Working With Children Check

Working With Children (WWC) Check Policy

Policy Code: HR1313

Purpose

To enable the University to meet the Victorian state government legislative requirements of the Working with Children Act 2005 and contribute to child safe practices relating to employees and contractors of the University, and volunteers who are engaged in child-related work in the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services within the University 

Scope

This policy applies to all University existing, new and prospective employees, contractors and volunteers who are to be engaged in child-related work in the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services within the University, that usually involves direct contact with a child or children.  Employees who are registered under the Victorian Institute of Teaching Act 2001 (eg. secondary school teachers) do not require a WWC Check or Card.

Definitions

Term Definition
Assessment Notice: As defined in the Working with Children Act 2005 which states that the person to whom the Notice has been issued has passed a working with children check.
Child/ren: Any person/s under the age of eighteen years.
Child-related work: Means work involved in one or more of the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services that usually involves direct contact with a child or children.  Child related work does not include incidental or occasional contact with child/ren.

Child safe recruitment practices

Executive Deans and Directors

Means child safe recruitment practices as outlined in the Recruitment and Merit Selection Policy and Procedure of the University.

Includes the most senior management representative of a College, Institute or other significant work unit.

Direct contact: Means any contact between a person and a child/ren that involves face-to-face contact or, contact by post or other written communication, or contact by telephone or other oral  communication, or contact by email or other electronic communication.
   
Engaged: Includes employed.
Interim Negative Notice: Issued as prescribed under the Working with Children Act 2005 on an interim basis, pending further information whereby the individual does not meet the requirements necessary in order to be issued an Assessment Notice and a WWC Card.
Negative Notice: As defined in the Working with Children Act 2005 which states that the person to whom the notice has been issued has not passed a WWC Check.
Occupational Fields Including the following from 'Camps' to 'Youth Justice'.
 

Camps

All overnight camps for children. 

 

Child Care Services

Child care services including:

  • centre-based long day care                                                                    
  • occasional care                                                                                       
  • family day care                                                                                         
  • in homecare                                                                                            
  • outside school hours care
 

Child Employment Supervisors

Supervision of a child in employment (where the child is under 15 years of age) pursuant to the Child Employment Act 2003.    

 

Children’s Services

Children’s services under the Children’s Services Act 1996 and education and care services within the meaning of the Education and Care Services National Law (Victoria) including kindergartens or preschools.    

 

Clubs & Associations

Clubs, associations, or movements of a cultural, recreational or sporting nature.

 

Coaching & Tuition

Coaching or tuition services of any kind specifically for children

 

Counselling Services

Counselling or other support services for children.   

 

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions for children, specifically:

  • State schools (all primary, secondary, technical and special State schools)
  • non-Government schools (including all primary, secondary and special non-Government schools                                                        
  • TAFE colleges and TAFE divisions of universities providing VCE and/or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) subjects                  
  • some adult education providers offering VCE and/or VCAL subjects        
  • other institutions providing children's study or training programs. 
 

Kinship Care

Where a person is a family member or, other person of significance to a child or, the child is or has been placed in the out of home care of that person under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.  Out of home care means care of a child by a person other than a parent of the child.

Gym or Play Facilities

Commercial gym or play facilities for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities.   

 

Photography Services

Commercial photography services for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities. 

 

Religion

Ministers of religion.  

 

School Crossings

School crossing services.

 

Student Exchange Programs

Accommodation services specifically provided for students as part of a student exchange program under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in a person’s home such as a homestay arrangement.  

 

Talent & Beauty Competitions

Commercial talent or beauty competitions for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities.    

 

Transport

Publicly-funded or commercial transport services specifically for children.

 

Youth Justice

Youth remand, residential, or justice centres, supervision units and probation services within the meaning of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005.  

Prospective: Means any person that is likely to be offered paid employment or engagement.
University: Means 'Federation University Australia'.
Volunteer: Means an unpaid engagement and unpaid student placement.
Work: Means paid or unpaid engagement or employment.
Working with Children Check: A legislative requirement and process of assessment as prescribed in the Working with Children Act 2005 and subsequent Regulations 2006.
Working with Children Card: A card issued pursuant to the Working with Children Regulations 2006 which evidences that the holder has been given an Assessment Notice.

Policy Statement

The university is committed to providing a child safe environment and ensuring that children are able to experience the fundamental right to be safe from all forms of child abuse

This  policy will ensure compliance with the requirements of the Working with Children Act 2005 and its regulations. The policy will apply to the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services to children that are part of and operate across sectors of the University.

Federation University Australia requires all current, prospective employees, contractors and volunteers who are to be engaged in child-related work in the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services within the University to:

  • have a current WWC Check and subsequent WWC Card, or
  • undergo a WWC Check as prescribed by the Working with Children Act 2005.

All current, prospective employees, contractors or volunteers must hold a current Assessment Notice and a WWC Card prior to engaging in any child-related work in the occupational fields or other areas that deliver education and services within the University.

As per the Working with Children Act 2005, it is the responsibility of employees to obtain an Assessment Notice and WWC Card prior to engaging in any child-related work within the University. New and prospective employees will be required to present and have sighted their WWC Card prior to commencement of employment. WWC Cards issued for volunteers cannot be used for paid employment or engagement.

Where it is deemed that a new or prospective employee, contractor or volunteer will be required to have a WWC Check to work in child-related work, commencement of employment or engagement must not take place until such time that they have been issued an Assessment Notice and WWC Card.

It will be the responsibility of each employee, contractor or volunteer to renew and fund their WWC Card when it expires. It is an offence under the legislation to continue child related work until a valid Assessment Notice and WWC Card is re-issued.

The WWC Check is valid for 5 years or as otherwise amended by legislation. Executive Deans or Directors will monitor and record renewal dates for contractors and volunteers. Human Resources will record renewal dates for all employees.

The collection, recording and storage of WWC information will be the dual responsibility of each Executive Dean or Director and the Director, Human Resources and will be conducted in accordance with the University's Information Privacy Policy and any other relevant legislative requirements.

Where there is a relevant change of circumstance relating to the holder of a WWC Card, the holder must notify the Executive Dean or Director and Director, Human Resources in writing of the change within 7 days. A relevant change includes the holder being charged or convicted of an offence relating to children of a type specified in the Working with Children Act 2005.

In the case of an employee, contractor or volunteer receiving a Negative Notice after a WWC Check has been conducted, the University may take (and not be restricted to) any of the following steps against a current or prospective employee, contractor or volunteer:

  • cease the work; or
  • modify the work processes or duties associated with the child-related work; or
  • re-design the position or work required; or
  • re-deployment; or
  • not make an offer of employment or engagement; or
  • terminate the employment or engagement as per due process.

An employee, contractor or volunteer who receives an Interim Negative Notice will have the right of appeal as legislated in the Working With Children Act 2005. In this case, the University will take the necessary course of action that will ensure compliance to the legislation.

Responsibility

The Vice-Chancellor is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of this policy and associated procedures.

The Director, Human Resources will be responsible for administering the policy and associated procedures.

Implementation

The Working with Children Check Policy will be communicated and implemented across the University community by the following actions:

  1. an Announcement Notice under 'FedNews' on the University website and on the 'Policies and Procedures' website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. on the internal Human Resources website explaining the WWC Checks in plain English using a 'Frequently Asked Questions' format; and
  3. emails to Executive Deans and Directors.