Working with Children Checks – do I need one?

The Working with Children Check (WWCC) helps protect children from physical and emotional harm. This is achieved by screening an individual’s criminal record and professional conduct.

You may be required to pass a WWCC in order to do paid or voluntary child-related work in Victoria. Child-related work is work in one of the occupational fields listed in the Working with Children Act 2005, where contact with a child is unsupervised, direct and part of a person’s duties. There are however, some exemptions. To find out if you need to obtain a WWCC, click here.

Club volunteers that have direct contact with children need to take responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of children by having the correct Working with Children Check (WWCC). If the role being undertaken is a paid position, then the Employee Card is the appropriate Check, whilst if the role is unpaid or volunteer, then the Volunteer Card will suffice.

It is important to know that the WWCC Employee Card will also allow you to undertake any child-related volunteer role at your club. However, the WWCC Volunteer Card doesn’t allow you to undertake child-related roles that involve payment. There are significant fines associated with anyone undertaking a child-related paid role, whilst holding only a volunteer WWCC card.

Club volunteers will need to;

  1. Ensure they have the correct WWCC card – Employee or Volunteer. An explanation of the two types can be found on the Working with Children website at; www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au
  2. The cardholder must register their WWCC card via the MyCheck website and then add their sporting club to the card before undertaking any direct child-related activities at the club.
  3. The cardholder is responsible for ensuring that their WWCC card remains current. The WWCC card is valid for five (5) years and must be updated prior to the expiration of their current card.

WWCC are free for volunteers and remain valid for five (5) years.

As a club administrator…

  1. Club administrators need to ascertain which club volunteers will be required to have a WWCC in order to fulfil their role at the club. If the volunteer doesn’t have a current WWCC, then they will need to make application via the Victorian Working with Children website at: www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au.

It is important to note that a person can continue to work directly with children whilst their WWCC application is being processed. What they need to do is present to the club the receipt that is supplied after completing the application. It normally takes up to three (3) weeks for a WWCC card to be processed and delivered to the applicant.

  1. The club needs to maintain a register of volunteers that are required to have a WWCC. The register should contain some basic details regarding the volunteer’s card; Volunteer’s Name, Card Number and Card Expiry Date. Please note that currently organisations registered on a WWCC card will not be notified by Working with Children when a card expires, this remains the responsibility of the cardholder and the organisation where the child-related work is taking place.
  2. The club administrator must check the status of the volunteer’s card via the Working with Children Check website. The information required to check the status is; Card Number and Family Name. The information in return will be whether the card is current, the type of card (Employee or Volunteer) and the Card Expiry Date.
  3. The club administrator must request the volunteer to register their WWCC card on the MyCheck website, so they can add the sporting club to the list of organisations that they are having direct contact with children. Once the club is added to the card, the club will receive notification in the form of a document outlining the details of the cardholder incorporating a copy of the front and back of the card.
    Once added, the club will then receive notifications from Working with Children of any breaches/infringements by the volunteer, which will then require the club to initiate appropriate action to safeguard the children.
  4. The addition of sporting clubs to a WWCC card can take up to 10 business days to process. In that time the volunteer shouldn’t have any direct contact with children. If after 10 business days notification still hasn’t been received by the club, then the volunteer should be advised to contact Working with Children to follow up. All club officials should be advised on the situation to ensure that the volunteer has no direct contact with children.

It is important to remember that the Working With Children Check (WWCC) is simply a tool that assists your club in providing a child safe environment. It won’t be effective in isolation, it needs to complement your other child safe initiatives, such as; policies, procedures, training and education that you have instigated at your club that will collectively assist in keeping children safe.

Obtaining a WWCC is as simple as:

  • Filling out an online application form
  • Presenting the form, proof of identity documents, and a passport quality photo at a participating Australia Post outlet

For further information, or to apply for a check visit the Working with Children Check website.

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