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Working with Children and Vulnerable People Check

In Australia, in order to protect the most vulnerable, every candidate that is paid to work or works in a voluntary capacity with children, disabled, elderly or vulnerable requires a current working with children/vulnerable people check.

There is no national framework for these checks, but we’ve done our homework so that you can access an easy yet consistent method to manage this important compliance responsibility.

Why WorkPro for Working With Children and Vulnerable People checks?

One Dashboard

Request, track and manage your checks from a single dashboard

Quick Requesting

Dictate the State or Territory and the check type required for easy candidate completion

Formal Verification

Auto schedule re-checks of cards to protect the most vulnerable in our community

Auto Reminders

A system that automates check/card expiry reminders to all parties

Protect the most vulnerable members of the community 


We’ve mapped out each State’s requirements, and designed a simple online workflow that allows you to request a candidate to apply for or upload a current check for you to validate, and continue to monitor in a timeframe that suits the business.

Across each Australian State there is a different name, application process and re-checking option.

You can choose the State that you require the check and whether the check is for volunteer or paid work, so that the candidate can quickly respond and upload the correct document every time.

Should you require the candidate to transfer from one check to another, you can simply make a new request from your dashboard.

Whilst checks do have expiry dates, and you can rely on this expiry to request the candidate to apply for a new check, you may want to periodically re-check depending on your organisation’s policy.

Use your WorkPro dashboard, to establish a re-check date and rely upon WorkPro to automatically re-check against the State database, in case the check status has changed.

A robust program will always include evidence of document verification.

Every check uploaded can be verified, and includes a certificate that is date and time stamped, forming a robust internal and external audit trail for this critical check.

Work that may require a Working with Children & Vulnerable People Check

Aged Care Facilities

Hospitals

Child Care Centres

Support Worker

Teachers

Sports Coaches

Transparently & automatically tracks expiries & sets auto-reminders for re-checks

Get started

FAQs

Why are Working with Children and Vulnerable People Checks a legal requirement?

The check is a mandatory requirement for anyone who works with children or vulnerable members of the community, in either a paid or voluntary role. Businesses must not hire anyone who does not have a valid check, unless a specific state based exemption applies or they have lodged an application for a check that is in the process of being assessed. If your organisation fails to comply with legislation surrounding working with children or vulnerable people, there may be consequences for both the individual and the organisation, including fines and imprisonment.

A Working with Children and Vulnerable People Check reviews a candidate’s criminal record in all Australian states and territories, as well as checking any findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a check is either a clearance to work with children, vulnerable people or groups for a specified period of time, or a bar against working with these groups.

Can I get a Working with Children and Vulnerable People Check for all Australian States and Territories?

There is no single check that covers an individual worker across every State and Territory in Australia. Each Australian State and Territory has its own screening unit to conduct the relevant check and issue the resulting card, registration or permit. Each of these checks may differ in terms of who is required to be registered, how long the registration is valid for, and the type of history that may prevent an individual from successfully passing the check.

  • Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia term the check a Working With Children Check.
  • Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) term the check a Working With Vulnerable People Check.

For example, an employee who legally requires a check, who works in both Victoria and Tasmania, would need both a Victorian Working With Children Check and a Tasmanian Working With Vulnerable People Check.

What is the difference between a Paid and Volunteer Working With Children or Vulnerable People Check in Australia?

All Australian States and Territories offer checks for both paid and volunteer workers:

  • If you are going to work in a paid capacity, or are self-employed, you will need to apply for a Paid (or Employee) Check. Note that paid work may include forms of remuneration such as allowances, gift vouchers or other forms of payment. Depending on the State or Territory, a Paid Check may be valid for both paid and volunteer work.
  • A volunteer check will only allow you to perform unpaid work. If necessary, you can apply to update the status of your check through the relevant screening unit in the relevant State or Territory.

For example, in Victoria, if you have a volunteer check and want to do paid child-related work, you would need to request to transition the type of your Working with Children Check from Volunteer to Employee. With an Employee Check, you can perform both volunteer and paid child-related work.

How long does it take to get a Working With Children or Vulnerable People Check in Australia?

Generally speaking, the majority of checks will take between two and four weeks from the initial application to receiving the check. Some people may receive their results within a few days, others may wait longer depending on the information supplied. There are many reasons as to why some checks may take longer than others to process, including:

  • The applicant’s criminal history (if any)
  • The applicant has a common name
  • If further investigation is required before the check can be finalised

For example, in Victoria, it typically takes up to three weeks to assess the application, however – if the applicant has a common name or the authorised body needs to spend more time investigating the application – it may take up to 12 weeks.

What is the difference between acknowledging and verifying a Working With Children or Vulnerable People Check?

When a check is “acknowledged”, this means that the employer has seen it, and checked the following details:

  • Name on check
  • Check number
  • State in which issued
  • Type of check, that is Paid or Volunteer
  • Expiry date
  • Viewed a copy of card
  • An employing entity can either accept or reject the check, and will receive a receipt and a certificate as proof of evidence stating the check status.

From here, an additional fee may be paid to formally “verify” the check with the relevant Australian State or Territory’s authorised body. Note that this service is currently not available in the ACT or South Australia. Once verified, the WorkPro platform will facilitate a result in minutes. The verification certificate shows date/s verified and the validity of the card.

Employing entities can continue to periodically verify that there have been no changes to the card status, ensuring the check hasn’t been revoked, checking expiry dates and ensuring that the card remains valid for continued currency.

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