05 MayNew Worker Screening Act 2020 and Worker Screening Regulation 2021
As of 1 February 2021, there are legislative and regulatory changes to Working with Children Checks which are required when a person wants to engage in child-related work. The Worker Screening Act 2020 has come into force with the Working with Children Act 2005 being repealed. The Working with Children Regulation 2006 has also been repealed and Worker Screening Regulation 2021 now apply.
Working with Children Check is a legal requirement under the Worker Screening Act 2020 for those undertaking paid or voluntary child-related work in Victoria. The Department of Justice assesses a person’s suitability to work with children by examining relevant serious sexual, physical and drug offences in a person’s national criminal history and, where appropriate, their professional history.
There has been a change in terminology with Working with Children Check cards, now becoming Working with Children Clearance. The Working with Children Clearance is granted to a person under the Worker Screening legislation if:
- they have been assessed as suitable to work with children
- there has been no information that, if the person worked with children, they would pose a risk to those children
- they are not prohibited from attempting to obtain, undertake or remain in child-related employment.
The Working with Children Clearance allows a person to do child-related work for five years, unless it is surrendered or revoked. Existing Working with Children Checks remain current and will be replaced with a Working with Children Clearance on renewal.
Early childhood teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) continue to be exempt from holding a WWC Clearance but must notify Working with Children Check Victoria (WWCCV) of any child-related work they do outside of their teaching in an early childhood service (regardless of whether it is paid or voluntary work).
If VIT suspends or cancels the registration of an early childhood teacher, WWCCV may notify the organisations where the teacher engages in child-related work that their teacher exemption from a WWC Clearance no longer applies.
For more information about Working with Children Check and Working with Children Clearance, please CLICK HERE