Working with Children Checks

You need a Working with Children Check if you work, or intend to work, as an employee or volunteer, in a child-related area.

Anyone over 14, who does child-related work more than seven days a year, must have a Working with Children Check. It is an offence to do child-related work without a Working with Children Check.

Working with Children Checks are valid for five years, regardless of where you work.

Who needs a Working with Children Check

Before you apply

Confirm that you do not have an existing Working with Children Check.

You can conduct a Working with Children Check search to check whether you or an employee has a valid Working with Children Check.

The search needs to include the applicant’s Unique ID. If you do not have access to this number, you can perform a search to get your Unique ID. You will need the email address that you used on your application.

If you're not sure whether you have a Working with Children Check, you can contact the Screening Unit.

If you apply for a Working with Children Check, you will not also need a vulnerable person-related employment check, or a general employment probity check.

How to apply

For individuals

You can apply for a Working with Children Check if you work, or intend to work, as an employee or volunteer in a child-related area.

You can apply for a new Working with Children Check if your existing check will expire within six months.

Apply for a screening check

For sole traders, contractors or self-employed workers

If you are a sole trader, contractor or self-employed, and you do not employ workers or volunteers, you can apply for a check as an individual.

If you are a sole trader, contractor or self-employed and you do employ workers or volunteers, you can register as an organisation to apply for a screening check for yourself and initiate your employees' checks.

For employers and organisations

An employer can initiate a Working with Children Check on behalf of a current or prospective employee or volunteer.

To do this, your organisation needs to be registered with the Screening Unit. Once you have registered, you can start lodging applications on behalf of individuals.

Register with the screening unit

Before you start an application on behalf of an individual, you will need to know:

  • your organisation’s Screening Unit login details
  • what type of check you need to apply for
  • that the individual has given their consent for your organisation to do a check
  • the individual’s full name, date of birth and email address.

Log in to the portal

When you have completed the organisation component of the application, the Screening Unit will email login and password details to the individual, to complete and submit the application.

Organisations that initiate Working with Children Checks have the option to use organisation-verified ID if a verifying officer has been nominated.

Information for check holders

After a Working with Children Check clearance is granted, information sources (from bodies including SA Police and Department for Child Protection) are monitored for any new information relevant to a person's check status. Also, the Screening Unit is notified when a person is prohibited from working with children in another state or territory.

If new information means a person's clearance status is changed or revoked, the person and all known organisations will be notified.

Worker responsibilities

If you have had a Working with Children Check, you must notify the Screening Unit if any of the following occur:

  • you become prohibited from working with children in another state or territory
  • you become a registrable offender under the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006
  • you make a disclosure to your employer under section 66 of the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006
  • there is a change in the information relating to you and the information arose after your most recent Working with Children Check.

It is an offence (with a maximum penalty of $50,000) to refuse or fail to notify the Screening Unit of this information.

Before you can notify the Screening Unit, you will need to verify your identity with the Screening Unit. This ensures that you are the right person and that the right details are being changed or updated. Once verified you will be sent an email with a link that will allow you to notify the Screening Unit of a change in information.

Receipt of any of the above information may result in the Screening Unit conducting an additional Working with Children Check in relation to you and a change in your Working with Children Check status.

Notify the Screening Unit

Employer/organisation responsibilities

It is an offence to employ a person to work with children without a Working with Children Check.

Employers have additional obligations under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 . For any prescribed position, where it is reasonably foreseeable that a person will work with children, employers must do the following.

Verify an employee has a check and they are not prohibited

An employer can only employ a person in a prescribed position if they have verified:

  • that the person has had a Working with Children Check conducted in the last 5 years, and
  • that the person is not prohibited from working with children.

You can verify a person has a check through your organisation portal.

Verify an employee has a check at least once every 5 years

An employer who employs a person in a prescribed position must verify every 5 years:

  • that the person has had a Working with Children Check conducted in the last 5 years, and
  • that the person is not prohibited from working with children.

You can verify a person has a check through your organisation portal.

Advise the Screening Unit if you become aware of any assessable information in relation that an employee

Employers are required to make a report to the Screening Unit if they become aware that a person they are employing in a prescribed position:

  • has new assessable information. For example, the person has been charged with or found guilty of an offence or is subject to disciplinary proceedings
  • is prohibited from working with children in another State or Territory
  • becomes a registrable offender under the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006, or
  • makes a disclosure to you under section 66 of the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006.

This is known as a section 19 report, and can be made through your organisation portal. It is an offence (with a maximum penalty of $25,000) to refuse or fail to notify the Screening Unit of this information.

Information for parents

People you personally engage to work directly with your children must have a Working with Children Check. For example:

  • au pairs and nannies (except privately arranged babysitting)
  • private sporting coaches such as tennis coaches
  • tutors
  • music teachers.

Verify a check

You can verify a person's Working with Children Check through the Screening Unit.

To verify a person has a Working with Children Check and is not prohibited you will need:

  • the person's full name (exactly as they provided to the Screening Unit)
  • their Screening Unit Unique ID (check a Screening Unique ID)
    • A person is required by law to provide you with their name and Screening Unique ID to enable you to verify they have a Working with Children Check.
  • your name
  • your email address
  • the reason for your search.

The search does not disclose any personal information in relation to the person who is the subject of the search, and the result will be emailed to you at the email address provided.

Verify a Working with Children Check

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Page last updated 7 December 2022

Provided by:
Department of Human Services
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/rights-and-law/rights-and-responsibilities/screening-checks/screening-wwcc
Last Updated:
07/12/22
Printed on:
08/02/23
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2023
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