The Act defines a prescribed position as a position in which it is reasonably foreseeable that a person will work with children during the ordinary course of their duties (where a child means a person under the age of 18).
The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Regulations 2019 extends the definition of a prescribed position to include “a position in which a person is employed to provide preschool, primary or secondary education to a child (whether or not the person is a registered teacher)”. This does not include tertiary education and the Act further specifies that the definition of “education services” does not include tertiary education.
Although tertiary education is excluded from the requirements of WWCC, we still provide education services in some areas. The following flow chart should be used to assess if a position is prescribed:
All positions assessed as prescribed must have a current child-related employment clearance – Working with Children Check or Ochre Card.
The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 [CAA1] (“the Act”) requires the University to screen staff who occupy prescribed positions. At the time of creating a new position, or identifying the need to fill an existing position, the recruiting manager must identify, with the support of local People and Culture, whether the position is a prescribed position as defined under the Act. If a position is prescribed, the candidate will be required to obtain a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of the role with Flinders.
Current staff: All renewals for continuing, fixed term and casual staff who hold positions deemed prescribed will be paid for by People and Culture.
Prospective staff: All new staff (including casuals), who are being offered a position deemed prescribed will be paid by People and Culture.
Evidence of a current Teacher’s Registration will also meet the clearance requirement for the Working with Children Check.
For more information, visit https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/rights-and-law/rights-and-responsibilities/screening-checks/screening-wwcc
The Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (NT) requires the screening of employees and volunteers in child-related employment and broadly identifies occupations and activities for which an Ochre Card is required. An Ochre Card is photo ID proof that individuals have passed the WWCC screening process.
The Ochre Card is valid for 2 years.
Current staff: All renewals for continuing, fixed term and casual staff who hold positions deemed prescribed will be paid for by the employee who will then apply for reimbursement.
Prospective staff: All new staff (including casuals), who are being offered a position deemed prescribed will be paid by the candidate who, once engaged, will apply for reimbursement.
Casual positions may be required to provide an NPC dependent on the type of casual position. This would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Payment info: New and existing staff are responsible for the cost of the clearance. All renewals will be the responsibility of the employee to pay. The recruitment team will guide you through the process of getting all your screening documents.
Exemptions: Evidence of a current Teacher’s Registration will also meet the clearance Requirement for an NPC.
The University has a responsibility to ensure that it promotes a child safe environment for students who may be under the age of 18 when studying at the University.
This is set out in the Children’s Protection Act 1993, the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, the Child Protection Regulations 2010 and the Flinders University Child Safe Environment Policy to create child safe environments.
As a supervisor, you are responsible for ensuring that:
View the Flinders University Child-safe environment legal and policy framework.
Under no circumstances can an employee commence without a WWCC or OCHRE Card if the position has been deemed prescribed.
An employee may start without an NPC subject to an application being submitted and a statutory declaration completed. Please speak with your local People and Culture Team in relation to this.
It is a criminal offence to work (including as a contractor) or volunteer in a prescribed position without a valid WWCC.
Fines exist for both individuals ($50,000 in SA and $78,500 in the NT) and the University ($120 000 in SA and $78,500 in the NT).
Each state or territory is different and has its own procedures around WWCC. If an employee of Flinders is approved to work interstate, they will need to adhere to the clearance obligations for that state if in a prescribed position. For further information refer here.
The University (College/Portfolio) will not cover the cost of WWCC if it is included in staff registration requirements (e.g. Teachers registration). This covers both professional and academic staff.
In accordance with the Consulting Fund Policy and Procedures, staff cannot use consultancy funds to pay for their own (or their staff’s) WWCC or professional registration.
At the time a position is vacated, the hiring manager needs to reconsider if the position is prescribed or not. If there is a change, this should be notified to People and Culture so that the Position Description and Workday can be updated.
If the requirements of a position change whilst an incumbent is still in a position, please speak with People and Culture.
The screening processes are managed by agencies outside of the University and therefore we have no control over how long a clearance may take to be processed.
Outcomes can take in general between 3 – 6 weeks. Sometimes this can be shorter or longer dependent on whether there is a lot of background information to assess or the information is complex.
It is the responsibility of the hiring manager to be aware of the employment screening requirements for a role and ensure a prospective candidate undertakes the required process to obtain an NPC, WWCC or OCHRE Card as soon as possible to avoid delays in the onboarding process.
The screening requirements for a position are clearly outlined in the position description.
Mandated notifiers (as defined in section 30 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017) are required to notify the Department for Child Protection (via the Child Abuse Report Line) if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child is, or may be, at risk and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person’s work (whether paid or voluntary) or of carrying out official duties.
Staff members who have resided in Australia for less than 12 months may be required to provide the international equivalent of an NPC.
Where the position is prescribed, international candidates who have resided outside of Australia may also be required to complete a Statutory Declaration in a form approved by the University for a defined period of time after which time, they will be required to obtain the relevant WWCC.
A disclosable outcome refers to police information that can be released. Disclosable outcomes may include information relating to court convictions (including penalties and sentences), charges, findings of guilt with no conviction and traffic offences.
Where a disclosable outcome is notified to the University this is to be considered by the Director P&C (or delegate) for assessment.
If it involves working with children (under 18 years) for more than seven days in a calendar year, they will need a Working with Children Check.
A day of work is any shift, no matter how long, that starts on a calendar day. For example, a shift from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm is one day of work.
No this can not be accepted for paid employment.
Screening checks are included in many pieces of South Australian and Commonwealth legislation.
Northern Territory Legislation
Care and Protection of Children Act 2007
A working with children clearance in the Northern Territory is an Ochre Card and is applied for through the NT Police.
More information on working with children in the Northern Territory
More information can be found on the Department of Human Services website
Please contact your relevant college / portfolio business partner.
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