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Working with Children Check Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 aims to reduce the risk of abuse to children by establishing the Working with Children Check. The check is a screening mechanism to reduce the likelihood that unsuitable people work in paid or unpaid child-related employment.

(2) Under section 6 (2) (g) of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012, universities are exempt from the child protection provisions. However, Charles Sturt University (the University) has voluntarily decided to conduct Working with Children Checks for child-related employment, placements in schools or hospitals, and research projects, as specified in clause (5) of this Procedure.

(3) This document sets out the University's procedure for implementing the Working with Children Check.

(4) The objectives of this Procedure are to:

  1. ensure the safety of children in their places of learning;
  2. ensure the suitability of employees, job applicants, volunteers and students for direct contact with children as part of their employment or studies at the University; and
  3. prevent people convicted of sex offences, acts of indecency, child abuse, child pornography, kidnapping or murder of a child from working in child-related employment, research or practicum placements.

Scope

(5) This Procedure applies to:

  1. employees, including volunteer workers, undertaking work that involves direct contact with children, where that contact is not directly supervised;
  2. University staff or students undertaking research in which children are participants or subjects; and
  3. University students undertaking practicum placements in workplaces where contact with children cannot be avoided, e.g. teacher education training in schools and clinical education training in hospitals.
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Section 2 - Glossary

(6) "Children" refers to "persons under the age of 18 years". (Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012, section 5)

(7) "Child-related work" refers to face-to-face contact with children in a child-related sector or work in a child-related role. (NSW Office of the Children's Guardian)

(8) "Working with Children Check" is a mandatory checking procedure to determine whether or not to clear an applicant for child-related work in NSW. It involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of misconduct involving children. (NSW Office of the Children's Guardian)

(9) "Working with Children Check clearance" refers to "authorisation ... to engage in child-related work". (Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012, section 5)

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Section 3 - Policy

(10) Nil.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Child-related Employment at Charles Sturt University

(11) The following positions in the University have been identified as child-related employment for the purposes of the Act:

  1. employees in the University's child care centres;
  2. academic staff undertaking research in which children are participants or subjects;
  3. staff undertaking student recruitment or information sessions in schools;
  4. staff conducting tours of the University for school children; and
  5. other positions involved in work that has foreseeable or anticipated direct contact with children, where that contact is not directly supervised.

(12) All other positions in the University have been assessed to determine whether they primarily have direct contact with children where that contact is not directly supervised, i.e. to determine whether they are child-related employment.

(13) The status of each position has been noted on the University's staffing establishment.

Part B - Working with Children Check Procedure

(14) University students, staff and volunteers who will be undertaking work with children without direct supervision, and who do not hold a current clearance, will need to apply online for a Working with Children Check. The application form is available from https://wwccheck.ccyp.nsw.gov.au/Applicants/Application# . When they submit their form, they will receive an application number.

(15) If the individual is already in paid child-related work or is a volunteer, they will be phased in to the new checking requirements over a five year period, in accordance with the period specified by the Office of the Children's Guardian for their industry sector.

(16) Applicants take their application number and proof of identity to a NSW Motor Registry or NSW Council Agency. (Proof of identity is the same as for a NSW photo driver licence.)

(17) Non-volunteers pay an $80 fee for a five (5) year clearance. The Working with Children Check remains free for volunteers and students over 18 on a professional placement.

(18) The Working with Children Check includes a national police check and review of findings of misconduct involving children.

(19) The NSW Office of the Children's Guardian will conduct a risk assessment of an applicant's eligibility for child-related work if there are notifications or findings of misconduct involving children.

(20) The NSW Office of the Children's Guardian will keep the applicant informed during the risk assessment process. If a bar is being considered, the applicant will be contacted and informed of the potential decision and invited to submit information that may affect the outcome of the final decision.

(21) If the final outcome is a bar, the NSW Office of the Children's Guardian will notify the applicant by post. In most cases, barred workers can apply for a review of the decision to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

(22) If a worker receives a clearance, they will be issued with a Working with Children Check number. The worker must provide this number (or their application number), along with their surname and date of birth, for online verification to:

Human Resources Service Centre

(23) Division of Human Resources

Charles Sturt University

(24) Phillips Building (1410)

(25) Panorama Avenue

Bathurst, NSW, 2795

(26) NOTE: The worker's notification letter will not be accepted as proof of clearance.

(27) If the outcome of online verification is "cleared" or "application in progress", the worker may begin work with children immediately.

(28) The clearance is valid for any child-related work in NSW for five years. During this period they will be subject to ongoing monitoring for relevant new records, which may result in their being barred from working with children before the clearance has expired. If this happens, the employer will be notified using information supplied during the online verification process.

(29) Barred applicants must not engage in any child-related work (paid or unpaid). It is an offence for them to do so and penalties apply. It is also an offence to hire a barred worker for child-related work, paid or unpaid.

(30) The University (as employer) is required to keep records of child-related workers, including their:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Working with Children Check number (or application number) and expiry date; and
  4. Date and outcome of online verification.

Part C - Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

(31) The Executive Director, Human Resources, or nominee, monitors the implementation of this Procedure. This includes review with appropriate stakeholders and reporting on compliance as required.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(32) Nil.