A new Working With Children Check will start on 15 June 2013, after new legislation and regulations were passed through NSW government late last year. The new Working With Children Check covers more people, is more comprehensive and provides better protection for children. The new model is also consistent with other state and territory Checks, giving the starting point for a National Working With Children Check. A Working With Children Check involves a national criminal history check and review of reported workplace misconduct, and the result is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children.
A Working With Children Check is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related work, but it is not the only resource available to organisations to keep children safe. The new Working With Children Check will commence on 15 June 2013. Until then, the existing Check will continue to apply. If you are already in paid, child-related work or you are a volunteer, you do not need to apply straight away as you will be phased in over the next five years.
Under the new check:
- Workers and volunteers will apply for their own Check once every five years
- Employers will verify a child-related worker's or volunteer's clearance number
- The same Working With Children Check will apply to everyone – paid workers, self-employed people and volunteers
- Everyone with a clearance will be continuously monitored for serious sex or violence offences.There can only be two results for a new Working With Children Check – a clearance or a bar. People with a bar may not work or volunteer in child-related roles.
What is child-related work?
A Working With Children Check is a prerequisite for any adult in child-related work, paid or unpaid. Child-related work is working face-to-face with children or young people under 18 years in a children’s sector or work in a specified child-related role. Child-related sectors and child-related roles are listed in the Child Protection (Working With Children) Regulation 2013. Adults who share the home of an authorised carer or a family day care educator will also need a Working With Children Check.
All processes for the new Check are online and will be available from 15 June 2013. To apply:
- Fill in an online application form at www.kids.nsw.gov.au.
- If you cannot access the online system, call the customer service line on (02) 2986 7627 and an officer will complete the form for you. When you have completed the application, you will get an application number.
- Verify your identity at a NSW motor registry or Government Access Centre. You will need your application number and proof of identity.
- If you are in paid work, you will also need to pay an $80 application fee (no fee for volunteers, students, authorised carers or adults sharing their homes).
Once your application has been processed, you will be notified of the outcome by email or post. There are only two results of a Working With Children Check – a clearance or a bar.
The new check will be free for volunteers and cost $80 for paid workers and self-employed people. A volunteer Check cannot be used for paid work with children. A person with a volunteer clearance will be able to work in paid child-related roles as long as the $80 fee is paid within 30 days of starting the paid work.The new check will be free for volunteers and cost $80 for paid workers and self-employed people. A volunteer Check cannot be used for paid work with children. A person with a volunteer clearance will be able to work in paid child-related roles as long as the $80 fee is paid within 30 days of starting the paid work.
Results of a Check
If the outcome of your Working With Children Check application is a clearance, you will receive an email or a letter advising you of your Working With Children Check number and the date on which your clearance will expire. Your Check will remain valid for five years (unless a new record triggers a risk assessment or bar against working with children) and may be used for any child-related work in NSW. If a bar is being considered, the Commission for Children and Young People will notify you and invite you to submit information which the Commission must consider in making its final decision. If you receive a bar of any kind, you will be notified in writing and informed of how to apply for a review of the decision to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. While a bar is in place it is an offence to engage in any child-related work, paid or unpaid.
For more information, and to find factsheets relating to the new Working with Children Check, please visit www.kids.nsw.gov.au/kids/working/newcheck
First published: 31 May 2013
Last modified: 16 Jul 2013