The requirement to obtain a Working with Children Check where a person wants to engage in child-related work and the process to obtain the Working with Children Check is established by the Worker Screening Act 2020 ( ‘the Act’) which came into force on 1 February 2021 and repealed the Working with Children Act 2005.
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.
Full versions of the WWC Act and Regulations are available online as PDF documents.
Access the Act (External link)
Over time, changes to the Act and regulations made under it 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 Working with Children Check or people doing child-related work in Victoria, some of which are referred to in the Act.
Victorian legislation can be found at the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (External link) website and Commonwealth legislation can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation (External link) website.
Limitation of right to appeal
Under the Act adults charged with, or found guilty of, the most serious Category A offences which include murder, rape and sexual offences committed against a child have a limited right to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for review of a decision to reject their Working with Children Check application.
This is an important reform in response to the finding by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) that a person convicted of certain serious offences will always pose an unacceptable risk to children.