyone who has contact with children needs a Working with Children Check. Under the Worker Screening Act 2020 (the Act), only people who are doing child-related work (and aren’t otherwise exempt under the Act) need a Check. This applies to both paid and volunteer workers. In addition to the requirements of the Act, many organisations have their own child safety policies, so make sure you talk to your organisation before you start work.
If you’re going to do child-related work
If you’re planning to do child-related work, you might need a Check. If you’re unsure whether or not you need a Check, you can either:
- search for your service or type of work in the table below, or
- answer a series of short questions using our interactive online tool.
What is child-related work?
Child-related work is work in any of the occupational fields (referred to in the Act as services, bodies, places or activities) outlined in the table below, which usually involves direct contact with a child. It excludes any infrequent direct contact with children that’s incidental to the work.
If you meet ALL 5 of the following conditions, you will need to get a Check
- You are an adult engaged in work within the meaning of the Act, which includes engaging in voluntary work and providing practical training as well as paid employment;
- You are working at or for one of the services, places or bodies, or in one of the activities listed in the Act (see the table below for details);
- Your work usually involves direct contact with a child or children. Direct contact means physical or face-to-face contact, or written (including postal), oral or electronic communication;
- The contact you have with children is not occasional direct contact and is not incidental to your work; and
- You are not otherwise exempt from needing a Check under the Act.
If any of the following points apply, you don’t need a Check
- If you qualify for an exemption under the Act – find out when you don’t need a Check
- If you have a private or domestic arrangement for family and friends (unless you are a kinship carer) which is unpaid
- You’re supervising a student in practical training that’s been organised by their educational institution
- You’re taking part in an activity with a child in the same way that a child participates, such as other players in a chess team.
List of services or places of work that require a Check
If you don’t identify with any of the services or places listed in the categories below, you’re not doing child-related work. That means you don’t need a Check.
There are some exceptions – like if your organisation has asked you to get a Check. If your organisation has told you to get a Check, you will still need to get one.
|Service or place of work||Details|
|Child care services||
Child care services including:
|Child employment - supervisors||Supervision of a child 14 years of age in employment under the Child Employment Act 2003|
|Child minding||Babysitting or child minding services arranged by a commercial agency|
|Child protection services||Child protection services|
|Children's services||Children's services including kindergartens or preschools under the Children's Services Act 1996 and Education and Care Services National Law (Victoria)|
|Clubs and associations||Clubs, associations or movements of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature that provide services or conduct activities for, or directed at children or whose membership comprises primarily children|
|Coaching and tuition||Coaching or private tuition services of any kind specifically for children|
|Counselling services||Counselling or other support services for children|
Educational institutions for children, specifically:
|Entertainment & party services||Commercial entertainment or party services for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities|
|Foster care||Fostering children|
|Gym or play facilities||Commercial gym or play facilities for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities|
|Kinship care||Caring for a child placed by Child Protection (under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005)|
|Out-of-home care services||Out-of-home care services (under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005)|
|Paediatric wards||Paediatric wards of public, private or denominational hospitals as defined in the Health Services Act 1988|
|Photography services||Commercial photography services for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities|
|Refuges||Refuges or other residential facilities used by children|
|School crossings||School crossing services|
|Student exchange programs/ homestay arrangements||Student exchange or homestay arrangement under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in a person’s home|
|Talent and beauty competitions||Commercial talent or beauty competitions for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities|
|Transport||Publicly funded or commercial transport services specifically for children|
|Youth justice||Youth remand, residential, or justice centres, supervision units and probation services within the meaning of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005|
Ministers of religion
Child-related work for ministers of religion is defined more broadly than for everyone else. For ministers, child-related work is not limited to work involving direct contact with children; any contact with children is enough to require a Check. For example, ministers who have children present in their congregation, or attend schools are required to hold a Check.
The only time a minister does not require a Check is when any contact with children is occasional, and never a part of their normal duties. This might occur, for example, for ministers with purely administrative roles within a church’s bureaucracy.