WWC and other Checks

The WWC Check is one type of screening. There are other checks available in Western Australia, each with different purposes, target groups and features.

These are:

What is the difference between a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate?

There are a number of differences between a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate, including:

  • A WWC Check includes a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, but differs from a National Police Certificate because it involves ongoing collection and assessment of information that is relevant to whether a child may be exposed to a risk of harm should the person engage in child-related work. This means a WWC Check is regularly updated during the three years a person holds a WWC Card and if they have a change in their criminal record, it can be re-assessed and their eligibility to continue to hold a WWC Card reviewed.
  • A WWC Check is valid for three years unless cancelled sooner, during which time it can be used to work in any category of child-related work and type of employment including paid and unpaid or voluntary work. Unlike the National Police Certificate, which is only current on the day it is issued.
  • A WWC Check accesses more criminal record information than a National Police Certificate, including juvenile records, spent convictions and charges that did not result in conviction. In certain circumstances, police history information relating to charges and/or convictions for overseas offences may also be obtained.  A National Police Certificate discloses a person’s convictions and any pending charges.
  • A WWC Check is compulsory for people in child-related work. It has set obligations and penalties for non-compliance.

What check/s should employers and organisations require?

Employers and organisations should consider all the work a person will be doing and determine which roles engage in child-related work, and which roles have duties, which require additional screening. There are many instances where a person will require more than one check. For example, where a person works with money as well as children, they may require two checks – a WWC Check and a National Police Certificate as their employer or organisation will want to know if they have any offences for theft or fraud, and only the National Police Certificate will provide this information.

Where a person engages in child-related work they must obtain a WWC Check. However, there are many roles involving contact with children that do not meet the definition of ‘child-related work’. In these situations, employers and organisations should request a National Police Certificate or Volunteer National Police Certificate to assess any potential risks identified through such screening.

If a person is from overseas what check/s are available?

The WWC Check primarily considers offences in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs provides information about visa screening requirements and also how to obtain overseas police certificates, click here for more information.

If you are an employer or organisation and are aware of any overseas offences of concern, you can notify the WWC Screening Unit who can consider the information.

What else can employers and organisations do to be a Child Safe Organisation?

Screening is only one part of the recruitment process that responsible employers and organisations put in place to ensure they get the right person for the job. Assessing a person's criminal history and their suitability to fulfil certain duties, must be considered along with referee reports and interviews.

For more information about creating a child safe organisation through recruitment and staff management click here.

Page last updated02 December 2020