If you plan to do child-related work in Victoria you'll need to apply for a Working with Children Check, unless you're exempt under the Act.
There is one assessment process for the Check, but you must choose between two application types: Volunteer or Employee. If you’re getting paid for child-related work (excluding reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses), you’ll need to apply as an Employee.
If you pass a Check, you’ll get a card that’s valid for 5 years, unless the card is suspended, cancelled or surrendered.
By law, there are some activities or jobs that need a Check. If you can’t find your type of activity or work listed, you won’t need a Check unless your organisation has asked you to get one.
Do I need a Check?
The organisation you wish to volunteer or work for might have strict rules in place when it comes to child safety. It’s important to first ask the organisation what their requirements are and if they tell you to get a Check, you can apply online.
If you’re unsure, try our online interactive tool. By answering a series of questions about the kind of child-related work you're going to do, our tool will let you know whether you're required to get a Check or if you're exempt.
If you plan to do volunteer child-related work in Victoria (where you're not paid for the work), this is the Check you might need. Some examples of volunteer child-related work are:
- Coaching a sports team
- Scout leader
- School-based activities.
We’ve created a list of job categories that need a Check for you to use to work out if you need a Check.
If you're reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses you incur in doing voluntary work, you remain eligible for this type of Check.
To do paid child-related work, you might need an Employee Check. Some examples of paid child-related work are:
- Teacher’s aides
- Child care
- Child protection services
- Healthcare professionals in a hospital paediatric ward.
The Employee Check card covers both volunteer and paid work. There are some scenarios in which you may not need a Check- find out when you don’t need a Check.
What do you check?
The Working with Children (WWC) Check looks at a few different things to determine if you’re permitted to do child-related work in Victoria.
When you apply, we’ll look at and rigorously assess your:
- criminal record in all Australian states and territories across your lifetime, including serious sexual, violent and drug offences you have previously been charged with, regardless of the outcome of those charges
- professional conduct, which is determined by:
- the Victorian Institute of Teaching (External link) (VIT)
the Suitability Panel, established under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, which makes findings related to the suitability of registered out of home carers
the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) through the Reportable Conduct Scheme (External link)
compliance (if applicable) with historical and current health practitioner legislation
current or historical reporting obligations or orders under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 or the Serious Offenders Act 2018
The Worker Screening Act 2020 (the Act) classifies a range of relevant WWC offences into two categories: A and B. Applicable WWC offences are categorised according to severity with category A offences being the most severe. We also screen and monitor every applicant and cardholder for any new offences or charges that fall within the Act.
We’ll inform organisations that we're aware of that engage you in child-related work if you pass or fail the Check, but we won’t give them any details gathered during the Check, such as criminal records or professional conduct determinations and findings.
To learn more about the offences and penalties that may apply for breaches of the Act, see our offences and penalties page.
Working with Children Check Victoria, which administers the Working with Children Check, collects and uses personal information according to the Worker Screening Act 2020 (the Act), the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, and the Health Records Act 2001. We respect your privacy and protect the personal information you give us.
Under the Act, giving false or misleading information is an offence and penalties apply. If you do not provide all the required information during the application process, we may require you to provide further information before your application is processed.
The information you provide helps us to:
- identify you
- check your criminal history
- reassess your eligibility for the Check if we’re notified of new charges or a professional conduct finding against you
- inform you if you have passed the Check, when it expires and when to renew
- post important information to you.
If you refuse or fail to provide the information requested, we can withdraw your application or revoke your Check. We also won’t be able to remind you when your Check needs to be renewed.
Penalties do apply if your personal, contact and organisation details aren’t changed within 21 days of you becoming aware of the change. You can update them online on our website.
Your personal information
To assess your suitability to have a Check, we may release your personal information to or seek additional information from the following organisations:
- Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police and interstate police forces
- government agencies
- courts and tribunals
- healthcare professionals
- authorised screening agencies
- professional disciplinary bodies listed above.
If you would like to access the information gathered about you for the Check, visit the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (External link) website and they can help.
If you’re ready to start an application, learn how to apply.