Working with Children Checks
Who needs a Working with Children Check
You need a Working with Children Check (WWCC) if you work, or intend to work, as an employee or volunteer, in a child-related area.
It's 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.
Before you apply
Confirm that you don't already have an existing Working with Children Check.
Conduct a Working with Children Check search to see whether you have a valid Working with Children Check
The search needs your Unique ID (SRN). You can search your Unique ID if you know the email address that you used in 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 do not need to apply for a vulnerable person-related employment check, or a general employment probity check.
Who can apply
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.
If you're a sole trader, contractor or self-employed, and you don't employ workers or volunteers, you can apply for a check as an individual.
If you're 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.
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 applications on behalf of individuals.
Before you start an application on behalf of an individual, you will need to know:
- 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.
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 employers and organisations
Employers and organisations have an important role to play in safeguarding children, by ensuring employees or volunteer who work with them have a valid Working with Children Check. The following pages provide more information on your responsibilities.
Continuous monitoring of checks
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. The SA Screening Unit is also 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.
Both workers who have a Working with Children Check and their employer or organisation have legal obligations to notify the Screening Unit of certain information.
If you have had a Working with Children Check, you must notify the Screening Unit if any of the following occur:
- you change your name, or start using another name or names
- 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 assessable information relating to you and the information arose after your most recent Working with Children Check. Assessable information includes, but is not limited to, criminal charges, criminal convictions and findings of guilt, child protection matters, disciplinary and misconduct matters, cancellation of an approval as a foster parent, intervention orders, and restraining orders.
It's 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'll need to verify your customer details 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.
Employers have additional obligations under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 . For any prescribed position, where it's reasonably foreseeable that a person will work with children, employers must do the following.
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 or misconduct proceedings, an intervention or restraining order
- 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's 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.
A prohibition notice will be issued by the Screening Unit (Central Assessment Unit) where it determines the person who applied for a Working with Children Check poses an unacceptable risk to children and is prohibited from working with children. Notices are sent to an applicant's personal email address, or via registered post.
Right of review
If you have been issued with a prohibition notice you may be able to apply directly to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) to review the decision of the Screening Unit to issue the prohibition notice (conditions apply).
The application to SACAT should be made within 14 days after the prohibition notice is received. SACAT may allow an extension of time in certain circumstances.
You may apply to the Screening Unit to have a prohibition notice revoked if:
- the prohibition notice was issued in error - eg mistaken identity
- there is fresh and compelling assessable information that, if assessed in the course of the original Working with Children Check, would have materially affected the determination to prohibit you.
You will need to provide evidence to support your application such as court documents or transcripts, police reports, professional reports or assessments, or statutory declarations.
You can not apply to have your prohibition notice revoked if:
- you have been found guilty of a prescribed offence committed as an adult (unless the conviction is now spent)
- you are prohibited from working with children under the law of the Commonwealth, or of another state or territory.
The Screening Unit may refuse to consider an application to revoke a prohibition notice if an application to revoke the same notice has been considered in the last 5 years.
E-mail DHS.ScreeningUnitPolicy@sa.gov.au to apply for a revocation.
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