Every child has the right to participate in sport
and recreation activities without risk to their physical and emotional
Keeping children and young people (those aged under the age of 18)
safe from abuse, discrimination and harassment and protecting them from
people who are unsuitable to work with children is the whole community’s
responsibility. It’s also a legal requirement, ethical obligation and a
duty of care.
Although the Department of Communities and the WA Police have
responsibilities for the protection of children in Western Australia,
all WA communities including the sport and recreation industry also have
a responsibility to keep children safe when participating in sport and
To support State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and their affiliated
clubs keep our children safe and minimise risk, the department has
partnered with SportWest, Working with Children
Screening Unit, Surf Life Saving WA and the WA Police – Child Abuse
which aims to increase understanding of how to create child safe
environments and what to do if abuse is suspected or alleged.
The Working with Children Act (WA 2006) legislation applies
to people who work (and volunteer) with children in Western Australia
and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Sport and recreation organisations have responsibilities to comply with the Act and keep children safe in their organisations.
Everyone can play a part in keeping children safe whilst having fun in the sport and active recreation environment.
The Safe Clubs 4 Kids initiative is a partnership between the WA Sports Federation, Department of Sport and Recreation, Working with Children Screening Unit — Department for Child Protection and Family Support, WA
Police — Child Abuse Squad and Surf Life Saving WA. Safe Clubs 4 Kids was developed to support the sport and recreation industry to create and maintain safe environments for children and young people. Organisations
can take simple steps to adopt a proactive approach to creating a safe environment for children and young people.
The following are considerations for organisations:
One important element of ‘Get the right people’ is criminal record checking. There is legislation which has been developed to help protect children. The Working with Children Check (Criminal Record Checking)
Act 2004 (the WWC Act) aims to increase the safety of children in our community by helping to prevent people who have a criminal history that indicates they may harm a child, from gaining positions of trust working
with children in certain paid, unpaid and voluntary work.
In Western Australia and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Working with Children (WWC) Check is a compulsory screening strategy for people who engage in certain paid or unpaid work with children, described
as “child-related work” under the WWC Act.
The WWC Check is administered by the WWC Screening Unit of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support. In the sport and recreation industry, the WWC Check applies to many people who work with children in
Western Australia and the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands including:
Employers, volunteer organisations and individuals have responsibilities to comply with the WWC Act and keep children safe in their organisations.
The WWC Check is only one strategy to keep children safe. There are many things your organisation can do to make sure it is child-safe and child-friendly.
This booklet has been developed to help your organisation meet its responsibilities under the WWC Act. It provides practical information, links and resources for your organisation to implement and maintain WWC Checks.
The following checklist will help you identify if a person (paid, unpaid or self-employed) requires a Working with Children (WWC) Check.
– An agreement (written or unwritten) by a person with another person
or organisation, to engage in child-related work either for payment or
on a voluntary basis.
A person is in child-related work if their usual duties of work involve or are likely to involve, contact with a child in connection with a category of child-related work, as listed on page 9, and no exemption applies.
Contact is defined as:
However, it does not include contact in the normal course of duties between an employer and an employee or between employees of the same employer.
Certain people do not require a WWC Check because they fit within the description of an exemption that applies to the specific category or categories of child-related work they engage in.
If a person’s work is covered by an exemption then they are not in child-related work and are ineligible to apply for a WWC Check. Some exemptions apply across all categories while others are specific to a
It is important for a person to consider all the categories of child-related work and all the different work they do before deciding whether a WWC Check is or is not required. If a person is involved in child-related
work in more than one category, they will require a WWC Check if an exemption applies to one category but not the other.
The following are some of the most common exemptions:
For more information about exemptions please refer to Child-Related Work and Exemptions.
A parent is a person who:
Once your organisation identifies a person is in child-related work, you should request the person:
In your organisation you should elect an authorised representative. An authorised representative is the person in your organisation who has been given permission to sign WWC Check application forms and sign and confirm WWC
Check online renewal forms on behalf of your organisation. This person is also the contact for the organisation should further information about an application or renewal be required.
This authorised representative will also receive all WWC Check outcomes (copies of WWC Cards, Interim Negative Notices and Negative Notices) and any related correspondence, unless your organisation nominates a representative at
a central location to receive this information. All WWC Check outcomes will be sent to the representative identified in the application form or online renewal form.
When considering who should receive all WWC Check outcomes on behalf of your organisation, you must consider the person’s authority and responsibility in your organisation, as well as any known conflicts of interest,
as they may be required to remove a person from child-related work.
The WWC Check application form is available at authorised Australia Post outlets throughout the State or you can request application forms by
contacting the WWC Screening Unit.
Your organisation may choose to provide volunteers, employees or students (engaging in child-related work) with a WWC Check application form. Applicants should complete their information on the application form.
Your organisation’s authorised representative then completes parts 5 and 6, and signs the declaration in Part 7. By signing the employer, volunteer organisation or education provider declaration, your authorised
representative confirms that the applicant will be employed or volunteering in child-related work with your organisation and that all your organisation’s information is correct. It is important that representatives
do not fill in and sign blank application forms. Penalties apply for providing false or misleading information to the WWC Screening Unit.
In situations where a person with two jobs engages in both paid and voluntary child-related work, the fee for paid work is required. In the sport and recreation sector, many volunteers are also in paid child-related
work and must apply for their WWC Check with their paid employers signing their application form. If you have volunteers who have applied through their paid employment, you should obtain a copy of the receipt
or WWC Card from the volunteer and follow the steps on page 15 in the section ‘What to do if a person already has a current WWC Card?’. The checking process is the same for paid employees and volunteers,
the only difference is that the fee for volunteers is heavily subsidized by government.
If a person who initially applied as a volunteer obtains paid work during the three years that their WWC Card is valid, that person will not need to re-apply for a new WWC Check until their Card expires. A current WWC
Card is transferable between paid and unpaid work.
Once the WWC Check application form has been completed by both the applicant and your organisation’s authorised representative, the applicant must lodge their WWC Check application form at an authorised Australia
When lodging the application form, the applicant must present sufficient documents to meet the 100 Point Proof of Identity Check and pay the required fee. Accurate identification information is essential to make sure
the criminal history check is completed for the correct person, which includes the applicant’s current address details and photographic identification.
Applicants who do not have sufficient identification or who live in remote communities and are unable to access an authorised Australia Post outlet should contact the WWC Screening Unit on 08 6217 8100 (Metropolitan
Perth) or 1800 883 979 (country areas) to find out how they can apply.
A WWC Card expires after three years, unless the WWC Screening Unit or card holder cancels the Card earlier. To meet your responsibilities, your organisation must ensure card holders renew their WWC Card before it expires.
There are two ways for a card holder to renew a WWC Card:
Card holders should renew their WWC Card at least one month before their Card expires.
The WWC Screening Unit has developed a new online renewal process. Therefore, your organisation needs a process for ensuring application forms are completed correctly, as well as having a process to manage the online
Only eligible card holders may use the online renewal process. If a card holder does not have a Visa or MasterCard credit card or debit card, cannot access online services, is ineligible to renew online, or would prefer
a WWC Card with a new photo they can complete an application for WWC Check and lodge it at an authorised Australia Post outlet.
Provide card holders with your organisation’s process to complete an online renewal form. This should include your organisation’s correct name, address and the name and email address of your organisation’s
authorised representative (the person who is authorised to electronically sign the online renewal form on behalf of your organisation) so this information is correct in their renewal application. Please note that
your authorised representative’s email account must not be a generic account and that their email spam filters should be set to allow messages from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the first online renewal application is submitted, your authorised representative will receive an email from the WWC Screening Unit, advising that an online renewal application has been received and provide a link
for them to use (due to privacy issues, no information about online applicants are provided in the email). Your authorised representative must then register an account and confirm the renewal applicant’s child-related
work with your organisation. Your authorised representative should also ensure that all your organisation’s information is correct, including where all outcomes should be sent. With consent, these details
will be saved on the WWC Screening Unit’s database to prefill future online renewal applications requiring the same representative to confirm.
*Fees accurate as at July 2016. For current fees visit: www.workingwithchildren.wa.gov.au.
The fees are heavily subsidised by government and include the photograph and three year validity of the WWC Card (unless cancelled sooner).
There is a function on the WWC website which allows you to check whether a WWC Check application is pending.
A receipt from Australia Post or an online renewal receipt is proof that an applicant has a pending application. In most cases this allows the person to start or continue child-related work. However if a person has
a conviction for a Class 1 offence committed when an adult or has been issued with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Working with Children Checks | 15 Notice (which is current) they may not do so. This enables
most employees, volunteers and students to work while waiting for the outcome of their application.
In some cases the WWC Screening Unit may contact an applicant and the authorised representative to obtain further information, such as missing personal information or clarification of the applicant’s child-related
If an applicant or authorised representative fails to provide the information required within the specified time, the application may be deemed to have been withdrawn and your organisation must not engage the person
in child-related work.
If a person engages in child-related work with your organisation and already has a current WWC rd from other child-related work, you should:
The WWC Screening Unit requests a National Police History Check. The criminal record and other relevant information is then assessed to see if the person has any charges, convictions and behaviours that indicate they
may harm a child.
A criminal record in itself will not necessarily prevent a person from engaging in child-related work. The WWC Screening Unit assesses information that is relevant to whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm
should the person engage in child-related work. The paramount consideration when assessing an application is the best interests of children.
The information that is obtained as part of a WWC Check includes, but is not limited to:
For a list of offences considered during the assessment process please see Factsheet 3: Class 1 and Class 2 Offences.
When a person applies for a WWC Check they give ongoing consent to the collection, use and disclosure of information about themselves (including criminal records) that is relevant to whether they should be issued with
a WWC Card. This is for the initial checking based on their application and, if issued with a WWC Card, checking on an ongoing basis until it expires.
If the WWC Screening Unit receives new information about a person during that time their eligibility to hold a WWC Card may be re-assessed. Once a re-assessment is triggered, the WWC Screening Unit can then request
and consider any information that is relevant to the issue of whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm should they continue to engage in child-related work. This may include requesting and considering
information from sources such as other government departments or professional organisations and is not limited to their criminal record.
If your authorised representative:
then your organisation will be notified of any change in your employee, volunteer or student’s eligibility to hold a WWC Card.
Information about the circumstances of any charge or conviction on a person’s criminal history may also be requested from the following bodies in Western Australia and their equivalent in other states and territories
Before an applicant is prohibited from child-related work, the applicant is invited to make a submission about their criminal history and their suitability to work with children. This is then considered as part of the
assessment before a final decision is made.
If an application or renewal for a WWC Check is successful, a person is issued with an Assessment Notice, in the form of a WWC Card. A valid WWC Card permits a person to engage in child-related work and remains valid
for three years unless cancelled sooner. It is also transferable across paid, unpaid and volunteer work and across all categories of child-related work.
Once a person holds a WWC Card their eligibility to continue to hold it may be re-assessed if they have a new, relevant charge or conviction which indicates they may harm a child while engaging in child-related work.
A Negative Notice is issued where the WWC Screening Unit has identified a risk of harm to a child should the person engage in child-related work. This can occur when a person first applies for a WWC Check or if they
are re-assessed while holding a WWC Card. A Negative Notice prohibits the person from engaging in any child-related work. A Negative Notice remains current unless cancelled under the WWC Act.
An Interim Negative Notice may be issued in some cases when the WWC Screening Unit receives information relevant to the immediate safety of children (e.g. a charge or conviction for a relevant offence). This prohibits
a person from engaging in child-related work during the assessment or re-assessment until a final decision is made.
If the WWC Screening Unit’s assessment or re-assessment of a person’s eligibility to hold a WWC Card indicates an unacceptable unacceptable risk to children they will be issued with a Negative Notice.
Your organisation must not engage a person in child-related work if they are issued with an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice or have withdrawn their application.
If your organisation knows that an employee, volunteer or student holds an Interim Negative Notice you should be aware that:
If your organisation knows that an employee, volunteer or student holds a Negative Notice you should be aware that:
It is a good idea to develop a procedure or process for your organisation should an employee, volunteer or student be prohibited from child-related work. This will give confidence to your committee, staff and volunteers
and ensure fairness and transparency in the process.
Your organisation has responsibilities under the WWC Act. It is important to know your responsibilities as some offences carry penalties of up to $60,000 and up to five years imprisonment.
Some of your responsibilities include that:
For more detailed information please read Factsheet 5: Information for Employers and Volunteer Organisations and Factsheet 6: Offences and Penalties for Employers and Volunteer Organisations.
The WWC Screening Unit can audit employers and volunteer organisations. Your organisation must be able to demonstrate its compliance to the WWC Act. Your organisation can review its compliance to the WWC Act and also identify areas where
you could improve your child-safe practices by completing the WWC Check Health Check.
Here are some questions your organisation should consider when reviewing your compliance:
Working with Children Check — example Record Keeping Sheet
This example Record Keeping Sheet is available to download at www.workingwithchildren.wa.gov.au.
Your record keeping should include:
This information should:
The WWC Screening Unit recommends, where possible, to keep records in a centralised reportablelist.
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural IndustriesPO Box 8349 Perth Business Centre WA 6849Telephone 61 8 6552 7300Facsimile 61 8 9492 9711
Working with Children Screening Unit
Telephone 61 8 6217 8100Freecall 1800 883 979Visit the Working With Children website
SportWestTelephone 61 8 9387 8100Visit the SportWest website
This booklet has been prepared by the Department Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for general information purposes only, without taking into account individual circumstances, particular situations or particular needs.
Before acting on this general information, you must consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, circumstances and needs.
The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any legal or other professional advice, consultation or service and nothing in this document shall be construed as legal advice, binding or
mandatory policy or specific recommendation.
The information in this document is current as at July 2016. The department makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, in relation to outcomes achievable by following the information in this document.
The policies and guidelines in this document are based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable but the department does not make any representation or warranty that it is accurate, complete or up-to date. The
department accepts no obligation to correct or update the information or opinions in it. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. No member of the department accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct
or indirect consequences or loss arising from any use of this information.
© Copyright is reserved throughout. The information contained in this document must not be copied, in whole or part, or distributed without the express permission of the department.
Manager Industry DevelopmentDepartment of Local Government, Sport and Cultural IndustriesTelephone 61 8 6552 7300Email the department
Do not submit enquiries with this form.